San Fernando Wrongful Death Lawyer
Losing a family member suddenly and unexpectedly because of someone else’s actions can cause chaos in the lives of the loved ones they leave behind. The tragedy of their death is only made worse by the stress abruptly thrown on to surviving family members as they deal with loss of a significant source of financial, emotional, and moral support at home.
The skilled San Fernando wrongful death lawyers at Walch Law know you are struggling to balance these difficult issues and make ends meet, so when we’re hired, we work quickly to get you the compensation you need to get back on track with no unnecessary delays. Robert and Gary have a track record of success with clients; in more than 40 years they have maintained a 95+% success rate and helped countless victims get the recovery they deserve. Contact us today to learn about the lawsuit process, get your questions answered, and take the first steps towards maximum possible compensation.Wrongful Death Cause of Action Defined
California defines wrongful death very expansively. Any loss of life that is caused by a party’s:
- Intentional conduct
and injures a family member with legal standing to sue satisfies the definition. Some instances of wrongful death are obvious – drunk drivers killing others on the road, for example. However, many other situations that can potentially give rise to a wrongful death cause of action are not as obvious. Victims may pursue compensation for loss of life from:
- Amusement park accidents
- Lyft and Uber accidents
- Premises liability accidents such as slip and falls or trip and falls
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Train accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Dog bites and animal attacks
San Fernando is a town northwest of downtown Los Angeles with a population of just over 24,000, which might give the impression it is a safe area for residents and visitors. However, wrongful deaths can easily occur here – especially on the road – given its close proximity to major freeways like the 5, 118, 210, and 405. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety’s most recent statistics, 122 people were reported injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents during 2017 in San Fernando; some undoubtedly due to speeding, distracted driving, driving while intoxicated, and other negligent or reckless behaviors. Even off the roads individuals may be victims of negligence leading to their death, as was the case when a Department of Water and Power employee was killed in a workplace accident on North San Fernando Road when he was pinned between a backhoe and a wall.Who Is Legally Permitted to Sue for Wrongful Death Damages in California?
In California, only certain individuals with close relationships to the deceased are legally permitted to sue for wrongful death damages. These individuals, known as eligible survivors, are classified into two groups based upon how closely they were related to the deceased.
The first group with priority to sue is generally comprised of nuclear family members living in the same household as the deceased. The group consists of the deceased’s:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving registered domestic partner
- Living children of the deceased’s own deceased child
A second tier of eligible survivors is permitted to sue only if no relatives in the first group exist or if living eligible survivors in the first group elect not to pursue compensation through the legal system. The second group who may have standing if they can prove financial dependence on the deceased includes:
- The deceased’s putative spouse (Someone with the legitimate belief they had legally married to the deceased and behaved according to that belief despite the fact the legal invalidity of the marriage)
- The putative spouse’s children
- The deceased’s parents
- The deceased’s stepchildren
Wrongful deaths often take individuals who have important roles within their household and contribute so much more than a simple paycheck. Courts understand the magnitude of this loss, and if an eligible survivor can establish a defendant is liable for the loss of their loved one, they may be able to recover damages for:
- The financial support the deceased would have contributed to the household
- The monetary value of services that they contributed to the household
- Love, companionship, affection, and guidance the deceased would have contributed in the household but for their death
After a loved one dies due to avoidable, unexpected circumstances, it’s common for the family left behind to struggle with bills, face financial uncertainty due to the loss of income, and worry how to fill the void in their household. Many victims even believe they can’t afford to hire an attorney. The experienced San Fernando wrongful death lawyers at Walch Law understand you’re in a difficult situation but believe you deserve to pursue compensation. This is the reason all our cases are taken on a contingency fee bases – meaning you don’t pay us until you’ve been paid. Contact us today to get started!