Losing a loved one in an accident is devastating and painful. As you and your family attempt to heal during this time, it is important that you are aware of your legal rights and the ramifications any actions could have on your future. Let the wrongful death attorneys at Bennett Johnson, LLP in Oakland, CA, take care of this aspect of your case so you can focus on moving forward. We can determine if you are entitled to compensation for the losses and damages you have sustained and can fight tirelessly on your behalf to hold the negligent or at-fault party responsible. Contact our law firm today to speak with an attorney.
Do You Have a Wrongful Death Case?
Wrongful death claims are specific types of personal injury cases that arise from the tragic loss of a family member, either through the negligence or intentional actions of another party. In a wrongful death claim, the surviving family and dependents of the deceased can bring legal action against the party liable for the death. These claims can result from any situation where a personal injury claim would have existed if the injury had not been fatal. These cases are often the result of serious accidents such as:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Workplace Incidents
- Construction Accidents
- Defective Products
- Medical Malpractice
For a successful wrongful death suit, the plaintiff must prove that their loved one's death was caused by the negligent or reckless behavior of another party. Our attorneys can assist you with your burden of proof and can improve your chances of receiving a just amount of compensation for your loss.
Compensation in wrongful death claims may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills associated with the deceased’s injury
- Loss of consortium, or companionship
- Loss of the deceased’s income
While financial restitution cannot make up for the loss of your loved one, it can help limit the burdens you face, allowing you to focus on the future and recovery.
Who Can File a Claim
A wrongful death claim can ensure negligent parties are held accountable while providing the surviving family members sufficient compensation to restore their financial security. Laws vary from state to state, but in California, typically the main family members who can file a wrongful death claim are the deceased’s spouse or domestic partner or children.
If the deceased lacks a spouse or child, those who would have benefited from the resulting estate can file a claim, such as parents or siblings. In limited cases, stepchildren of the deceased may also have a right to file a claim if they can prove they were financially dependent. It is important that in any case, you work with an experience wrongful death attorney who has a thorough understanding of California’s laws as they relate to your case.
Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Claim
A successful wrongful death claim must prove that:
- The negligent party had a duty to provide a certain level of care or act in a certain way
- The negligent party breached this duty
- As a result of the breach, the deceased suffered fatal injuries
These situations can apply to any number of persons. From other drivers who are expected to operate their vehicles safely to employers who are required to maintain a safe work environment. When you hire the wrongful death attorneys at Bennett Johnson, LLP, we can gather the necessary evidence to prove the defendant acted negligently. Evidence in these cases may include witness statements, medical records, and police reports. In addition, we may rely on our professional network to provide expert testimony.
Unlike criminal cases, plaintiffs in wrongful death claims need only prove a preponderance of evidence. This simply means the evidence shows that it was likely the defendant’s negligence or actions caused or contributed to the victim’s death, there does not have to be intent.
The Insurance Company’s Role
Settlements and jury awards in wrongful death claims can total hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. In the vast majority of wrongful death claims, the defendant does not have the cash or assets to cover the amount of compensation a victim’s family deserves. To ensure the surviving family members can receive the compensation they deserve, we often pursue restitution from the defendant’s insurance company.
This process can be highly complex and you should not have to face it alone. Claims adjusters have one goal: to get you to accept the least amount of money possible for your claim. They may pressure you into giving a statement or signing documents, which can result in you receiving a lesser settlement.
If you want the insurance company to pay the full amount you are rightly owed, you need to work with a skilled wrongful death attorney. At Bennett Johnson, LLP, we can deal with the insurance company directly so they understand we have a strong case against them and their insured. We can protect your interests, allowing you to focus on recovering while we try to settle for a large amount without going to court. As your attorneys, it is our goal to ensure you receive the most compensation possible for your losses without causing further stress, pain, or suffering.
At Bennett Johnson, LLP, our lawyers stand ready to serve and assist you during this difficult time. Our firm is known for aggressive, effective advocacy.
Aggressive Advocacy for Surviving Family Members
The first step toward pursuing a favorable outcome is discussing your situation with our knowledgeable team of wrongful death attorneys. At Bennett Johnson, LLP, our lawyers stand ready to serve and assist you during this difficult time. Our firm is known for aggressive, effective advocacy. We guide our clients through challenging wrongful death cases following the untimely passing of their loved ones. Our firm has a proven track record of securing significant settlements for our clients, and we can fight for you.
Receive Compassionate Counsel
Our commitment is to protect you and your family with strategic legal action during this difficult time. The sooner you seek our legal help, the sooner you can have peace of mind known a strong legal team is on your side. We are available to answer the tough questions you may have regarding your case. For more information about how our team can help you with your wrongful death claim, please do not delay in contacting our law office online or by calling (510) 444-5020 today.