Untimely and wrongful death can be caused by motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, premises liability, and other unfortunate events. A wrongful death is sudden and unexpected, and it leaves family and friends with questions about how to pay for funeral arrangements and resume their normal lives. At Bennett Johnson, LLP in Oakland, CA, our lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping families move on after a wrongful death by seeking the compensation to which they are entitled for the loss of life. It is imperative that you hire a skilled lawyer who can outline the common causes of wrongful death and help you recover damages.
Why it is Important to Seek Damages in Cases of Wrongful Death
Most families rely on more than one person to contribute financially in order to maintain a certain standard of living. When one of the wage earners unexpectedly dies, families are often put in financial crisis. If the death is the result of the negligence of another, it is important to seek damages for the wrongful death because:
- Final arrangements for the decedent need to be made, and this should not be a cost borne by the family when the death was caused by another.
- The surviving heirs will now have less income to cover necessary expenses.
- Seeking to hold those responsible who caused the death of a loved one brings closure to those left behind, and can help propel the survivors forward with their own lives.
What is a Wrongful Death?
In order to seek compensation for wrongful death, the death itself must have been caused by the action or inaction of another. Common causes of wrongful death include:
- Automobile Accidents: Not every car wreck results in a fatality, but for those that do, the negligent party could be charged with the wrongful death of the deceased. This is true for most types of car accidents, but is more commonly seen in certain types of accidents, such as a DUI or an accident involving a large truck or semi.
- Premises Liability: Whether an accident takes place on public or private property, if a death occurs, the property owner could be liable for wrongful death. In both instances, the owner is required to maintain their property in a safe manner, and failure to do so can be cause for a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death can leave loved ones and family members emotionally distraught, as well as strain their finances. Damages are available to help the family pick up the pieces and move forward after a loved one dies unexpectedly.
- Construction Accidents: Construction sites are full of hazards and are required to be kept safe. When the site is unsafe, or required protocols and procedures to maintain safety are not followed, a wrongful death can occur.
- Suicide: In cases of suicide, it is not typical to see a wrongful death claim brought, but there are exceptions to this general rule. One notable exception is when prescription medication is negligently given, either in quantity or by lack of explanation of proper dosage or side effects. It is also possible to bring a wrongful death action relative to prescription drugs when physicians fail to explain how certain substances interact with the drug prescribed.
- Assault: When conflict escalates to the level of a physical assault and a death occurs, the assailant can be charged with wrongful death.
The Importance of Hiring a Lawyer to Help With A Wrongful Death Action
The loss of a loved one is always a traumatic event, but when that loss is unexpected and at the hands of another, the grief can be intensified. Rather than deal with the mixed emotions of burying a loved one while pursuing a claim against the negligent party on your own, it is best to allow a trained legal professional seek damages on your behalf. This takes some of the weight off of your shoulders, so you can focus on your family.
Contact Our Office for More Information
The team of attorneys at Bennett Johnson, LLP handles all types of injury cases, including wrongful death. For more information, contact us online or call our office at (530) 413-0245.