At GJEL Accident Attorneys we have been helping clients navigate wrongful death cases in California since 1972. We have a track record of success with a 99% success rate fighting for our clients. It’s why we have also been able to recover over $950,000,000 for our clients who have suffered the loss of a loved one.

If you think you may need to file a wrongful death lawsuit you should talk to our Wrongful Death Lawyers serving Northern California today for a free case review.

Below you will find common questions and answers we get from clients who have experienced the loss of a family member.

This article presents a brief overview of the most frequently asked questions about wrongful death lawsuits.

Q: What happens if the deceased person was unable to bring a personal injury lawsuit?

A: The answer depends on whether the individual died due to the injuries sustained in the accident or for other reasons. If a person dies as a result of injuries sustained in an accident, their heirs can recover damages through a lawsuit.

Every state has laws allowing for legal action when someone causes another’s wrongful death. In most cases, if a person with a personal injury claim dies from unrelated causes, the claim can be pursued by the executor or personal representative of the deceased’s estate.

Q: Should you hire a local personal injury lawyer?

A: It depends. But generally speaking you want to check out their past results (We have recovered over $950,000,000 for our clients), their past success rate (99% for us), and their Google reviews to get an idea of what clients think about them.

Q: What happens if an unborn fetus dies?

A: Many states require that a child be born alive for a wrongful death action to be pursued. As such, the death of a fetus may not be actionable. Consult with an attorney to determine the precise law in your state.

Q: What is the difference between civil and criminal cases related to death?

A: A criminal case arises when the government seeks to punish an individual for a crime. A civil case, on the other hand, often involves disputes over the rights and responsibilities that individuals and organizations owe one another.

The burden of proof is higher in a criminal case, and the punishment imposed is a criminal sanction, such as imprisonment. In a civil case, the defendant is typically ordered to pay a monetary judgment.

Q: Can punitive damages be recovered in wrongful death actions?

A: In most states, plaintiffs cannot recover punitive damages in wrongful death actions. However, some states have statutes that allow for the recovery of punitive damages.

Q: Are all state laws the same with respect to wrongful death?

A: No, there are many differences among state wrongful death laws. Identifying the state in which a wrongful death action can be brought is a critical decision because some states do not allow for certain types of damage awards and/or may have different statutes of limitation that set the time frame within which a lawsuit must be filed.

Q: Can a wrongful death action be brought if the deceased never held a job?

A: Yes, even if the decedent never held a job, they may have contributed in other ways to their family. A good example of such a case is a wrongful death action brought on behalf of a stay-at-home spouse who provided services, guidance, and nurturing related to the family’s well-being.

These contributions can be quantified as “pecuniary losses” in a wrongful death action.

Q: Can damages be recovered for the pain and suffering of the decedent?

A: Yes, in addition to wrongful death damages, a decedent’s family may recover damages for the pain and suffering endured by the decedent before their death.

Q: Can a wrongful death action be brought for the death of a child or an elderly person?

A: Yes, it is possible to recover damages in a wrongful death action for the death of a child or an elderly person. However, for a variety of reasons, the damage awards for both categories of the deceased are typically modest.

Q: Is it advisable to seek legal assistance for a wrongful death claim?

A: Yes, it is highly recommended to consult an experienced wrongful death attorney if you believe you have a case. If a loved one has died due to the negligence or misconduct of another person or company, you may be entitled to bring legal action for wrongful death against those responsible.

Do you need to talk to a lawyer? Reasons to Call GJEL Now

GJEL Accident Attorneys is a law firm that prioritizes fighting for the rights of the underdog. As partner Andy Gillin would say, this is our passion. We started our careers in public service and have carried the same focus throughout our journey, even as the cases we handle have become larger and more intricate.

At GJEL, we value the personal connection between our attorneys and clients. Unlike other firms that prioritize quantity over quality, we remain highly selective in our case selection process. Catastrophic injury cases require a significant amount of attention to detail and we aim to offer that to our clients. This selectiveness allows us to work on every aspect of the case and create a bond with our clients that fuels our desire to overcome the vast resources of corporate defendants and insurance companies.

We believe in the importance of prompt communication and problem-solving, whether it is directly related to the case or not. We even maintain friendships with our clients long after their cases have been won.

Our success rate of over 99% is a testament to our unwavering commitment to fighting for our clients’ rights. We have recovered over $950 million for our clients from insurance companies and corporate defendants, and our peers have recognized us as one of the top law firms in the nation. Insurance companies view us as a formidable opponent, and we are known for helping our clients with medical bills, vehicle repair and replacement, rental cars, and other expenses from the very beginning.

Our attorneys come from prestigious universities such as Stanford, the University of California, and the University of Chicago. We are experts in accident reconstruction and are highly regarded by other law firms and lawyers for our efficient and effective resolution of our clients’ cases.

We offer free consultations at the convenience of our clients, whether it be in-person or remote. At GJEL, we pride ourselves on our personal approach and commitment to fighting for the little guy.