Nothing approaches the grief of losing a loved one, except maybe finding out that their death was caused by someone’s carelessness or willfulness. You would feel immensely angry and hurt at this knowledge, and processing those emotions, no matter how well placed they may be, would take considerable time. In other words, someone causing your loved one’s death not only deprives you of them, but also causes you to suffer for a good deal of time afterward.
California law allows seeking and winning restitution from such a person or party, but to make sure you leave nothing to chance, it is best to approach and secure services from a firm of experienced wrongful death lawyers at the earliest. Other important reasons to do this include the following.
You Deserve to Know What Happened
The initial take on what happened can be hazy or even misleading, especially since few responsible parties would ever admit fault in such instances. For example, patient deaths owing to medical malpractice tend to get swept under the rug, mostly by doctors and hospital staff obscuring or twisting the details. An attorney can help clear the air by reviewing available evidence and arriving at a conclusion you can safely trust. That way, you can know the whole truth and start coming to terms with it. On the legal side of things, you can begin planning on how to proceed.
Criminal Law May Not Be Sufficient
A doctor who has committed malpractice does not typically get arrested by the police, who are more concerned with how such an action would affect the larger public. Wrongful death is classified under tort law, making it a civil matter as opposed to a criminal one. Because of this, a wrongful death lawsuit would also have a lower standard of proof, meaning that if the police find it impossible to charge the suspected party, you would need to take the case to court. To be successful in that, you would need an accomplished lawyer on your team, capable of proving the defendant guilty beyond doubt.
Protecting the Family’s Financial Future
A lot of people wrongly dismiss wrongful death lawsuits as a grabbing for cash, because they neglect to understand or acknowledge how a death can affect the family of the deceased. If the latter happened to bring in the bulk of the income it took for everyone to lead a normal life, then that state of affairs has almost surely taken a turn for the worse, or is about to. If not for the wrongdoers negligence or willfulness, this could have been avoided; by that logic, they are liable to compensate in any way and measure that the court deems right. This includes compensating you for your consequent expenses, lost income during time of grieving, and loss of any potential inheritance from the deceased.
You Will Need Help When Dealing with Insurance Companies
The negligent party is likely to have insurance, which covers such matters, and that company would normally do anything it took to keep from paying you what you are owed. The approach that most forms favor, involves offering a quick settlement with a sum that you would be tempted to accept, especially given your financial desperation. Doing so would legally preempt a potential lawsuit, meaning if you decided down the road that you are owed more, there would be no way to hold them liable to pay you. The initial offer may seem sufficient to tide you over, but would fall well short of fully compensating your economic losses.
Time is Precious
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit in California is two years from the date of the causative incident. That means you need to sue before that time elapses, failing which you would never be able to bring the guilty party to justice. Nor can you simply hop to it; the time taken to investigate cause of death needs to be factored in, as does the time taken up in any insurance negotiations. For a survivor, there is also the matter of handling the consequences of the death itself. Each of these needs to be completed as soon as possible, after which you would normally have much less than two years to file a suit. The longer you wait, the greater the chances would be of important evidence getting destroyed. Wrongful death lawyers can help you focus on timing and stay committed to achieving a quick and complete win at court.
No matter how devastated you are, you should make time to call up a well-known lawyer, and get started discussing your legal options while they still remain. At the very least, doing this helps you rest easy that you did all you could to make sure your family got the justice they deserved.