Winnetka Wrongful Death Lawyer
When a loved one dies unexpectedly, the aftermath of the loss is always a trying time for family left behind. This distress and grief is only magnified when the death resulted from another party’s negligent, reckless, or otherwise wrongful conduct and would otherwise have been avoided. The Winnetka wrongful death lawyers at Walch Law understand the loss can also result in emotional and financial distress for the deceased’s family – that’s why we will put our more than 45 years of experience to work for you from the moment you hire us. We understand you need a check and a sense of closure to move forward, so contact us today to get started.Wrongful Death Defined
A wrongful death occurs when an individual dies because of another party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional conduct and that death injures family members left behind by the deceased. Some situations where death occurs are so blatant and egregious that most people would automatically think a claim should arise – for example, in 2019, 2 teenage boys who were passengers in a car were killed when the intoxicated, speeding driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into parked cars on Parthenia Street in Winnetka.
However, not all circumstances creating claims for wrongful death are so obvious. Numerous wrongful death claims are filed each year from death resulting from, among other things:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Train accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Dog bites
When a loved one dies suddenly as the result of someone else’s bad behavior, it’s only natural for surviving family members to experience anger, grief, and fear due to the loss and to want the at-fault party held financially accountable. However, not everyone related to the deceased has the right to sue and recover damages under the law.
In California, laws exist that set out which of the surviving family member have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit for the injuries they’ve suffered as a result of their loved one’s death. The individuals who qualify are known as eligible survivors.
The first group of eligible survivors has priority if they want to file a wrongful death claim. This means they are the first group of people able to sue an at-fault party and seek compensation. The group is made up of nuclear family members:
- A surviving spouse
- Living children of a deceased child of the deceased
- A registered domestic partner
If an eligible survivor in the first group decided to pursue a wrongful death claim, no other class of survivors may sue. However, in situations where there are no members of the first group of eligible survivors, a second group of relatives are granted standing to sue if they can show financial dependence on the deceased. This group includes the deceased’s:
- Putative spouse (Someone holding the legitimate belief they and the deceased were legally married and behaved as much even though the marriage was not legally valid)
- Putative spouse’s children
Wrongful deaths wreak havoc on a family; the loss of a breadwinner, caregiver, parent, and partner can turn a household and its financial future upside down. Courts recognize the magnitude of this loss, so they allow eligible survivors to recover for a variety of injuries suffered due to their sudden loss. After a victim successfully establishes their loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence, they may be awarded compensatory damages as an attempt to make them whole for their loss. Though nothing brings a loved one back, victims may recover damages for:
- The expected financial support contributed to the household by the deceased
- The valued of the deceased’s services within the household
- The value of the love, guidance, moral support, and affection contributed by the deceased to the household
Losing a loved due to unexpected tragedy can throw a family into chaos. Not only must they deal with grief, but it’s often a financial struggle when a contributing member of the home is no longer there. The experienced Winnetka wrongful death attorneys at Walch Law understand your stressful situation, which is why we’ll begin fighting for you to receive the maximum compensation possible to ease your mind and help put your life back on track as soon as you hire us. With more than 45 years delivering success for clients at a rate of over 98%, Robert and Gary know how to get results. Contact us today with your questions and see how we can help you recover the money and justice you deserve.