Fatal/Deadly Car Accident
No car ride should end in tragedy, but unfortunately, many do on California’s roads. For the loved ones left behind, it can be devastating. Losing a family member is one of the most challenging things any family can face. When that death is a result of someone else’s negligence, it can be even more difficult for the family to move on. You do not have to face this time of loss alone; a California fatal/deadly car accident attorney can help your family through it.
Often, filing a lawsuit is the last thing anyone wants to do after there has been a death in the family. However, that death often brings with it not only emotional losses, but financial losses, too. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can ease the financial burden a family faces after the death of a loved one.What is Wrongful Death?
California law defines wrongful death as a death that occurs as a result of an accident caused by another person’s negligent actions. A wrongful death lawsuit can provide the family with the things they lost upon the death of their loved one. These include:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of financial support for the household
- Loss of household services
- Loss of intangible support such as affection and guidance
Not everyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In California, only close relatives such as a spouse or child can file these claims. When the deceased does not have any surviving relatives, any person entitled to the property of the deceased by intestate succession may file a wrongful death lawsuit.
The success of a wrongful death lawsuit depends on if it is effectively proven in court. To prove a wrongful death, family members will have to prove that someone else was negligent, that negligence caused the fatal/deadly car accident, and that their loved one died as a result.Survival Actions
Survival actions are another possibility family members should consider after a wrongful death. These actions do not compensate the family but rather, the deceased. They very name “survival actions” stems from the fact that an individual’s rights survive even after his or her death.
Survival actions are filed to claim compensation for any losses the deceased suffered before death. These damages can include medical bills, lost income, and personal property damage. However, these actions are not applicable in all situations.
In order for the courts to consider a survival action valid, the deceased would have had to experience some losses after the fatal/deadly car accident. In cases in which the car accident was the cause of a person’s death, but the accident victim did not die at the scene, a survival action is often appropriate.
Pain and suffering are not applicable damages in a survival action, even if it is clear that the deceased did endure great physical pain. However, unlike wrongful death cases, punitive damages are often awarded. These damages are not intended to compensate the deceased or their family. Instead, they are meant to punish defendants for gross negligence or recklessness. They are not awarded in every case, although a car accident lawyer can advise you on whether or not they apply in your specific case.California Wrongful Death Attorney on Your Side
No one should lose a loved one suddenly and unexpectedly. Furthermore, no one should have to deal with greater financial burden at the same time they are grieving such a loss. A wrongful death lawyer in California will give families the best chance at receiving the compensation that can help ease that burden slightly.
If your loved one passed away after a fatal/deadly car accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Willoughby Brod, LLP at (800) 427-7020. We can advise you on whether a wrongful death claim, survival action, or both apply to your case and help you file an action or a lawsuit. We can help gather evidence to prove your loved one should still be with you, and to hold responsible parties liable. We understand that this is a difficult time. You do not have to go through it alone. Call us today for your free consultation.