Los Angeles Wrongful Death Attorney

Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyers in Barstow

The sudden loss of a loved one can impose significant emotional, physical, and financial burdens on the surviving family members. If their passing resulted from the wrongful or negligent actions of another party, then the survivors might have the chance to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for their loss. While no legal action can ever replace a loved one or alleviate the emotional suffering, it can assist the survivors in managing the financial challenges that frequently arise following such tragic incidents.

Wrongful death is a legally intricate concept that often requires robust evidence and skilled legal representation to successfully prove in court. Our Barstow wrongful death attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of your case to ensure you receive maximum compensation. In a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate that their loved one’s death resulted from another person’s negligence. Pursuing a wrongful death claim allows claimants to seek financial recompense for both economic losses and emotional suffering.

Although wrongful death may be associated with criminal prosecution, our Barstow personal injury attorneys focus on the civil lawsuit aspect. The burden of proof in a civil wrongful death claim is significantly lower than that in a criminal case.

Regardless of the cause of your loved one’s death (be it a car accident, product defect, etc.), our attorneys are ready to take on the case and seek justice for your unexpectedly lost loved ones. We understand the overwhelming nature of such cases, but we are here to support you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our Barstow wrongful death lawyers.

Who can sue for wrongful death in Barstow?

In California, specific individuals are authorized to file wrongful death claims on behalf of the deceased, known as the decedent. Eligible parties who can initiate a lawsuit for the decedent include:

  • A spouse;
  • A domestic partner;
  • Children;
  • Grandchildren (if the decedent’s children are deceased);
  • Other minor children, such as stepchildren, who lived with the decedent for at least 180 days prior to the death and depended on the decedent for at least half of their financial support;
  • Any other person entitled to the decedent’s property under the laws of intestate succession (relatives who could inherit a portion of the decedent’s estate if there was no will).

This is in accordance with the California Code of Civil Procedure § 377.60.

If you fit any of the above criteria for initiating a wrongful death lawsuit, we encourage you to contact our attorneys today. If you’re unsure, particularly in cases where the decedent had no surviving spouse or children, wrongful death lawsuits can become more complex. In such situations, it’s important to consult with our attorneys to determine the appropriate course of action.

Wrongful Death Statistics in Barstow

  • California ranks as the state with the second-highest number of fatal car accidents.
  • In 2020, there was a 5% increase in car accident fatalities compared to 2019, despite the global pandemic.
  • The state experienced a 27% rise in its homicide rate in 2020.
  • The number of African American homicide victims in Los Angeles increased by 36%.
  • Males aged 18 to 29 years were most likely to be involved in fatal motorcycle accidents.
  • There were 474 motorcycle fatalities in 2019.
  • In 2019, the United States recorded a total of 2,811 fatal motorcycle accidents.

How many people can bring a wrongful death action in Barstow?

In California, all parties eligible to file a wrongful death claim for a single individual’s death must unite in the same lawsuit. It is not permissible for multiple parties to file separate wrongful death claims for the same deceased individual. All claimants must collaborate in a single case. This requirement ensures the efficiency of the California courts, preventing the same case from being litigated more than once.

Wrongful Death Laws in Barstow

In California, a death is deemed wrongful if the act leading to the victim’s demise was preventable and occurred due to negligence, intentional misconduct, or recklessness.

Wrongful death in California is a legal action initiated when a third party’s act results in someone’s death. These claims aim to seek compensation from the individual responsible for causing the death. Consequently, wrongful death attorneys in California can pursue compensation through three different legal approaches: negligence, intentional harm, or strict liability cases.

  • Elements of Negligence: In these cases, the responsible party had a duty to operate their vehicle or care for the victim safely. This duty was breached, and the breach resulted in an accident or injuries that led to the victim’s death. Additionally, the death must have caused damages or losses to those who filed the lawsuit.
  • Elements of Intentional Harm or Misconduct: Here, the liable party intentionally committed an act that led to another person’s death. This includes non-consensual physical contact with the victim, which could involve a vehicle collision or the use of a weapon, and such contact was the direct cause of the victim’s death.
  • Elements of Strict Liability: In strict liability cases, the responsible party can be held liable regardless of their intent or efforts to prevent the accident. An example is product defects, where manufacturers and retailers can be held strictly liable regardless of any negligence or misconduct on their part. If a product defect led to the victim’s death, those responsible for the product could be liable.

What kinds of damages can be recovered in a wrongful death case in Barstow?

Compensation in wrongful death suits can cover a wide variety of damages caused by the accident. This can include payouts for things such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • Loss of affection
  • Loss of income and future earning capacity
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of household services
  • Loss of comfort
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of society
  • Physical & emotional pain suffered as a result of the accident
  • It is important to note that punitive damages cannot be recovered in a wrongful death action

When calculating damages in wrongful death cases, the jury considers the deceased person’s lifestyle, health, and life expectancy had they not died. Insurance companies often aim to settle these cases for as minimal an amount as possible. An experienced wrongful death attorney in Barstow can help maximize the compensation for the injustices suffered.

In California, damages are classified into economic and non-economic categories. Economic damages are quantifiable, like medical expenses incurred. Non-economic damages, harder to quantify, cover aspects like emotional trauma and distress, including the loss of enjoyment of life and relationships.

