Ventura Wrongful Death
Any loss of life is heartbreaking. The loss of a loved one – especially when their death was avoidable and caused solely by another’s negligent or intentional actions – is a true tragedy. The party responsible for a wrongful loss of life may be liable to the deceased’s survivors for their actions, so it’s important to work quickly to seek justice if you’ve suffered this type of loss. The experienced Ventura wrongful death lawyers at Walch Law have over 45 years of experience fighting for victims like you and getting them the compensation and closure they deserve with over a 95+% success rate. Contact us today for a free initial consultation and learn why Robert and Gary are who you want in your corner when you get in the ring.What is a Wrongful Death?
The base of a wrongful death claim is that someone’s negligent, reckless, or intentional act caused a death that should otherwise have not occurred. There can be many situations that bring about these cases and permit eligible survivors to sue. It’s common to see wrongful deaths from:
- Car accidents, including rideshare services like Uber and Lyft
- Truck accidents
- Train accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Accidents on construction sites
- Defective products
- Dog bites and animal attacks
Though it may seem unlikely that you would become a statistic, fatal accidents happen quite often in Ventura. Earlier this year, a pedestrian was killed at the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Beachmont Street after being struck by a car early in the evening.Eligible Survivors
Though you may be profoundly affected by the loss of someone close to you, California limits the people who have legal standing to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. The two categories of individuals permitted to sue designate which successors in interest or dependents of the deceased have priority to file a claim.
The first category of individuals that can file wrongful death actions includes close family members:
- A surviving spouse;
- The decedent’s children;
- A grandchild if their parent (the deceased’s child) is deceased; and
- The decedent’s registered domestic partner.
If any of these people exist, no other survivors may sue. However, if none exist, then a parent, stepchild, putative spouse (person with the legitimate belief they were legally married to the decedent but actually were not married) and any of the putative spouse’s children may file suit if they were the decedent’s financial dependent.
If more than one eligible person exists, the law in California also has a provision allowing a personal injury attorney to file a joint lawsuit if they are acting on behalf of surviving family members.Wrongful Death Damages
It’s normal to wonder what you can recover for a Ventura wrongful death claim, because nothing will ever bring your loved one back or fully compensate you for what you’ve endured. California has statutes in place to give a decedent’s surviving successors and dependents a way to recover for personal losses resulting from the death. If survivors can successfully argue their wrongful death claim, they may be entitled to recover:
- Damages reflecting the loss of love, companionship, comfort, consortium, protection, society, and moral support provided by the decedent,
- Damages reflecting the financial benefit, such as wages, that the survivors were receiving from decedent as well as those reasonably expected in the future,
- The loss of gifts or benefits the survivor would have expected to receive, and
- Funeral expenses or burial costs.
The difference between wrongful death lawsuits from most other types of personal injury lawsuits is that eligible survivors filing the lawsuit in Ventura may not recover punitive damages – even if they satisfy the requirement of recovering an award for any of compensatory damages listed above. California law has established that the only method for recovering punitive damages from the defendant for a negligently caused death is for the decedent’s estate to file a survival action lawsuit.The Importance of Acting Quickly
If you are thinking of filing a wrongful death lawsuit, it is important to be proactive even if you’re still grieving and the thought of acting seems overwhelming. Time is not on your side. California law has a 2-year statute of limitations to file these claims from the date of the decedent’s death. If an eligible individual does not file their case in court within this time period, they will be barred from bringing their claim permanently and lose the ability to recover damages in court.Speak to a Lawyer and Get Started
The unexpected, tragic loss of a loved one is traumatic and can throw your life, the lives of your family, and your future into turmoil in an instant. However, it’s important you protect your legal rights and don’t delay taking the right steps to get the compensation you deserve for your losses; this is where the skilled Ventura wrongful death lawyers at Walch Law can help. Robert and Gary have over 45 years experienced getting our clients the most money possible and have a 98%+ success rate, so call today to learn about the process, get your questions answered, and get a team in your corner that will fight for you to get justice, compensation, and closure.