Stockton Wrongful Death Lawyers
Losing a loved one in an accident is never an easy thing to accept. This is especially true if your loved one’s death happened because of someone else’s negligent behavior. You might feel shock, injustice, and a lack of closure due to the unexpected loss. Your family might also feel financial stress if you lost their income and household support.
In some instances, surviving family members are eligible to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit seeking various monetary damages. Although no amount of money can ever replace a deceased loved one, it can help to bring about closure and justice for the deceased’s surviving family members.
The best way to determine if you can file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit is to immediately talk with a Stockton wrongful death attorney. Our legal team at Silva Injury Law can meet with you to evaluate your claim.
If we can move forward with your case, we can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf. In addition, if we must file a lawsuit in the California court system, we can assist you with every step of the litigation process and pursue the wrongful death compensation you deserve to recover in your case.
Let our knowledgeable and compassionate legal team help you recover the full and fair monetary damages you need. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a Stockton wrongful death lawyer, please speak with our team or send a message online today.
Why Should You Choose Us To Represent You In Your Wrongful Death Claim Or Lawsuit?
When it comes to seeking legal representation in a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, you have many options. At Silva Injury Law, our legal team has significant experience representing wrongful death claimants and recovering fair monetary compensation for them.
Successful wrongful death claims require complex investigations and detailed legal paperwork, but our legal team can:
- Collect evidence that shows that another party behaved in a negligent, reckless, wrongful, or intentional manner under the circumstances
- Calculate your and your family’s losses—as well as anticipated future losses that you may incur—due to your loved one’s untimely death.
- Investigate the circumstances of the accident that led to your loved one’s death
- Identify possible witnesses in your wrongful death case
- Negotiate a favorable settlement offer with the insurance company adjuster
- File a lawsuit in your case and pursuing litigation in the court system on your behalf
- Take your wrongful death case to a civil jury trial or binding arbitration proceeding if needed
Our experienced and compassionate legal team will be by your side every step of the way, advocating for your legal interests and pursuing the total monetary compensation that you and your family need under the circumstances.
What Is A Wrongful Death In California?
In California, a wrongful death occurs due to another person’s negligent or otherwise wrongful act. While most wrongful deaths arise from incidents that involve negligence, like motor vehicle accidents or slip-and-fall accidents, other wrongful deaths arise from criminal activity. The primary purpose of a wrongful death claim in California is to afford surviving family members some peace of mind—along with monetary compensation—for all of their losses.
The experienced Stockton wrongful death attorneys at Silva Injury Law can review all of your legal options with you and help you begin the claims-filing process. If litigation becomes necessary in your case, we can file a lawsuit for you and help you pursue maximum monetary recovery in your case.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim In California?
Several individuals can file a wrongful death claim for damages in California. Those individuals include the children of the decedent, the decedent’s surviving domestic partner or spouse, and the decedent’s grandchildren if the decedent does not have any surviving children.
When a deceased individual does not have any surviving direct family members, California law allows any individual who is entitled to receive the decedent’s property—according to state succession laws—to pursue a wrongful death claim for various damages.
Moreover, any individual who depended upon the decedent financially can file a wrongful death claim. Those individuals may include the decedent’s stepchildren, the decedent’s legal guardians or parents, a putative spouse, or the putative spouse’s children.
The Stockton wrongful death lawyers at Silva Injury Law can review your circumstances with you and determine whether or not you may file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
If you can, we can file the claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company and promptly begin settlement negotiations in your case. In addition, we can help you file a lawsuit if the insurance company—for whatever reason—refuses to offer you sufficient monetary damages in your case.
How Much Is A Wrongful Death Claim Worth?
When it comes to wrongful death claims and lawsuits, there is no such thing as an average settlement amount. Instead, a wrongful death claim’s total value is highly dependent upon the facts and circumstances of the case, including the wrongful act that occurred and whether or not surviving family members depended upon the decedent’s income to survive.
Moreover, when researching average settlements for wrongful death cases online, the statistics you recover often fail to account for a surviving family member’s unique circumstances.
The best way to approximate a value for your wrongful death claim or lawsuit is to speak with a Stockton wrongful death lawyer as quickly as possible.
At Silva Injury Law, we can estimate the value of your wrongful death claim after reviewing the facts and circumstances of the case with you. We prioritize aggressively advocating for our clients during settlement negotiations and litigation to maximize the monetary damages they ultimately recover in their case.
Proving A Wrongful Death Claim Or Lawsuit
To recover monetary compensation in a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, the claimant has the sole legal burden of proof in the case. On the other hand, the at-fault party does not have a legal burden, and they do not need to prove anything in the case.
