When you think of the top causes of death in the US, cancer, heart attack, and respiratory medical conditions may come to mind.
As such, data compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could surprise you. According to statistics on the 10 Leading Causes of Death by Age Group, the number one spot for individuals aged 1 – 44 years old belongs to unintentional injury, i.e., accidents. For those aged 45 – 64 years old, accidental death ranks third on the list.
If you recently lost a loved one in an
accident, it can be difficult to look beyond your grief. However, the day may
come that you’ll feel the financial impact. When that time arrives, you can
trust our GJEL Accident Attorneys to fight for your rights as a survivor.
Please contact our office to set up a no-cost consultation with a Stockton wrongful
death lawyer, and take the time to review some important
information regarding these claims.
How Wrongful Death Cases Work in California
A wrongful death case is a type of
personal injury matter, the main difference being that the victim passed away
due to his or her injuries. As such, in most cases, you must prove the
essential elements of a negligence-based case:
- The responsible party had a legal duty to act with reasonable care, so as to not cause a risk of injuries or fatalities;
- That person or entity breached the legal duty of care;
- The breach was a direct cause of the accident in which your loved one was killed; and,
- You suffered losses due to death.
You should note that only certain
individuals designated by law can bring a wrongful death action. Generally,
those with standing would include a surviving spouse, domestic partner, and
children. Under certain circumstances, a distant relative or non-related
dependent may also qualify.
Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims
Fatal motor vehicle accidents frequently
give rise to a wrongful death case, including those involving autos, trucks,
motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. However, some other examples include:
- Slip and fall accidents due to dangerous
conditions on property;
- Medical malpractice; and,
- Dangerous, defective products.
It’s also possible to sue for wrongful
death when the conduct is intentional, such as an attack or other criminal act.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
If successful in proving the four
elements described above, you may be able to recover compensation for such
- Medical bills for the decedent’s last illness;
- Funeral and burial costs;
- Lost income that the decedent would have earned;
- Lost contributions related to emotional support,
guidance, education, and companionship.
Consult with a Stockton Wrongful Death Lawyer Regarding Your Options
This general information on wrongful
death claims may be useful, but there are additional details that you need to
know about your specific situation. Our team at GJEL Accident Attorneys can
answer your questions and address your concerns, so please contact our office
to discuss your case. You can schedule a free case evaluation by calling our
firm at 866-249-2142 or visiting us online.