San Fernando Wrongful Death Lawyers
Here at SM Law Group, we represent injured plaintiffs in a variety of negligence claims. Unfortunately, sometimes the injuries from an accident are so severe that they are fatal to the victim. In these cases, the claim will change from an injury claim to a wrongful death claim. If someone you cared about was killed in an accident, you may be able to file a California wrongful death claim against the persons responsible for the accident.
California wrongful death law evolved in order to compensate the families of victims of negligence. In the very early development of personal injury law, the right to bring a claim would extinguish upon the death of the victim. However, courts eventually found this to be fundamentally unfair to victims and their families, because egregious negligence that resulted in death was going unpunished.
Deadly Injuries Result in Wrongful Death Claims
Many different types of accidents can cause fatalities. The first example that comes to mind is auto accidents, which can often kill an occupant of one of the vehicles. However, fatalities can also result from workplace accidents (particularly construction accidents and manufacturing accidents), slip and falls, and medical negligence cases. Regardless of the type of personal injury claim, our lawyers at SM Law Group can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of your deceased family member.
How to Bring a Wrongful Death Claim
In California, a wrongful death claim will need to prove the same elements as a personal injury claim: a duty of care, a beach of the duty (negligence), and an injury (in this case, a fatal injury). However, in addition to these elements, the plaintiff must also be certified by the court as an acceptable representative for the deceased individual. Under California law, this could include spouses, children, siblings, parents, or many other family members, but the rules about the priorities of these claims can be very complicated. In order to determine whether or not you qualify, you must have an experienced California wrongful death attorney review your case.
In addition to the complexities of determining who is an acceptable representative, wrongful death claims in San Fernando Valley also have an additional complication called a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations (commonly referred to by attorneys as an SOL) is a legal time limit that you have in order to file your claim. Depending on the events that transpired in causing the deadly accident, you could have a very short time frame to file your wrongful death lawsuit. This is why it is crucial that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible, because otherwise you could lose your opportunity to seek justice on behalf of your deceased family member.
San Fernando Valley Lawyers for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
At SM Law group, we have helped many families cope with the loss of a loved one, and we can help your family, too. Call today for a free consultation where we can review your potential case and advise you about your legal rights.