Riverside Wrongful Death Lawyer
Riverside Wrongful Death Attorney
With a focus on affordability and proximity to some of the best sights in California, Riverside offers a number of benefits to its residents. Unfortunately, there are also a number of ways that someone can become injured here, and sometimes those injuries are fatal. While those who are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of their injury through the state’s personal injury claims process, is there a process to use to seek compensation if you’ve lost a loved one?
Family members of an individual who died as a result of another’s reckless or careless actions can seek compensation through California’s wrongful death claims process. This process is very similar to the one used for injuries, with some important distinctions. A Riverside wrongful death lawyer from Setareh Law can help you understand these distinctions and provide services to assist you with your claim.
California’s Wrongful Death Law in Riverside
When someone dies as a result of another party’s careless, reckless, or even intentional actions, California’s Code of Civil Procedure 377.60 grants the deceased person’s family members the ability to seek compensation for the expenses and impacts they incurred as a result of their loss by filing a wrongful death claim.
The family members who are eligible to seek compensation include the deceased’s spouse or domestic partner, children, grandchildren (if the deceased’s children are also deceased), parents if the deceased was a child, other minor children such as stepchildren who counted on the deceased for at least half of their financial support, and any other family members who are entitled to the deceased’s property by way of intestate succession.
Wrongful death claims are first filed against a relevant liability insurance policy held by the at-fault party, such as an auto liability policy held by a negligent driver. If the insurance carrier who services that policy fails to either pay the claim outright or engage the claimant in an out-of-court settlement agreement, a lawsuit can be filed in court in order for a judge or jury to determine if the claimant is owed money for the claim.
Riverside wrongful death claimants have a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the deceased’s death to file a lawsuit. If they fail to file within that time period, they will generally lose their right to seek compensation for their claim through the court process. One of the important services an experienced Riverside wrongful death lawyer can provide is protecting their client’s legal options by ensuring a timely filing of the claim.
The Wrongful Death Claims Process in Riverside
When a wrongful death has occurred in Riverside, the family members of the decedent can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of their loss by filing a claim against the at-fault party. The family members who are permitted to file a claim include:
- The surviving spouse or domestic partner
- Children (or grandchildren of the deceased if the deceased’s children have also died)
- Other minor children who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their financial support
- Anyone else entitled to inherit the deceased’s property through the state’s intestate succession laws
- The administrator or executor of the deceased’s estate
When the claim is received by the at-fault party’s insurance provider, a claims adjuster is assigned to the case. Their job is to evaluate the claim on behalf of the insurance company and to determine how much compensation is owed as a result of the policyholder’s liability. While the claims adjuster can choose to either accept the claim as submitted or deny the claim and notify the claimant and their attorney of the reason for the denial, they will often opt to offer an out-of-court settlement for less than the established value of the claim.
The claimant’s attorney can negotiate with the claims adjuster in order to get them to increase their offer to a level that the claimant feels is fair. However, if the insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer, the claimant has one more opportunity to seek compensation for their claim by filing it as a wrongful death lawsuit. This is a legal claim filed in civil court. The lawsuit essentially requests that the court hear the case and make a decision about the compensation owed to the claimant for the expenses and impacts of their loss.
The Type of Compensation Available Through a Wrongful Death Claim
Riverside wrongful death claimants can seek economic damages, which involve compensation for the expenses they incurred as a result of their loved one’s death. Examples of the types of expenses that commonly appear in wrongful death claims include the financial support that the deceased would have likely earned in their lifetime, as well as the loss of gifts that the deceased’s loved ones could reasonably expect to have received from the deceased. Compensation can be sought for the cost of household services that the deceased would have provided, as well as medical and funeral expenses.
Wrongful death claimants can also seek non-economic damages, which involve compensation for the psychological impacts the family endured after the unexpected loss of a loved one. The types of non-economic losses generally associated with wrongful death include the loss of society, comfort, protection, and training and guidance.
In some cases featuring an intentional death or one resulting from extreme recklessness, there can also be punitive damages available. This type of compensation is not received as a result of the claimant’s economic or psychological impacts, but in order to punish the at-fault party for their intentional, willful, or wanton behavior.
How a Riverside Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
Family members attempting to seek compensation typically find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of evidence and documentation needed to prove the claim, as well as the types of damages they can recover, and even how much insurance coverage is available for the claim. However, partnering with a wrongful death lawyer can assist with gathering needed documents, determining the amount of insurance coverage the at-fault party’s policy provides, and establishing a value for the claim.
A lawyer can also provide the guidance and information the claimant needs to make their own determination as to whether a settlement offer will provide them with enough compensation for the claim. If a lawsuit is filed, a lawyer can manage the expectations and formalities of the court and present the case on the claimant’s behalf.
Because wrongful death claims fall under the umbrella of personal injury, your Riverside wrongful death lawyer may be able to provide these services without any upfront payment, and claimants can wait until the claim has been compensated to pay their legal team.
If You Lost a Loved One Due to Someone Else’s Negligence, Call Setareh Law
There are few things as financially or emotionally devastating as losing a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence. The legal team at Setareh Law has been helping families to obtain the compensation they need to move forward from their loss for over 15 years. We know that obtaining quality assistance with your legal claim is vital to the success of the claim. We also know that providing support and compassion is important as we help our clients navigate California’s wrongful death claims process. We will do everything we can to help you.
Let our experienced Riverside wrongful death lawyers help you understand this process. Our injury lawyers also speak Spanish. For a free case evaluation, send us a message or call us at (310) 659-1826 today.