Nothing is worse than the death of a loved one. If you have lost a loved one, we know this is a troubling and profoundly sorrowful time for you and your family. And it’s even harder if you know your loved one would not have died if someone had not been negligent. It’s natural to feel angry or helpless.
At Beliz Law Firm, our compassionate wrongful death legal team can help you get justice. No amount of money can bring back your loved one. However, having a Riverside wrongful death lawyer file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party can help settle your loved one’s affairs and provide closure. Contact us to learn how our wrongful death attorneys can help you and your family.
Case Spotlight$6,015,000.00 Settlement Amount
MOTORCYCLE VS TRUCK ACCIDENT
The Beliz Law Firm successfully settled a case involving a motorcycle-truck accident in Orange County, California. The client, a passenger on the motorcycle, sustained severe injuries when a work truck collided with them during a right turn from a single lane road. Initially blamed on the motorcyclist’s negligence, The Beliz Law Firm was hired to investigate, bringing in experts and medical specialists to address the client’s extensive injuries.
With a detailed presentation of the incident and the client’s injuries, the case progressed toward a trial. Expert depositions revealed the client’s ongoing medical needs, prompting the trucking company to request mediation. After a day of negotiations, all parties reached an agreement, resolving the case.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
“Wrongful death” is legal terminology referring to a claim that the loved ones of a deceased person can bring. This claim allows the decedent’s surviving loved ones to collect damages against the party responsible for the decedent’s death.
How to Prove a Wrongful Death Claim
To succeed in a wrongful death claim, you must prove that a negligent act caused the death of your loved one. Negligence is the failure to take care when a reasonable person in a similar situation would have. The following elements need to be established:
A Riverside wrongful death lawyer at The Beliz Law Firm will use their resources and knowledge to collect evidence, interview witnesses, and build your wrongful death case.
First, you must prove that the other party owed your loved one a duty of care. Whether someone owes a duty depends on their relationship to the person. For example, every driver has a duty to others on the road to drive safely and obey traffic laws. Store owners owe a duty to customers to keep their premises reasonably safe from hazardous conditions.
Next, you must prove that the other party breached their duty. For example, if someone drives a vehicle while intoxicated, they have breached their duty to drive safely. If a store owner fails to fix a broken railing or warn customers about it, they have breached their duty to keep their premises safe.
To prove causation, you must demonstrate that the breach of duty directly caused your loved one’s death. In the above example, it’s not enough that the driver was intoxicated. The intoxication had to have caused the accident that killed your loved one. Likewise, if someone died from falling down a staircase at the store with the broken railing, it is not enough to show the railing was broken. You would have to show that the broken railing was the cause of the fall.
Finally, you must be able to prove that your loved one’s death caused you damages, such as the loss of your loved one’s financial support or companionship.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
California law lists the following persons as possible parties who can file a wrongful death claim:
- Surviving spouse,
- Domestic partner,
- Grandchildren (if child deceased),
- Dependents of the decedent,
- Putative spouse,
- Children of a putative spouse,
- Parents, and
- The legal guardian of the decedent (if parents deceased).
A minor who does not fit these categories can also bring a wrongful death suit if they lived with the decedent for the past 180 days before the death and depended on the decedent for at least one-half of their support. If no one fits these categories, other individuals, such as siblings, may be able to bring a wrongful death claim.
Determining who can file a wrongful death claim is not easy. And the other party may refute your right to bring a wrongful death claim. Insurance companies may deny a claim because the claimant is not the rightful heir. Never assume they are correct. Contact a seasoned wrongful death attorney in Riverside. They will have the resources and experience to investigate your case further to see if you have legal standing to bring a wrongful death claim.
Do I Need an Attorney to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
While not required, having a Riverside wrongful death attorney on your side is highly beneficial. Filing a wrongful death claim is a complicated process. Insurance companies might not recognize your right to bring a claim. Or they may deny their liability. And if they do offer you a settlement, it may be on the lower side.
You have enough to worry about. You’re going through a traumatic and emotional time. Let a wrongful death lawyer in Riverside handle the insurance companies.
What Type of Compensation Is Available for a Wrongful Death Claim?
In a wrongful death claim, you may be entitled to get compensation for the following:
- Outstanding medical bills,
- Funeral and burial expenses,
- Loss of companionship, and
- Loss of financial support from the deceased.
A Riverside wrongful death lawyer will gather all the evidence and calculate the total damages you are entitled to.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
California law gives you two years to file a wrongful death claim. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. Note that the two-year deadline starts running the day of your loved one’s death, not when the incident that caused their death occurred. For example, suppose your loved one succumbed to food poisoning at a restaurant. If they died in the hospital one week later and the food poisoning was the cause, the statute of limitations starts ticking the date your loved one died. It does not start on the day they ate at the restaurant.
Know that you generally cannot file a wrongful death claim once this time limit passes.
Contact The Beliz Law Firm for a Free Consultation
Filing a wrongful death claim can be complicated. The founder of The Beliz Law Firm, Michael A. Beliz, has over 17 years of legal experience. Helping individuals get the justice they deserve through personal injury claims is his passion. At The Beliz Law Firm, we have extensive experience in the intricacies of wrongful death claims. Our legal team understands how opposing parties operate, especially insurance companies. We will work diligently to help get you the maximum compensation you need to ease the financial burden and suffering you and your family are experiencing. Contact our office now for a free consultation.
What Else Should You Look For In A Riverside Wrongful Death Attorney?
When you’re looking for the best legal representation for your personal injury case, you want to find someone you can trust.