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Losing a loved one in Riverside is often one of the most personally challenging moments of an individual’s life. Whether a parent, sibling, or other family member has died, your grief and feeling of loss will not leave you for some time. In this moment, the only thing that matters to you is your ability to heal and spend time with surviving family, mourning the loss of your loved one.
During this time, grief isn’t always your only worry—your loved one may have been the breadwinner of the household or may have contributed financially and now that support is gone. This can send you into a spiral of financial hardship, especially when combined with high funeral costs associated with your loved one’s death and the high cost of living in Riverside. Read on to learn what your options are from an experienced Riverside wrongful death lawyer.
At this point, a lawsuit is the furthest thing from your mind. We understand. But we also know that the longer you wait, the more likely it is that you cannot recover compensation for your loss. If someone else was negligent, reckless, careless, or acted in some way that directly caused the death of your loved one, you should hold that individual accountable. Speaking with a skilled and experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys will help you understand your options.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 200,000 unintentional deaths take place each year. Wrongful death lawsuits emerge from these unintentional deaths to seek compensation for people like you, surviving family members of lost loved ones. While individuals can die in a variety of ways and have their deaths considered wrongful deaths, some causes are more common than others.
The best way to know if your loved one was lost because of someone else’s negligence is to speak with a trusted Riverside wrongful death attorney at Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible.
Some of the most common causes of death that lead to wrongful death claims in Riverside include:
We need to make a distinction here regarding the last item on the list: criminal acts. As we all know, criminals, when caught, face justice through our court system. If your loved one lost his or her life because of a crime, the police will try to catch the perpetrator, and the state may bring criminal charges against that individual for the crime. The important item to remember here is that a criminal court case will not provide you or your family with any financial compensation for your loss; you must file a civil claim to receive compensation.
We know that no amount of money can bring your loved one back, but we also know that you may face some high bills surrounding your loved one’s death. You should not bear any responsibility for those bills—paying those should be the responsibility of the person who caused your loved one’s death. Seeking justice for your loved one includes bringing a wrongful death claim to prove that the at-fault party is liable for your suffering and grief.
Unfortunately, criminals rarely have insurance or sufficient assets to cover your losses. In some cases, however, negligent security at hotels, theme parks, restaurants, parking lots, and other businesses may bear liability for the death of your loved one. If that’s the case, we can investigate whether we can file a wrongful death claim against the premises or business owner. Call us now so that we can hear what happened to your loved one and see what we can do to help you and your family.
Not every death satisfies the wrongful death standard—but some Riverside wrongful deaths, while they look innocent, actually qualify for a legal claim. The best way to know for sure is to speak with a seasoned wrongful death lawyer in Riverside. When you speak with a lawyer who understands what it takes to prove a wrongful death claim, you can get answers to all of your questions and understand what lies ahead.
There are four elements to proving negligence in a wrongful death claim: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
A plaintiff first must establish that he or she was owed a duty of care by the defendant. The exact duty depends on the circumstances of the accident. For example, in a car accident case, the duty would be to drive safely and not put others on the road in danger.
A plaintiff must also establish that the defendant breached the duty of care. In the case of a traffic accident, driving unsafely or recklessly would constitute a breach in the duty of care. If the defendant’s unsafe driving resulted in a death, then he or she may face liability for wrongful death.
Once you have proven that the defendant breached his or her duty of care, you must then show that breach caused your loved one’s death. This is the most complex part of the wrongful death claim process, as other factors could have factored into the death of your loved one. The defense will try to argue that those other factors are what caused your loved one’s death. Our job is to show that the defendant’s negligence is what actually caused the death of your loved one.
To satisfy the damages element of a wrongful death claim, you must show that you have suffered a quantifiable loss. No amount of money will bring your loved one back, but when calculating damages, we look at what financial burdens you face because of the loss of your loved one.
The burden of proof for establishing negligence in a wrongful death claim is lower than in a criminal case. However, just because the burden is lower does not mean that the burden is easy to overcome. Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one, the defense might have substantial evidence to distract a jury. This is a complex legal process that you should only trust to a Riverside wrongful death attorney whom you feel comfortable with and whom you believe will help you seek justice for your loved one.
