Compassionate Wrongful Death Lawyers in San Francisco, CA
Losing a loved one in a motor vehicle accident is the most devastating event in a person’s life. When that loss is caused by someone else’s negligence, the pain is exponentially greater. If you suffered a tragic loss, you have the legal right to seek compensation through a California wrongful death claim. Our wrongful death attorney in San Francisco can guide you through wrongful death laws and provide you with a clear and actionable plan to recover what is rightfully owed to you.
Understanding Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to the negligent or reckless act of another person or party. A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal action that you can take against the person or entity that caused or contributed to the death of your loved one. It is different from a criminal case, which is handled by the state and may result in jail time or fines for the offender. A wrongful death claim is a civil case, which means you are suing for financial compensation for your losses.
A wrongful death claim can help you obtain closure and accountability for the death of your loved one. It can also help you secure your financial future and protect your rights. However, you need to act quickly, as there are strict deadlines for filing a wrongful death case in California. Speak with our experienced San Francisco wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Should I Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
When you have lost a loved one unexpectedly, obtaining legal representation might be the furthest thing from your mind. However, a lawyer can actually help you fight for fair compensation and justice. Here are some reasons to hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer for your case:
- Knowledge and experience: A wrongful death attorney knows the law and the legal process involved in a wrongful death case. They can advise you on your rights and options, and help you navigate the complex and often confusing legal system. They can also handle the paperwork, filings, deadlines, and court procedures for you.
- Negotiation and litigation skills: A wrongful death attorney can negotiate with the insurance company or the other party on your behalf, and try to obtain a fair and reasonable settlement for your losses. They can also prepare your case for trial if necessary, and present your evidence and arguments to the judge and jury. They can advocate for your best interests and fight for the maximum compensation that you deserve.
- Help with the insurance company: The insurance company of the person or entity that caused your loved one’s death may try to contact you and offer you a lowball settlement or deny your claim altogether. They may also try to get you to sign a release or make a statement that could harm your case. You should not talk to them or accept any offer without consulting with your wrongful death attorney first. Your attorney can deal with the insurance company for you, and protect you from their tactics and tricks.
- No upfront legal fees: Most wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if they win your case or obtain a settlement for you. You don’t have to pay any upfront fees or costs to hire them. They will cover the expenses of your case, and take a percentage of your recovery as their fee. This way, you don’t have to worry about the financial aspect of hiring an attorney, and you can focus on your healing and recovery.
The San Francisco wrongful death attorneys at Golden State Accident Lawyers have a 99% success rate among many types of auto-related and wrongful death cases. We offer a completely free consultation to get started. Call our law firm at (415) 636-6474 today.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in San Francisco?
Typically, only an immediate family member or spouse of the deceased person can file a wrongful death claim. However, some exceptions can be made. The following people can file a wrongful death claim in California:
- The deceased person’s surviving spouse or domestic partner
- The deceased person’s surviving children or grandchildren
- If there is no surviving spouse, child, or any other person who would be entitled to inherit the deceased person’s property, parents or siblings may file a claim
- A personal representative of the deceased person’s estate
- Any dependent minor who lived with the deceased person for at least 180 days
If you are unsure whether you qualify to file a San Francisco wrongful death claim, contact our experienced wrongful death attorney who can evaluate your case and advise you on your options.
DO YOU NEED A WINNING WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEY?
What Damages Can I Recover In a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In most personal injury claims, victims are able to recover pain and suffering. However, California does not allow surviving family members to recover compensation for pain and suffering in wrongful death claims. Wrongful death claims can include compensation for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills related to the injury or illness that caused the death
- Loss of income and benefits that your loved one would have earned
- Loss of household services that your love one provided
- Loss of love, care, companionship, comfort, affection, assistance, society and moral support
If you also file a survival action on behalf of your loved one’s estate, you may be able to recover punitive damages, which are meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are only available if the death was caused by felony homicide or by an intentional or reckless act. Our law firm has worked with countless clients with wrongful death lawsuits. Speak with our experienced legal team to learn about what damages you may be able to recover.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
California imposes a strict two-year limit on filing wrongful death cases under the statute of limitations. Surviving family members have only two years from the date of death to settle or file their case in court. This deadline is even shorter if the wrongful act involved a public entity, like a government vehicle. In that case, the family must file a claim with the public entity within six months. Our wrongful death lawyers will keep your case on the right track and will make sure you never miss a deadline.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims
Unintentional injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. Wrongful death cases arising from negligence can happen in numerous ways, such as fatal car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and medical malpractice. Below are some of the most common types of wrongful death claims in California:
Fatal traffic accidents caused by drunk driving, distracted driving, and speeding are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. In 2021 alone, there were a reported 42,939 car accident fatalities. Accidents involving semi-trucks are especially deadly, considering their size and weight. Motorcyclists also experience a higher mortality rate than passenger vehicle occupants, as they are more likely to suffer from serious and life-threatening injuries. Our car accident lawyer in San Francisco can help you investigate your case and name the at-fault party.
Bicyclists face increasing risks when riding alongside vehicles, especially in dense urban areas like San Francisco. Tragically, when a motor vehicle collision with a bicycle occurs, it is the cyclist who is likely to sustain serious or fatal injuries. Motorists must share the road with cyclists and treat them as any other driver. Our experienced bicycle accident attorneys can help you if you suffered a loss in a bicycle-related wrongful death.
Construction workers, roofers, and loggers are exposed to dangerous working conditions on a daily basis. If a worker suffers a fatal injury from a fall, electrocution, being struck by an object, or with heavy machinery, there is an option to bring a wrongful death action against the negligent employer. Our San Francisco worker’s compensation lawyer can help you file a claim.
San Francisco is generally considered a safe city for pedestrians, but accidents still and do happen. Speeding vehicles or distracted drivers may strike a pedestrian who is out walking or jogging, causing a fatal injury. Many fatal pedestrian accidents happen away from intersections where vehicles are more likely to speed.
Medical malpractice is a type of negligence that occurs when a doctor or other healthcare provider fails to provide proper care to a patient, resulting in injury or death. Examples of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition, errors in prescribing or administering medication, errors in performing surgery, and more. It is important to know that medical malpractice cases have a different statute of limitations. The deadline for filing a claim is three years after the injury or one year after the discovery of the injury.
When a death is caused by a defective or dangerous product or motor vehicle part, family members may file a product liability lawsuit. This type of wrongful death claim must show that the manufacturer knew about the danger of the product and did not warn consumers about the dangers.
Our San Francisco Wrongful Death Lawyers Are Here to Help
We understand the pain, confusion, and heartbreak you may be experiencing after suffering an unexpected loss. At Golden State Accident Lawyers, our knowledge and compassionate San Francisco wrongful death attorneys are here to guide you through this difficult time. We are leaders in California wrongful death laws and personal injury law, and have successfully recovered millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. More importantly, we treat each client like family. We will hold the responsible parties accountable and help seek justice and closure in a San Francisco wrongful death claim. Call us in a free consultation at (415) 636-6474 or contact us online.
Golden State Accident Lawyers
550 Bryant St. Suite 2K
San Francisco, CA 94107