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Steps in a Sacramento Wrongful Death Case

How a Wrongful Death Case Is Resolved

When a family has lost a loved one due to a wrongful death, obtaining financial compensation cannot ease the pain. However, by seeking compensation through a wrongful death claim, the family can receive justice for that loved one through the courts. In addition, it helps to ease the financial loss caused by the loved one’s death, which makes it easier for the family to continue on without that added stress. It also helps keep the at-fault party from hurting another family in the future. 

Seeking Legal Help in a Wrongful Death Claim

An experienced lawyer will be able to help you file a wrongful death claim. At our firm, we have helped numerous families throughout Northern California obtain justice for their loved ones by receiving the financial help they need. In a time of significant emotional trauma, our clients know that we will do everything to provide compassionate assistance. 

Types of Claims

Wrongful deaths happen when someone dies because of another’s negligent actions or from an intentional act. This is clearly demonstrated under California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. They can occur in a number of ways, including as the result of a:

  • Car or truck accident
  • Defective product
  • Bicycle crash
  • Motorcycle accident
  • Medical malpractice
  • Government negligence
  • Intentional act such as murder
  • Farm accident
  • Work accident

Liability in a Wrongful Death Claim

In some cases, only one person is at fault for the death, such as in a traffic accident where the driver was negligent. Other cases may have multiple people found at fault. For example, in a death involving a truck driver, the company that employs that person may also be at fault. When a fatality is caused by a defective product, not only the manufacturer but the designer, parts supplier, and others may be held liable. Government entities may be held responsible when a death is caused by shoddy road maintenance, malfunctioning traffic lights, and for other reasons. An experienced Sacramento wrongful death attorney can help a family obtain compensation in all of these examples. 

Negotiating With an Insurance Company

A Sacramento wrongful death lawyer will examine the case and investigate to gather all the evidence to support the family’s claim. He or she will handle the negotiations for the family with the insurance company. Many cases are settled this way. However, some insurance companies refuse to settle for the amount the family deserves. Other insurance companies will do anything they can to either deny the claim or drag out the process, hoping the family will give up. If dealing with the insurance company is ineffective, the case can be taken to civil court to have the claim resolved.

Claims in Civil Court

Filing a claim in civil court for a death caused by negligence begins with a formal complaint in court. The at-fault person or entity is expected to answer the summons. Depositions and questions are filed, and requests sent for information and documentation. An arbitrator can be used to determine if a settlement can be reached. If an agreement is reached, the settlement may be agreed upon. Otherwise, the case can go to trial to be decided by a jury. It has been shown that cases that go to trial often result in a much higher figure than those that are decided by arbitration or paid out by the insurance company.

In the following video, Sacramento wrongful death lawyer Ed Smith discusses proving fault in a claim for wrongful death.

Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento wrongful death lawyer. When a loved one has been lost because of negligence by another person or entity, the family may wish to place a claim for compensation. Although it does not ease the grief that family members feel, it can help relieve the financial burden. Call me for my free and friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or on the long-distance line at (800) 404-5400. I can also be reached by messaging me online.

I’ve helped the people of Sacramento obtain fair compensation for deaths caused by negligence, all varieties of traffic accidents, and traumatic injuries for more than 38 years.

I’m a proud member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel and the Million Dollar Advocates.

For added information, the following pages are to reviews by former clients of mine and cases my law firm handled:

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