In California, only certain parties may file wrongful death claims. The statute clearly lays out the qualifying parties:
If you fall into one of the aforementioned categories, and you’ve recently lost a loved one, you should speak with a wrongful death attorney in Riverside today. You deserve to seek justice for your loved one and ensure that you do not suffer any more than you already have.
We know your focus right now is on your grief and spending time with surviving loved ones. However, in California, you only have two years after the date of your loved one’s death to bring a wrongful death claim. Two years might seem like a long time, but there is a lot to deal with during this time.
Besides that, you will also want to do everything you can to get back to your regular life. We understand this, but we also understand that the longer you wait, the less likely it is that you will seek and obtain justice for your loved one’s death.
Your feelings of sorrow and loss are completely understandable. When you come to see us, we take care of the legal complexities and let you focus on your family and your grief. While you spend time with dear family and friends, we can work on building a strong wrongful death case. Our goal is to help you heal by holding the negligent party liable for your financial loss.
Calculating damages in a wrongful death case is not easy. Depending on the age of your loved one, you may need to involve experts, including actuaries, to determine the future earning potential and savings rate of your loved one. Your Riverside wrongful death lawyer will need to calculate all of this and more to ensure that your compensation covers your financial loss and hardship.
Types of compensation that we may seek on your behalf include the following:
This list is not exhaustive. Your ability to maximize your compensation hinges on the Riverside wrongful death attorney whom you choose to represent you. Not every law firm has the resources required to speak with experts, conduct depositions, and proceed to trial. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we do, and we are ready to stand by your side and help maximize your recovery and compensation.
Many clients ask us if they should focus on a quick settlement or on taking the case to trial to maximize their compensation. With us, you don’t have to choose. We can negotiate on your behalf in an attempt to settle your case quickly but for a fair amount. While we do that, we can also prepare for a trial, just in case that’s what we need to do to maximize your recovery.
What we don’t want to see is for you to settle without having a lawyer review your settlement offer. The insurance company representing the negligent party will try to settle with you very quickly.
Insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart. They try to settle quickly and for a low amount in hopes that you choose to accept without having a lawyer look over the document. They hope you just sign without reading, as a way to put this traumatic experience behind you. They hope you do not realize the settlement funds likely will not even come close to covering the funeral expenses and medical bills, let alone leave you in the same financial position as you would have found yourself if someone had not tragically taken your loved one from you.
That is why having a Riverside wrongful death attorney review your settlement offer is so important. We will know at first glance if the offer will cover all of your needs. If it does not, that’s when we can start to take action on your behalf, battling in negotiations with the insurance company. Our goal is to aggressively represent your interests and get the insurance company to settle for a fair amount, an amount that does not leave you having to pay out of pocket for any of your expenses.
If the insurance company refuses to negotiate reasonably, we are fully prepared to take your case to trial. We know you want to avoid trial, and that’s why we only recommend it when it’s the last option available to maximize recovery. During trial, we stand by you the entire way, fighting hard for justice for your loved one.
There is no pain like the untimely and unnecessary loss of a loved one. Remember that you do not have to face this time alone. We have years of experience helping grieving clients just like you. We know the tactics that insurance companies employ, and we know how to both battle them and negotiate with them, all for your benefit.
A wrongful death claim involves an extremely complex legal process, which includes the use of medical evidence. Oftentimes, this requires speaking with and understanding complex medical issues in addition to the legal issues. This is why it is so important that you work with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Riverside who understands these complexities and can help you maximize your recovery.
We know that no amount of money will bring your loved one back or reduce the pain you feel. When you work with us, we can investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one, work with experts to make sure we have a solid case, and provide you with the opportunity you need to grieve your loss.
Contact us online or by calling (619) 237-3490 today. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you through this challenging time. We offer free consultations, during which you can determine your eligibility to file a wrongful death claim.
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