Wrongful Death Attorney
Murrieta Wrongful Death Attorney
When a loved one is injured due to the carelessness or recklessness of another party, they can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. Unfortunately, an individual may die from their injuries or die at the scene of the incident. In these situations, their loved ones can file a wrongful death claim with the help of a Murrieta wrongful death attorney in place of the personal injury claim they cannot file.
It is never easy to lose a loved one. When their injury and death were caused because an individual, organization, or facility failed to take reasonable care, it can be especially frustrating.
Wrongful deaths can occur from product malfunctions and defects, healthcare provider malpractice, car accidents, animal attacks, and deaths during criminal activity. It is usually overwhelming and sudden, and surviving families can find themselves facing medical bills, funeral and burial costs, and other expenses from the accident.
The compensation from a wrongful death claim will never make up for the loss of a loved one. However, it can provide the family with financial certainty during a time of grief and cover the damages suffered. It will also hold the at-fault party accountable and may even bring about change to prevent the same type of wrongful death. In order to achieve the ideal outcome of a wrongful death claim, you want to work with experienced Murrieta attorneys.
Kampf, Schiavone & Associates: Your Murrieta Wrongful Death Attorney
Managing a wrongful death claim in Murrieta, CA is much easier with qualified legal representation and guidance. During a period of grief, it’s rarely easy to investigate the accident or incident that caused a family member’s death, in addition to juggling legal deadlines and filing requirements, and building an effective claim. Working with an attorney eases a lot of stress.
At Kampf, Schiavone & Associates, we understand how hard this situation is for you and your family. We want to give you the compassionate and sensitive legal care you need while working diligently to hold the at-fault parties accountable for their negligent and reckless actions. Our attorneys fight for the compensation you deserve to cover lost income, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, and medical costs.
We have represented families in nearby communities for many years in personal injury and wrongful death claims and know how to effectively investigate these claims while supporting surviving and recovering families.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim
Not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased individual. Each state has its own laws determining who has the legal authority to file for the individual’s estate. In California, this is generally the executor of the deceased’s estate, but other closely related individuals can also file for a wrongful death claim. This includes the deceased’s:
- Spouse or registered domestic partner
- Children, including adopted children
- Other minor children, including step-children, who relied on the deceased for half their financial support
- Grandchildren, if the deceased’s children are deceased
- Other beneficiaries under state succession laws
- Representatives for any of the above individuals
If none of these individuals survive the deceased, a wrongful death claim can be filed by other interested parties. These parties must be financially reliant on the deceased individual and must be able to claim property through succession law. This includes the deceased’s:
- Putative spouse, or an individual who, in good faith, believed they were legally married to the deceased
- Children from a putative spouse
- Parents or legal guardians
If you are unsure whether you have the legal ability to file a wrongful death claim, talk with a qualified wrongful death attorney. They can help you determine the validity and value of your claim, as well as determine who can file the claim.
What Are Examples of Wrongful Death?
There are several common personal injury situations that can result in wrongful death claims. Some of the most common causes of wrongful deaths include:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injury and wrongful death in the country. Drivers may be held liable for an accident if they are speeding, driving distracted, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or otherwise driving in a negligent and reckless manner.
If the accident was caused because of negligent road upkeep, the public or private organization responsible for the road could be held liable. The designer or manufacturer of a defective car part could also be liable.
Although some car accidents can be minor, many car accidents can be fatal, especially head-on collisions, roll-overs, and accidents between different-sized vehicles. Accidents with semi-trucks are frequently life-altering or fatal due to the excessive size and weight of the vehicles.
Motorcycle accidents are also more likely to result in death. Motorcyclists have fewer safety protections and often suffer twice the impact as those in enclosed vehicles due to being thrown from their motorcycles.
Even when motor vehicle crashes are not instantly fatal, they can often cause catastrophic injuries that result in the victim dying from complications soon after.
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents
Accidents involving any motor vehicle and pedestrians or bicyclists are likely to result in catastrophic and fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists. Although these accidents are not always the result of driver negligence, this is often the case. A governmental body may be held liable for a lack of visibility or a dangerous roadway that resulted in the accident.
- Workplace Accidents
Certain areas of employment have higher risks, such as construction workers, firefighters, or manual labor jobs. These jobs may see wrongful death through injuries from equipment malfunctions, work-site car accidents, falls, or falling objects. Wrongful death can occur in low-danger jobs as well.
Sometimes, there are workers’ compensation death benefits available for surviving loved ones. An attorney can help you determine if these benefits are available and what the most beneficial legal route is to take.
- Premises Liability Accidents
Property owners have a responsibility to eliminate hazards and keep safe grounds in a reasonable amount of time. They can be held liable for injuries and deaths caused by property hazards. Slip and falls on a property may seem like a less severe injury, but they can result in spinal damage and traumatic brain injuries, which could be fatal.
- Medical Malpractice
When medical professionals fail to take proper care, they can cause serious injury or death to patients. Healthcare professionals may fail to follow proper procedures or make a mistake due to negligence. Medical malpractice may occur when a provider misdiagnoses, makes an error during surgery, fails to diagnose a clear condition, prescribes the wrong medication or wrong dose of medication, or incorrectly administers anesthesia.
Medical malpractice cases are very complex, and it is often hard to prove that a healthcare provider was negligent. If other medical professionals in the same situation would make the same decisions, then a wrongful death case is unlikely to be successful.
- Elder Abuse and Neglect
Abuse in nursing homes and long-term care facilities is, unfortunately, common. Residents of these facilities can face physical abuse that can result in injury and death. More commonly, residents suffer from neglect, which can cause dehydration, malnutrition, frequent falls, and other injuries and conditions that result in death.
- Defective Products
Product liability claims include injuries and deaths from contaminated food, unsafe prescription drugs, faulty medical devices, and consumer products that are defective or do not have adequate warning labels and instructions. Depending on the situation, the designer, seller, manufacturer, or distributor may be liable in a wrongful death claim.
How Does a Wrongful Death Attorney Help?
Every wrongful death claim has unique challenges and requires a personalized approach. A dedicated attorney is an exceptional asset when filing a wrongful death claim. By working with an attorney, your claim is more likely to be successful and more likely to maximize the compensation you and your family obtain. An attorney can help you:
- File your claim with the necessary information and evidence
- Investigate the incident or accident that resulted in injury or death
- Calculate what damages your family is owed in the claim
- Negotiate for a fair settlement out of court
- Advocate for the damages you deserve in court
By handling these issues, your attorney can remove significant stress and frustration. An attorney can often resolve your claim much more quickly, further lessening your stress.
How Do I Prove Wrongful Death in California?
Your attorney must prove the following elements to have a successful wrongful death claim:
- Negligence or Intent: The alleged at-fault party may have been negligent, at which point it must be proven that they owed the deceased a duty of care. Otherwise, the at-fault party must have had the intent to cause harm.
- Breach of Duty: The at-fault party breached this duty of care to the deceased, either by careless, reckless, or intentionally harmful decisions.
- Causation: The at-fault party’s breach of duty led directly to or significantly contributed to the deceased’s injuries and death.
- Damages: The family suffered legally recognized damages as a result of their loved one’s death. This may include loss of income, the cost of medical treatment prior to death, and loss of companionship or consortium.
Protect Your Rights With Exceptional Legal Counsel
The attorneys with Kampf, Schiavone & Associates have worked for many years to protect and advocate for families who have suffered from wrongful deaths in the communities surrounding Murrieta. Contact our firm today to see how we can provide you with effective and detailed legal services.