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Oakland Wrongful Death Attorney

As a major city in the San Francisco Bay area, Oakland is no stranger to tragic accidents. From car accidents to slip and falls, residents and visitors of the city are sometimes at risk of getting hurt. Worse yet, there is no escaping that accidents can quickly turn tragic. When individuals are killed in accidents caused by another person’s negligence or intentional misconduct, loved ones are left to grieve and figure out how they can move forward without that individual’s love, help, and financial support. Surviving family members may have the right to file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for their emotional and financial loss. While a wrongful death claim cannot bring someone back, it can provide justice and the financial help families need to move forward.

To determine if you and your family have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit, call an Oakland wrongful death attorney at Willoughby Brod, LLP today.

When Wrongful Death Law Applies

A surviving family member may have the right to file a wrongful death suit if there is evidence that a loved one was killed by another person or business’s carelessness, recklessness, omission, or intentional misconduct. A wrongful death action does not arise out of every tragic accident. Instead, there must be evidence of negligence or more serious wrongdoing. Another way to think about it is whether or not the decedent would have had the right to file a personal injury suit had he or she lived. If the victim of the accident could have filed a legal claim, the family may have the right to, as well. It may be obvious the family has the right to sue, or it may be a complicated situation. The only way to know for sure is to talk to a lawyer. For more information on when this cause of action arises, speak with a wrongful death attorney for Oakland residents.

Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim

If a family appears to have the right to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim, they need to determine who may actually file this type of lawsuit in court. Not everyone has the right to bring a wrongful death action. Under California Code of Civil Procedure §377.60, only surviving spouses, domestic partners, children, or grandchildren of deceased children can file wrongful death lawsuits in pursuit of compensation. Although putative spouses from void or voidable marriages, who believed in good faith that they were married to a decedent, and the children of putative spouses, may also file a claim. This restriction can be difficult for some family members and loved ones, including fiancés, to accept. If you recently lost a loved one in an accident and you are unsure of whether you can file a wrongful death lawsuit, or whether another family member or the estate’s representative may need to file, call an Oakland wrongful death lawyer right away.

Wrongful Death Compensation

If you and your family choose to move forward with a wrongful death claim, you should speak with an experienced lawyer about calculating your damages. You are entitled to a number of compensatory damages, which are payments meant to compensate you for your financial and emotional injuries. Through a wrongful death lawsuit, you may pursue:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of the decedent’s future earnings
  • Loss of the decedent’s benefits, including health insurance
  • Loss of household services
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of protection, care, society, assistance, and moral support
  • Loss of enjoyment of sexual relations

While medical, funeral, and burial expenses and your loved one’s future earnings may be calculated from bills and paperwork, many of the other damages are non-economic. You will need to work with an attorney to determine a fair value for the loss of your loved one’s household services, companionship, and more.

Depending on the situation, you may also have the right to ask for punitive damages. These are not meant to compensate you, but instead punish the wrongdoer. Punitive damages are not generally granted in wrongful death suits. They are only awarded when the other party’s behavior was grossly negligent or intentional.

Call a wrongful death lawyer in Oakland right away to discuss the potential value of your wrongful death claim.

Let Willoughby Brod, LLP Help

When you suffer an unexpected and tragic loss, the last thing you want to think about is an insurance claim or lawsuit. However, moving forward with a wrongful death claim may be the best way for you to hold the at-fault party responsible and receive the financial support you and your family need. Let our experienced attorneys at Willoughby Brod, LLP explain your rights and legal options. It is a difficult decision to make, and we will help you understand the law so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.

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