First, the wrongful death claimant must establish that the at-fault party owed the decedent one or more legal duties of care. For example, a motor vehicle operator has a duty to drive in accordance with all traffic laws. Similarly, premises owners have to maintain their premises in a safe condition for the benefit of their property visitors. If the property owner comes across a defect, they have a responsibility to either correct it or warn about it within a reasonable period.
Next, the wrongful death claimant must demonstrate that the at-fault party breached their duty of care to the decedent, such as by violating a traffic law or engaging in DUI in the context of a fatal motor vehicle crash.
The claimant must also demonstrate that the at-fault party’s negligence was both the actual and foreseeable cause of their loved one’s death. Finally, they must show that as a result of their loved one’s death, they (the claimant) suffered various losses and damages.
When a wrongful death claimant can prove all of these legal elements in their claim or lawsuit, they may be entitled to recover various monetary damages. First, a wrongful death claimant may be entitled to receive the cost of their loved one’s burial and funeral expenses. Next, a claimant can recover compensation for the loss of the decedent’s future income if they depended upon the decedent for financial support.
Moreover, a claimant can recover monetary compensation for the pain and suffering that the decedent endured until they passed away. If the decedent incurred medical expenses up until their death, a claimant can also pursue those costs. Finally, the claimant can pursue monetary recovery for the loss of the decedent’s household services.
In addition to recovering economic damages as part of a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, a claimant can also pursue non-economic damages. The purpose of non-economic damages is to compensate claimants for all of their intangible losses.
Those losses often include monetary compensation for:
- Mental and emotional anguish that the claimant experienced due to their loved one’s untimely death
- Loss of the decedent’s love, companionship, guidance, and care
- Loss of spousal intimacy or companionship with the decedent
The experienced and compassionate Stockton wrongful death lawyers at Silva Injury Law can help you accurately assess your case and determine which of these damages you may be eligible to pursue and recover in your case. We can then work to maximize the compensation that you receive in your case through settlement or litigation.
How Do I Litigate A Wrongful Death Case?
While most wrongful death claims settle at some point during the process, other claims must continue through litigation. Wrongful death lawsuits often become necessary when the at-fault party’s insurance company disputes fault for the fatal accident—or where the insurance company simply refuses to offer you sufficient compensation.
Even when a lawyer files suit on behalf of a wrongful death claimant, the case can still resolve at some point during the process. However, if a fair settlement number is not forthcoming, the Stockton wrongful death attorneys at Silva Injury Law can begin litigating your case through the court system.
During the litigation stage of a wrongful death case:
- The claimant’s lawyer will file a formal lawsuit in the California Court System.
- The at-fault party’s insurance company will appoint a defense attorney.
- The parties will engage in discovery to learn about each other’s version of the case, including answering written Interrogatories and attending discovery depositions.
- The parties will attend one or more mediation sessions or settlement conferences with the court in an attempt to resolve the case informally without the need for a jury trial.
- If the case does not settle, the parties will try their case in front of a jury, at which time the jury will decide what, if any, monetary damages to award the wrongful death claimant.
As an alternative to trial, the parties may consider alternative dispute resolution proceedings like binding arbitration or mediation.
What Are The Time Limitations In A California Wrongful Death Case?
Wrongful death claimants have a concise window of time to seek monetary recovery for their injuries. Specifically, a claimant must file their lawsuit within two years of the accident that led to their loved one’s untimely death under California’s statute of limitations. Absent some minimal exceptions, failing to file a wrongful death lawsuit on time will prevent the claimant from recovering any monetary compensation in their case.
Given the short timeframe in a wrongful death case, claimants should speak to a Stockton wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. The skilled legal team at Silva Injury Law can promptly file a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf, safeguarding your legal right to recover the monetary compensation you need.
Contact Our Stockton Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
If you recently lost a loved one in an accident that resulted from someone else’s wrongful act, you have legal options that you can consider. At Silva Injury Law, our compassionate attorneys understand the significant frustration and sadness that come with the untimely loss of a loved one.
Our legal team will do everything we can to negotiate fair settlement compensation on your behalf with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If the insurance company does not offer you a favorable settlement in your wrongful death claim, we welcome the opportunity to litigate your case in the court system and pursue the highest possible monetary compensation for you and your family.
Insurance companies make profits by paying as little as they can on claims. But our legal team knows the tactics the insurance companies use and has the experience to deal with them. Reach out to a Stockton personal injury attorney.