Wrongful Death

Nevada County Wrongful Death Lawyer

When one of your loved ones dies prematurely due to another’s actions, a wrongful death lawsuit could help you move forward. A wrongful death action allows a deceased person’s family to pursue justice outside the criminal system.

An act does not need to be criminal to justify a wrongful death lawsuit. Negligent or reckless conduct that leads to a fatality is enough to impose liability for a wrongful death. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney could advise you about whether a lawsuit is possible in your specific circumstances.

If so, a Nevada County wrongful death lawyer could help the surviving family members document their losses and demand the responsible party compensate them. Money is no substitute for the loss of your loved one, but it could help you provide for those your loved one left behind.

Grounds For A Wrongful Death Suit

When a death is accidental or unexpected, it is worthwhile to investigate whether anyone else’s conduct had a role in the tragedy. When someone was negligent or reckless, and their behavior was a direct cause of the death, that person could be responsible. A wrongful death action is also possible when someone acts intentionally, and a death results.

Various scenarios could lead to a fatal incident that supports a wrongful death lawsuit. A Nevada County lawyer could represent families whose loved ones’ deaths were caused by vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, and other accidents. In addition, a deceased person’s family could bring a wrongful death action if their loved one died due to witnessing or being involved in a crime.

Sometimes, a criminal proceeding follows a wrongful death. For example, if your loved one was killed by a drunk driver in a motor vehicle accident, the driver is likely to face charges in criminal court. A wrongful death action is a different proceeding that happens in civil court. The result of the criminal prosecution has no impact on the civil wrongful death claim a family brings seeking compensation for losing a loved one.

Compensation From A Wrongful Death Claim

The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is twofold. The family seeks to hold a person financially responsible for the harm they caused, and it hopes to receive funds to help them maintain a reasonable lifestyle without the loved one’s contributions.

The compensation a family receives is called damages. The damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The income the deceased person would have earned and contributed to the household over the rest of their working life
  • The value of the deceased person’s services, such as vehicle repair, homework help, or cooking.

The family could also seek damages for the loss of the loved one’s support, guidance, love, protection, and other subjective contributions to their family.

The deceased person’s closest relatives and those who relied on them for financial support share the money a wrongful death lawsuit produces. A Nevada County attorney could explain how a family would distribute the money in a specific wrongful death case.

Timeframe For Bringing A Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In most wrongful death claims, a family would have two years from the date of their loved one’s death to bring a claim for punitive damages. If the only surviving relative is a minor at the time of death, the minor would have two years from the date of their 18th birthday to bring a claim.

Special rules apply in some cases. For instance, California Government Code § 911.2 requires prompt notice of claims against the government. A government might have responsibility if the loved one was killed in a motor vehicle accident with a government vehicle or in an unjustified police shooting. When a family wants to sue a government for wrongful death, they must submit a notice of claim within six months of the incident.

Sometimes, medical malpractice leads to death. In that case, the family must bring a lawsuit against the medical professionals within one year of the death. In addition, they must present the defendants with a notice of intent to sue at least 90 days before filing a lawsuit. A lawyer in Nevada County could review a wrongful death case and determine the filing deadlines.

Pursue Compensation With A Nevada County For Wrongful Death Attorney

When your loved one dies because of another’s negligent, reckless, or intentional act, your family could hold them responsible. Pursuing financial compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit could help your family regroup and move ahead. Your time to act is limited, so do not delay. Call now to speak with a knowledgeable Nevada County wrongful death lawyer.

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