Carson Wrongful Death Attorney

Carson Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a family member is always difficult, but when you know that their death was the result of another party’s negligence or illegal misconduct, it can add frustration and resentment to an already powerful mix of emotions. Wanting to see justice in this situation and to hold the party at fault accountable for what they’ve done is normal. A Carson wrongful death lawyer is the ideal resource to have on your side to make this happen.

Compassionate Legal Representation for Carson, CA, Wrongful Death Suits

The right attorney can have a tremendous positive impact on the outcome of any wrongful death case. If you tried to manage this type of civil case without an attorney, you would face strict court filing deadlines and other procedural rules while struggling with your grief and your family’s needs. Instead of attempting this type of case without assistance, have an experienced Carson wrongful death attorney represent your claim.

The team at McLachlan Law, APC, has years of professional experience helping our clients throughout the Carson area with all types of personal injury claims. A wrongful death suit effectively replaces a personal injury claim when the victim does not survive, and while this type of civil suit shares many procedural similarities with a personal injury claim, there are a few unique details you must consider as you prepare to file a wrongful death suit.

McLachlan Law, APC, strives to help every client maximize their recovery in the shortest time possible. Your case award will not return your lost family member to you, but holding the defendant accountable for their actions can provide a sense of closure, and the compensation your family obtains from the successful suit can help you adjust to your new circumstances more easily.

Carson Wrongful Death Lawyer

Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths

A wrongful death claim can arise from any situation in which one party’s actions cause the death of another person. Most of the wrongful death suits filed each year are the result of negligence, meaning the party at fault failed to act with reasonable care in the situation that resulted in the death. A few of the most commonly cited causes of wrongful deaths throughout the state are:

  • Motor vehicle accidents. Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents can happen because of distracted driving, speeding, moving violations, or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, to name just a few possible causes. If your loved one died in a fatal accident, our team can help with the auto insurance claim filing process before filing a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver.
  • Premises liability. Property owners must ensure their properties are safe for lawful visitors. This means addressing known safety hazards before they can result in harm to lawful visitors or at least providing clear warnings about known safety issues. If your family member suffered a fatal slip and fall or other fatal injury on someone else’s property, our team will know how to hold them accountable.
  • Defective products. If a defective and/or unreasonably dangerous consumer product caused your loved one’s death, the manufacturer could be liable for wrongful death under California’s product liability laws. Success with this type of claim requires proof that the product was defective and the defect caused the victim’s family injury.

These are just a few possible examples. No matter how your loved one died, if another party is responsible for causing their death, they are liable for your family’s loss. An experienced Carson wrongful death attorney can help hold them accountable, gathering evidence to prove that the defendant is directly responsible and that the death did not result from any other cause.

When a wrongful death has occurred from negligence, the plaintiff bringing the civil action must identify the party or parties they believe to be responsible for causing the death and then prove exactly how they caused it. “Negligence” is the legal term to refer to a lack of reasonable care or a breach of a duty of care, such as a driver’s duty of care to operate their vehicle attentively. It’s possible for the defendant to have caused the death through negligence or by breaking the law.

If the defendant in your case broke a state law in causing your loved one’s death, they not only face the wrongful death suit from your family but also criminal prosecution from the state. Penalties for criminal offenses such as DUI, reckless driving, and assault can escalate significantly when the defendant has caused a fatal injury. For example, a fatal DUI accident can mean the difference between the defendant facing a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor.

Rules for Filing Your Wrongful Death Suit in Carson

While a wrongful death claim is very similar to a personal injury claim in several ways, there are a few key differences you must understand if you are to succeed with your claim. First, state law restricts eligibility to file a wrongful death claim based on the state’s law of intestate succession. This means that the victim’s primary beneficiaries will be first in line to file a wrongful death claim, followed by any other parties with valid legal claims on the contents of the estate.

If you intend to file a wrongful death suit in the state, you must also meet the statute of limitations, which is the time limit for filing the claim. Typically, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date the death occurred. Failure to file the claim within this time limit means losing the chance to hold the defendant accountable. However, if the cause of death can’t be immediately determined, the statute may begin on the date the cause is discovered.

Claiming Compensation in a Wrongful Death Suit

Your Carson wrongful death attorney can help gather the evidence you will need to firmly establish fault for the death and hold the party at fault accountable for their actions. Once you have gathered sufficient evidence to prove who caused the death and how they caused it, you can proceed with identifying all the damages you intend to seek from the defendant.

