Compassionate Wrongful Death Attorneys in Santa Ana, CA
Losing a loved one due to someone else's negligence is devastating, especially when it was preventable. In California, surviving family members may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensation for their losses. During such a difficult time, it's crucial to have a compassionate Santa Ana wrongful death lawyer advocating for your rights and best interests.
At Riverview Accident Lawyers, our experienced wrongful death attorneys will help you navigate the complexities of wrongful death cases. Want to learn more about your legal options? Call us to schedule a free consultation today.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death occurs when an individual dies as a result of the negligence or intentional actions of another party. If the victim were still alive, they would be able to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party who caused their injury and damages. An experienced Santa Ana wrongful death attorney can help surviving family members seek compensation for the damages suffered as a result of their loved one's death.
Common Causes of Auto Accident Wrongful Death Cases
Car accidents are unfortunately common causes of wrongful death cases in the United States. In 2021, there were 4,285 traffic fatalities in California, which was a 7.6 increase from 2020. Common types of wrongful death cases include the following:
Impaired Driving: where a driver operates a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances. Each day, about 37 people are killed in drunk driving collisions across the US.
Reckless Driving: Drivers engaging in reckless behavior, such as aggressive driving, speeding, or other dangerous maneuvers can cause collisions.
Distracted Driving Collisions: Auto accidents resulting from drivers being distracted by activities like texting, talking on the phone, or engaging in other non-driving tasks. In 2021, distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,522 people.
Failure to Obey Traffic Laws: When drivers run red lights, ignore stop signs, or violate right-of-way rules, it puts other road users at great risk.
Poor Road Conditions: Hazardous road conditions or lack of signage can cause serious accidents.
Weather-Related Collisions: Adverse weather conditions, including rain, snow, fog, or icy roads can make the driving conditions more dangerous for motorists.
Do I Have a Wrongful Death Case?
Determining whether you have a valid wrongful death case requires a careful examination of the circumstances surrounding the wrongful death. If your loved one's death occurred due to someone else's negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions, you may have a viable wrongful death claim. Consulting with a Santa Ana wrongful death lawyer is crucial in evaluating the specific details of your situation and understanding your legal options.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
According to California law, specific individuals are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Generally, the following survivors can pursue a wrongful death claim:
- The surviving spouse or the registered domestic partner.
- The surviving children may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. This can include the biological, fully adopted children, and step-children.
- The deceased's parents may be able to pursue a claim if they can prove they were financially dependent on the decedent. If the deceased individual was a minor, the parents have the right to pursue a personal injury claim.
- Minors who lived with the deceased person and who were financially dependent on the decedent for at least 50% of their financial support. In addition, these minors must have lived with the decedent for a minimum of 6 months.
- A personal representative of the estate can pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of the claimants.
When considering taking legal action, it's crucial to know if you are eligible to file a claim. A Santa Ana wrongful death lawyer can help you determine if your claim is viable.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
If you believe your loved one's untimely death was caused by another party's negligence or misconduct, it is crucial to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney. In California, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is 2 years from the date of the individual's death.
However, certain circumstances can shorten or extend this timeframe. A Santa Ana wrongful death lawyer will inform you of the statute of limitations and will help you file your case in a timely manner
What Are Potential Damages in Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
Wrongful death claims seek compensation for various damages suffered by the surviving family members. These damages may include the following:
- Medical expenses related to the deceased individual's final injury or illness
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of financial support
- Lost healthcare and benefits
- Cost of household services
- Cost of childcare services
- Emotional pain and suffering
Understanding the potential damages is crucial when calculating full and fair compensation. An experienced Santa Ana wrongful death lawyer can help assess the full scope of these losses.
The Burden of Proof in Wrongful Death Cases
Establishing liability in wrongful death cases involves meeting a legal standard known as the burden of proof. This means demonstrating that the negligent or intentional actions of another party directly caused the death of your loved one.
The following elements must be established to prove liability in a wrongful death claim.
Duty of Care
The defendant must have owed a duty of care to the deceased individual. This is a legal obligation that requires individuals to adhere to a standard of reasonable care to avoid careless acts that can harm others.
Breach of the Duty of Care
It must be established that the defendant breached the duty of care which resulted in the wrongful death.
It must be demonstrated that the defendant's negligence or misconduct directly caused the decedent's death.
The plaintiff must prove that they suffered damages as a result of their loved one's death. Damages may include lost wages, mental distress, and pain and suffering.
An experienced wrongful death attorney will build a compelling case, ensuring that all necessary elements are presented to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.
Our Orange County Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help With Your Claim
While no amount of compensation can replace the loss of a loved one, pursuing a wrongful death claim can provide a sense of justice and closure for grieving families. Holding the responsible party accountable not only helps in the healing process but also sends a powerful message about the consequences of negligence or misconduct.
At Riverview Accident Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping our clients obtain justice. Our personal injury law firm maintains a 99% success rate and has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
Our compassionate Santa Ana wrongful death lawyers understand the emotional toll and financial implications of losing a family member. We take care of each client with the compassion and professionalism they deserve and ensure we keep every one of our clients updated throughout their claims.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases We Handle
Contact an Experienced Santa Ana Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If you're in need of a qualified Santa Ana car accident lawyer, our personal injury law firm is here for you. Don't allow the other driver's insurance company to settle your personal injury claim for less than you deserve. Contact Riverview Accident Lawyers for a free consultation. We will answer any questions you have about your accident and injuries and determine if you have a viable case.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence, we are here to provide the support and legal advocacy you need to pursue a wrongful death claim. Our legal team is here to provide the support, guidance, and representation you need during this challenging time. Contact our Santa Ana office today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case.