Common Wrongful Death Questions

Common Wrongful Death Questions
Common Wrongful Death Questions

I’m Ed Smith, a Fairfield wrongful death lawyer. Cases of wrongful death are considered civil law cases covered under personal injury. This means that dependents and family members who relied on the deceased individual for emotional or financial support can seek compensation for their losses if the death was caused by a negligent party. However, wrongful death isn’t always easy to understand, and those who have lost a loved one in a sudden accident usually have a lot of questions. The below blog contains helpful answers to some of the issues that are most commonly asked about wrongful death cases.

What Accidents Can Cause Wrongful Death?

While wrongful deaths can be the result of either deliberate or negligent acts, insurance companies may not cover certain losses. For this reason, grieving families can seek compensation when their loved one’s death was caused by:

  • Auto Accidents – Crashes are one of the most common reasons that people pursue wrongful death actions. Examples of negligent driving include things like texting, ignoring speed limits, driving away from the scene of an accident, running red lights, and more.
  • Products Liability – when an unsafe product such as a medicine, household products, vehicle parts, or other items cause fatal injuries, it can usually be considered grounds for a wrongful death case.
  • Medical Malpractice – There are a wide variety of things that can be considered medical malpractice including pharmacist errors, misdiagnosis, and errors made by hospital staff.
  • Premises Liability – These wrongful death cases happen when there is a danger in a private home or public space that causes the death of an individual that could have been avoided if the hazard had been repaired.
  • Intentional acts – These cases encompass reckless and deliberate actions such as manslaughter or murder that result in a fatality.

Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim if I am Named in a Will?

Being named as a beneficiary in someone’s will doesn’t necessarily mean that you can seek wrongful death damages. Those who can file wrongful death claims include those related in the following ways:

  • Living children
  • Spouses or registered domestic partners
  • Financially dependent stepchildren
  • Dependent parents
  • Dependent minors that lived with the decedent

How Are Payments Divided in California Wrongful Death Claims?

In some states, separate awards are given to claimants. However, California courts most often pay out awards in a single sum. When there are disagreements about how to divide the compensation, courts sometimes intervene in order to allocate the money fairly.

Is There A Statute of Limitation for Filing a Claim?

The statute of limitations for filing wrongful death claims in California is two years after the date of the fatal incident. Cases filed after this window of time will not be considered by courts. In cases brought against government entities, the deadline is even shorter. Claims against government entities must be filed within six months of the date of the fatal incident.

More by Ed Smith, Fairfield Wrongful Death Lawyer

Fairfield Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Fairfield wrongful death lawyer. Suddenly losing someone you love can be difficult to deal with. If your friend or family member has been fatally injured in an accident, reach out to me for free, friendly advice. To call, dial either (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400. You can also reach me online.

For 36 years, I have helped those living in Fairfield to obtain the full amount of payment they deserve for claims of wrongful death and personal injury.

Read what my clients have said about me on:

I’m a Million Dollar Advocates Forum lawyer. Membership in this forum is for trial lawyers who’ve won a client over $1,000,000 through a single verdict or settlement.

See our Verdicts and Settlements.

My website is the best resource in Northern CA for information regarding car accidents and personal injury, AutoAccident.com.

Photo: “flower in the cemetery” by vlanka through pixabay(cco)

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