After a loved one dies in an accident, it can leave the surviving family members with a feeling of helplessness. Not only are you facing a future without the companionship of your loved one, but you may have medical bills, burial costs, and a loss of income that will affect your family for years to come.
If another party’s negligence was responsible for your loved one’s fatal accident, you may have the right to receive compensation to help your family’s financial situation. A wrongful death case works a lot like a personal injury case, other than certain surviving family members are eligible to bring the lawsuit.
Consider speaking with a Fresno wrongful death lawyer for help with your case. The team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC does not shy away from difficult cases, and we will be ready to begin working on your behalf as soon as you choose to hire us. Call us today at (800) 593-3443 for a free review of your case.
Starting the Process of a Wrongful Death Claim
In a wrongful death claim, the family has up to two years from the date of the fatality to start the process of bringing a claim against the responsible party, according to Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) § 335.1.
It often is in the best interest of the surviving family members to start the process of filing a claim as soon as possible after the fatality occurs, though. As your attorney seeks to show that the negligent party is liable for your loved one’s death, being able to investigate the facts as soon as possible after the accident is helpful.
Determining a Fair Settlement Amount
There are a number of items for which you can attempt to receive compensation in a wrongful death claim, including:
- Type of life: where your attorney will attempt to estimate what kind of life the decedent would have had if he or she had survived.
- Life expectancy: where your attorney will try to estimate how long your loved one would have lived if the accident had not occurred.
- Lost wages: where the legal team will determine the amount of income your loved one likely would have earned throughout his or her expected lifespan, including potential raises or promotions at work.
- Medical bills and burial costs: where you can request to receive compensation for any costs your family has related to the emergency medical care your loved one had before the fatality, as well as burial costs.
- Non-economic items: where the lawyer will try to estimate a monetary value for things like your family’s loss of companionship and your loved one’s pain and suffering from injuries that occurred in the accident and led to the fatality.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC is ready to begin working on your case immediately after you choose to hire us. You and your family did nothing wrong, and you should not have to suffer the financial hardships related to your loved one’s death.
With a wrongful death lawsuit, you can hold the negligent party responsible for his or her actions that led to the accident. Call us as soon as possible for a free consultation.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Fresno, call 800-593-3443
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
According to California state law, a number of people are eligible to start the process of filing a personal injury claim on behalf of the deceased family member. These people include:
- Domestic partner
- Legal guardians
If there are no surviving family members who are part of this list, other family members may be eligible to start the proceedings. Your attorney can help you determine exactly who is able to file the claim on behalf of the decedent.
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Defining a Wrongful Death
The majority of the time, a wrongful death occurs because of a negligent or reckless act from one party, causing the death of your loved one.
Negligence does not have to involve a purposeful act on behalf of the party that caused the death, although it can be purposeful. Instead, negligence in this instance simply means that if the responsible party had chosen to take a different set of actions, he or she could have avoided the accident that led to your loved one’s death.
When you choose to hire a wrongful death attorney, he or she will work with you to study the facts in the case, determining whether negligence occurred in the accident that killed your loved one. It is important to be able to prove negligence to give you the best chance of winning the lawsuit.
To attempt to show that negligence occurred, your lawyer may undertake a number of actions, including:
- Studying the police report
- Viewing any video or photographs of the accident scene
- Interviewing witnesses
- Reviewing medical reports regarding your loved one’s emergency medical care after the accident
- Hiring accident recreation experts
Sometimes, the insurance company representing the party that caused the fatal accident may admit that its client was responsible. This admission of liability allows you and your attorney to focus on attempting to receive the fairest possible settlement in the case without being forced to prove negligence.
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We Work on a Contingency-Fee-Basis
When you are facing financial hardship after the accidental death of a loved one who was the family’s primary income earner, you may be nervous about affording an attorney to present your case. However, because we at Ben Crump Law, PLLC work on a contingency-fee-basis, you do not need to pay anything upfront to secure our services.
Our payment will come from the final settlement in the case. A Fresno wrongful death lawyer will work as hard as they can to ensure you receive the fairest possible settlement from the insurance company that is representing the negligent party. If the insurer will not deliver a fair settlement during negotiations, we will remain on your side during a court case.
For a free review of your case, contact us as soon as possible at (800) 593-3443. As Fresno wrongful death lawyers, we sympathize with how difficult this situation can be for families, and we take pride in holding the negligent party responsible for his or her actions.
Call or text 800-593-3443 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form