Remember that personal injury claims seek recompense for the losses the victims suffered, and wrongful death claims seek compensation for the surviving family of the victim. Under California’s wrongful death statutes, it is possible for the plaintiff in a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for damages suffered by the deceased’s estate as well as those incurred by the family.

Your Carson wrongful death attorney is your most valuable resource when it comes to identifying all the damages you can seek from the defendant in your case. It’s possible to recover many types of compensation from a successful wrongful death suit, including:

  • Funeral and burial expenses. Compensation for the cost of the victim’s funeral rites and burial will go to whoever pays for these expenses following the death.
  • Damages incurred by the deceased’s estate from the victim’s final injury. This may include medical expenses for their final medical care and the income the victim was unable to earn between the incident that caused their death and the time of death.
  • Lost financial support the victim provided to their family. Your Carson wrongful death attorney can help calculate how much income the victim would have likely been able to earn in the future if they had survived.
  • Lost value of childcare and household services provided by the deceased. If the victim was responsible for caring for their household and children, their death could result in significant economic strain, and the surviving family must attempt to account for the loss of the services they provided.
  • Property damage caused by the defendant’s actions.
  • Compensation for the family’s pain and suffering. A surviving spouse can claim compensation for their loss of consortium, and surviving children may recover compensation for lost parental guidance and companionship.

Economic damages are generally proven with the appropriate documentation, but intangible losses such as pain and suffering are more difficult to calculate. Your attorney can help determine a suitable amount that reflects the severity of your loss. California law does not enforce a cap or limit on pain and suffering compensation in most wrongful death claims, so this could form the bulk of your total case award.

It is important to remember that the state upholds a pure comparative fault rule, so if the facts of the case show that the victim was partially responsible for their death, it will diminish the final case award by an equivalent amount. For example, if the victim was 10% at fault for causing the fatal accident, the case award would be reduced by 10% to account for their comparative fault.

Settlement Versus Litigation

The majority of civil claims for damages filed each year do not go to trial. Litigation is time-consuming, expensive, and stressful for everyone involved in a case, and the private settlement option allows all parties to reach a conclusion to their case in a more efficient manner. Additionally, as long as both the plaintiff and the defendant are willing to compromise on mutually acceptable terms for their case, it is possible to have more control over the outcome.

Settlement proceedings will unfold at the convenience of both parties. The plaintiff and defendant, along with their respective attorneys, will meet privately and discuss terms for resolving the case. Your Carson wrongful death attorney can help determine whether private settlement is a viable option for resolving the case. If so, they can guide you through the process and help you reach a positive conclusion.

Some wrongful death claims cannot be settled privately and will need to go to court. During litigation, the judge will consider evidence and testimony from both sides of the claim and deliver a filing ruling, dictating who is responsible for the death and the extent of damages owed to the plaintiff, if any. While it is possible to complete settlement within a few weeks, litigation can easily take several months to more than a year in some cases.

What to Expect From Your Carson Wrongful Death Attorney

The right attorney can make your wrongful death claim proceedings much easier to handle, and you will be more likely to reach a positive conclusion to your case in an expedient fashion with their assistance. When you choose McLachlan Law, APC, to represent your case, you are investing in years of professional experience in California civil law.

Our firm has cultivated a strong reputation as a leading choice for personal injury representation in the Carson area. We take time to listen to each client’s story and develop an individualized legal strategy on their behalf. We know that no two cases are exactly alike and that your loved one’s death requires the full extent of our attention and resources as we seek to ensure accountability for the party at fault.

Your Carson wrongful death attorney can help gather the evidence needed to firmly establish fault for your damages and hold the defendant accountable. We will aim for maximum compensation, thoroughly reviewing the details of the damages your family suffered and determining appropriate pain and suffering compensation to claim from the defendant.

We typically seek to settle our clients’ civil claims outside of court whenever possible, but if we cannot settle your case, you can rely on our team to represent you in a trial. We have extensive litigation experience and will do everything we can to streamline your case proceedings as much as possible.

When it comes to the cost of legal representation, we take civil claims for damages on a contingency basis. This means our client does not pay upfront or ongoing attorneys’ fees for our firm’s representation. Instead, we will take a percentage of the final case award we obtain for you. We only take this fee if and when we win your case, so there is no risk of paying more for legal counsel than you win in compensation for your family’s damages.

You have a limited time in which to find trustworthy legal counsel for your impending wrongful death suit. The more time your attorney has to build your case, the more likely your family will be to maximize your recovery. If you are ready to learn what an experienced Carson wrongful death attorney can do for you in your claim, contact McLachlan Law, APC, today to schedule your consultation with our team.

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