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in California

California law permits a limited amount of time for survivors to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages from the responsible party. Two years is what the statute of limitations in California on wrongful death permits. Hiring a team of veteran Barstow attorneys can help to ensure that this deadline is met. If you’re in need of a wrongful death attorney in Barstow, Heidari Law Group is here to help you with your case. Contact us for a free consultation today. 1-833-225-5454

If you’re wrongful death claim is based on a medical malpractice claim, then a person has:

  • 3 years from the date of the injury
  • One year after the plaintiff discovers or should have discovered the injury

What do our wrongful death attorneys do?

Our Barstow wrongful death attorneys engage in negotiations with insurance companies. Dealing with insurance firms can be challenging, as they often aim to minimize their liability to pay out as little as possible. It’s common for insurance companies to present lowball offers to family members who are grieving the loss of a loved one. We strongly advise our clients never to interact with an insurance company without legal representation. Our Barstow wrongful death attorneys handle all negotiations and communications, allowing you to grieve without the added stress of dealing with insurance matters.

Understanding the Emotional Impact of Wrongful Death Cases and Legal Support

Coping with the death of a loved one is an incredibly difficult experience, especially when it occurs under wrongful circumstances such as negligence or deliberate harm. The emotional turmoil can be exacerbated by financial pressures if the deceased was a primary income earner. In these cases, engaging a compassionate, experienced wrongful death attorney can provide crucial support. Lawyers not only offer legal guidance but also understand the emotional sensitivities involved in such cases. They can handle the procedural and negotiation aspects delicately, allowing the family space to grieve and heal.

Exploring High-Profile Case Examples and Their Influence on Public and Legal Policy

High-profile wrongful death cases often capture the public’s attention and can lead to significant changes in laws and policies to prevent future occurrences. For example, large settlements or verdicts can incentivize companies to improve safety protocols and adhere strictly to regulations. Analyzing how past cases have shaped legal practices and public safety measures provides insight into the evolution of legal standards and the preventive measures instigated by these tragic losses. This can also guide current families on what to expect and demand in their pursuit of justice.

Common asked Questions

What is wrongful death and who is typically liable?

A wrongful death claim arises when a person dies due to the negligence or misconduct of another party. Those potentially liable could be individuals, companies, government agencies, or other entities whose negligent actions or failure to act caused the death. For example, in car accidents, the liable party might be the other driver, a car manufacturer, or local government if poor road conditions contributed.

What kinds of damages are recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit?

In a wrongful death lawsuit, the surviving family members can often recover economic damages such as funeral and burial expenses, medical bills incurred before death, lost future earnings, and loss of benefits. Non-economic damages can include pain and suffering endured by the deceased before death, loss of companionship, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.

How does a wrongful death lawsuit differ from other personal injury claims?

Unlike typical personal injury claims that are filed by the injured party themselves, a wrongful death claim is filed by the surviving family members or the estate of the deceased. This type of lawsuit seeks compensation for the survivors’ loss, rather than the victim’s personal pain and suffering or medical expenses prior to death.

Can siblings file a wrongful death claim?

The eligibility to file a wrongful death claim varies by state. In some states like California, siblings can file a claim if they can prove they were financially dependent on the deceased or if there are no surviving direct family members such as spouses, children, or parents.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in California?

In California, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is generally two years from the date of the individual’s death. This means that the deceased’s family or their representatives have two years to initiate legal proceedings from the time of death.

What role does negligence play in a wrongful death lawsuit?

Negligence is a critical factor in wrongful death lawsuits. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty of care to the deceased, breached that duty through negligence or recklessness, and that the breach directly caused the death. Understanding and proving these elements are fundamental for a successful wrongful death claim.

How are damages calculated in a wrongful death case?

Damages in wrongful death cases are usually calculated based on several factors including the deceased’s expected lifetime earnings, the medical and funeral costs related to the death, and the non-economic impacts on the family like loss of companionship. Sometimes, punitive damages might also be sought to punish particularly egregious behavior.

Can wrongful death settlements be pursued out of court?

Yes, wrongful death claims can often be settled out of court. Negotiating a settlement can lead to a quicker, less costly, and more private resolution than a trial. Both parties, through their attorneys, can agree on a compensation amount that is fair considering the circumstances surrounding the death.

What evidence is typically required in a wrongful death lawsuit?

Evidence for a wrongful death lawsuit can include medical records, accident reports, eyewitness testimonies, camera footage, expert testimonies (like forensic analysts), and employment documents to prove loss of income. A strong evidence base is crucial to establish the defendant’s liability and the extent of damages.

How can an attorney assist in a wrongful death claim?

An attorney can help by managing all legal aspects involving a wrongful death claim. This includes collecting and organizing evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, ensuring compliance with legal deadlines, and representing the family’s interests in court if necessary. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can also provide an accurate estimation of potential compensation and streamline the process to focus on the family’s needs during a difficult time.

Contact Our Wrongful Death Attorneys in Barstow today

If you suspect that a loved one’s death in Barstow was due to someone else’s negligent or intentional actions, reach out to our attorneys immediately for a consultation with a wrongful death lawyer in Barstow. During your complimentary, risk-free initial consultation, our attorneys will examine your claim and explore various legal strategies suitable for your wrongful death case. Our team is committed to ensuring that your loved one receives justice and that you are awarded the maximum compensation you deserve.

We are on your side and understand the immense difficulty of dealing with a loved one’s death. However, delaying action can decrease the likelihood of recovering monetary damages for funeral expenses and other losses. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Contact us anytime 24/7 for a free consultation.