Accidents in Wrongful Death Claims
I’m Ed Smith, a wrongful death attorney in Sacramento. One common question asked of personal injury lawyers is what types of accidents can constitute a wrongful death claim. Let’s look at what is involved in a wrongful death claim and the type of accidents commonly seen.
Negligence in Wrongful Death
In order to pursue a claim for fair compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one, the following has to be proved.
- The individual or entity was required to exert reasonable care to avoid injuring someone.
- The individual or entity failed in that duty.
- The action that caused the death was through negligence, recklessness, an intentional act or gross negligence by another individual or entity.
- The action that caused the death substantially contributed to the death of the individual.
- The party/parties initiating the claim of wrongful death suffered a financial loss because of the death of that individual.
What Kinds of Accidents Contribute to Wrongful Deaths?
Although any type of accident caused by the negligence of another can be classified as a wrongful death, the following types of accidents are the most common.
- Vehicular accidents not only include motor vehicles but extend to airplanes, bicycles, buses, motorcycles, pedestrians and trains, as well as hired vehicles such as taxis, Uber and Lyft.
- Medical malpractice encompasses negligence by a hospital, physician or other health care professional and includes giving a patient the wrong prescription, the wrong dosage or a mistake by the dispensing pharmacy.
- Neglect or abuse of a child or other person is also considered negligence.
- Nursing home abuse or neglect may be caused by poor nursing care or poor supervision.
- Drowning may be caused by poor maintenance, poor supervision or lack of protective equipment.
- Electrocution can be caused by defective products or installation problems and may occur both indoors and outdoors.
- Defective products encompass a wide range from drugs, medical devices and motor vehicles to dangerous car seats and products for small children.
- Maintenance issues on a property that cause a death from slip and fall accidents to dangerous stairways, balconies or falling trees can be due to negligence.
- Dog bites, attacks or other injuries can result in a wrongful death when it is proven that the dog owner did not maintain control of the animal in a proper manner.
Statute of Limitations
Under California Code of Civil Procedure 335.1, an individual has two years from the date the decedent died to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Those who are entitled to file are close family members as outlined in CCP 377.60. This includes spouses or putative spouses, children of the decedent and minors who were financially supported by the decedent by at least 50 percent. Parents who were supported by the decedent may also file for compensation. In the event no heirs exist, then living parents who were living in another location may file. If the parents are not living, those entitled to file extend to siblings or the children of siblings who are deceased. If no close relatives of any type are living, the closest relative to the decedent may file.
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Wrongful Death Attorneys in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith. I am a compassionate and experienced wrongful death attorney in Sacramento. The tragedy of a family member’s wrongful death is compounded by the financial loss that it causes. If you have lost a loved one through the negligent actions of another, why not call me for some free, friendly advice? I can be reached at (916) 921-6400. You can also reach out to me at (800) 404-5400.
Sacramento residents have learned to depend on my help in my 35 years of practice as an injury lawyer. In addition to wrongful death cases, I handle many types of personal injuries such as vehicular accidents and traumatic injuries.
Look over past cases handled by my law firm and reviews by former clients at:
Because I have had case verdicts and settlements of $1 million for clients, I was invited to join Million Dollar Advocates.
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/fire-truck-engine-truck-emergency-2727644/
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