San Bernardino Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful Death Lawyer in San Bernardino, CA
Losing a loved one is something that stays with you. Knowing that your loved one could have been there next to you if not for the actions of another is not something that sits lightly inside a person. Wrongful death victims can no longer defend themselves, but surviving family members and dependents have a chance to hold the responsible party accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Liable parties often want the situation to go away as quickly as possible. Understandably, this is a time of great emotional turmoil, and it can make it difficult to see through intimidation tactics. At Setareh Law, we are committed to getting the justice your loved one deserves. We know that no amount of money will ever make up for their loss, but a successful claim can go a long way in helping you and your family deal with the financial burdens brought on by your loved one’s sudden death. Find compassionate but assertive representation today by contacting Setareh Law.
Do You Have a Wrongful Death Case?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim against a party whose negligent or malicious actions resulted in the death of another. Wrongful death causes can be filed against another party if it can be established that their actions were the direct or proximate cause of the victim’s death. Generally, this means proving the four elements of negligence:
- Duty of care: The liable party owed a legal duty to act in a reasonable manner to prevent causing the victim harm.
- Breach of duty: The liable party failed to act in a reasonably safe manner.
- Causation: The liable party’s failure to behave in a reasonably safe manner to keep the victim safe was the direct cause, or significant contributor, to the victim’s death. The victim would still be alive if not for the liable party’s actions or lack of action.
- Damages: Proving the need for compensation due to the liable party’s actions.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death, it can be challenging to know whether you have a valid case or not, especially since responsible parties will try to convince you that you have no case. The best thing to do is contact a wrongful death attorney. They not only can confirm the validity of your case but can ensure that your claim is not unfairly dismissed or undervalued.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case?
In California, wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by the following people:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children
- The grandchildren of any deceased child of the decedent
If there are no surviving individuals in the deceased person’s line of descent, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought by an individual who may be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession. Intestate succession may include the deceased person’s parents or siblings, depending on who is living at the time of the deceased person’s death.
Additionally, the following people may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit if they can show they were financially dependent on the deceased:
- The decedent’s “putative spouse”: someone who had a good faith but mistaken belief that they were in a lawful marriage with the deceased
- Children of the putative spouse
- Stepchildren of the deceased person
- Their parents
- The legal guardians of the decedent
Filing a wrongful death is complicated, but you don’t need to do it alone. At Setareh Law, our dedicated attorneys will be with you every step of the way.
Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Different from a Criminal Lawsuit?
Wrongful death and criminal lawsuits are two distinct types of cases. For one, a criminal lawsuit, as the name implies, is pursued through the criminal justice system, while a wrongful death lawsuit is pursued through the civil court system.
Wrongful death lawsuits are a type of personal injury lawsuit expressed solely in terms of financial compensation (damages), which the court orders the liable party to pay to the decedent’s survivors. Wrongful death lawsuits don’t have criminal sentences attached to them. Criminal homicide cases, if convicted, means the individual will be penalized with jail or prison time, probation, and other criminal penalties.
Another key difference between them is that in a criminal case, the accused’s guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a much higher standard to reach than in a civil lawsuit. In a civil case, liability must only be shown “by a preponderance of the evidence,” which means demonstrating that it’s more likely than not that the liable party is responsible for the decedent’s death.
The Statute of Limitations for California Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In California, eligible survivors have two years from the date of their loved one’s death to file their lawsuit. If the lawsuit isn’t filed within the allotted two years, survivors of the deceased may lose their right to pursue legal action.
It’s important to note that wrongful death lawsuits arising from medical neglignce have different statutes of limitations. Surviving members have three years from the date of their loved one’s death or one year from the date they discover that medical negligence contributed to the death of their loved one.
Setareh Law Has Skilled and Experienced San Bernardino Wrongful Death Lawyers
There are multiple crucial details and factors that go into filing, proving, and winning a wrongful death lawsuit. It’s important to have the necessary experience, knowledge, and level-headedness to aggressively pursue compensation and hold the liable party responsible.
Setareh Law is dedicated to our clients and ensuring both they and their deceased loved ones find the justice they deserve. We will do what it takes to help you recover the compensation you are owed to help you find at least some financial relief that can take some weight off your shoulders. Our lawyers speak both Spanish and English in order to communicate with whoever may need help. Contact our firm today by filling out our online contact form or by calling (310) 659-1826.