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Folsom Wrongful Death Attorney

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Wrongful Death
Folsom
Wrongful Death Lawyer

Wrongful Death Attorney in Folsom, CA

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult events any of us will ever experience. No matter the circumstances surrounding a loved one’s death, the grief process can be extremely painful and may also last for a long time. If your loved one’s death was preventable and caused by someone else’s negligence, this pain is often compounded.

Though nothing can bring your loved one back, there are actions you can take to ensure the responsible party is held responsible for the financial burden caused by your loved one’s death. Funerals and burials are very expensive and can put an increased financial burden on the deceased person’s family. Worse, if the deceased person was the primary breadwinner, the family is often left to wonder how they will pay the bills.

Choosing a Folsom Wrongful Death Attorney

Filing a wrongful death claim with the help of a Folsom wrongful death attorney can help families financially recover after the unexpected and preventable death of a loved one. Successful claims can have profound effects on a family’s future and can often give them the space and security to grieve properly.

Here at Kreeger Law, we are proud to represent families who are seeking compensation after the death of a loved one. Our skilled, compassionate attorneys are attuned to the difficulty of these claims, as well as the fact that proper legal representation can help to ease the blow. For over 30 years, we have been representing families in the Sacramento area who were affected by wrongful death, helping them secure proper settlements from the guilty party.

What Is A Wrongful Death Case?

Of course, when you lose a loved one, every type of death feels as if it was “wrong.” However, under the law, wrongful death describes a death in which another person or entity was at fault for its cause. The person or entity may have caused the death on purpose or as the result of an act of negligence.

Some common types of wrongful death cases include:

  • Murder or homicide
  • Medical malpractice
  • Car accident deaths
  • Deaths caused by employer misconduct or negligence
  • Premises liability accidents that lead to death

Why Do I Need A Wrongful Death Lawyer?

While it is possible to represent your own interests in a wrongful death claim, this action is not advisable. Wrongful death cases are often rife with emotion, particularly on the part of the deceased person’s friends and family. As such, it will likely be extremely difficult to represent yourself professionally in court, and you risk missing critical filing deadlines and other court requirements. Having an attorney present to oversee the legal aspects of your case and properly refute the defense helps to make sure that the wrongful death claim proceeds smoothly and efficiently.

In addition, there is a great amount at stake in wrongful death cases. Though settlements vary, your family’s financial livelihood may be on the line. For example, a wrongful death claim can encompass many types of damages, including:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Damage done to property (such as in a car accident)
  • Medical bills from the accident
  • Income that the deceased would have earned had they lived
  • Pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and other non-economic damages
  • Punitive damages if the responsible party acted with malice or intended to kill your loved one
As you can see, a settlement can have a profound impact on a family’s financial situation. It is best not to risk this by representing yourself. Allow yourself the time to grieve and hire a reputable Folsom wrongful death attorney to pursue your claim.

Who Can Sue For Wrongful Death?

It is important to note that not just anyone may sue for wrongful death after the death of a loved one. Instead, wrongful death actions are reserved for a select group that is often closely impacted by the death. To file a wrongful death claim in California, you must have one of the following relationships to the deceased:

  • Surviving spouse, domestic partner, or life partner
  • Surviving children, or estates of any deceased children
  • Other minor individuals who were more than 50% financially dependent on the deceased
  • Divorced spouse or stepchildren, if financially dependent on the deceased
  • The parent of the deceased’s unborn fetus
The purpose of a wrongful death settlement is to help bridge the financial gap left by the deceased. Thus, only those individuals who relied on the deceased person for support may file a claim for wrongful death.

Who Can Be Sued For Wrongful Death?

Unfortunately, not all individuals or parties who cause a wrongful death can be sued. Most government agencies, government employees, and police officers have immunity to legal actions after wrongful death. This circumstance often applies even if the official or agency was in the wrong and caused an unnecessary death.

However, there are many other individuals who can be subject to wrongful death actions if they intentionally or negligently cause a death. In the case of a wrongful death caused by a motor vehicle driver, for example, the following people could be held accountable:

  • A driver who caused the fatal car accident
  • The builder of a faulty road that caused the accident
  • The agency who neglected to warn drivers of a road hazard
  • The manufacturer or mechanic responsible for the faulty part of the vehicle
  • The individual and establishment who served or sold alcohol to an impaired driver
  • The employer of a trucker that caused a fatal accident
Every wrongful death case is unique. Your Folsom wrongful death lawyer can help you determine which party or parties should be subject to your wrongful death claim.

Can Injuries Lead To Wrongful Death?

It is important to note that not all wrongful death cases involve individuals who died immediately after the incident in question. In some cases, the deceased person suffered injuries that led to their death at a later date. For example, if an individual suffers a brain injury from a car accident and undergoes multiple surgeries, the case is considered wrongful death even if they die days or weeks later.

However, an important caveat is that the death must be clearly related to the injury. For example, if an individual broke their leg during a car accident and died weeks later from cancer, the case would not be considered wrongful death. In this instance, the injury obtained in the accident was not the cause of death.

Proving Negligence Or Fault In A Wrongful Death Case

In many wrongful death cases, negligence or fault stems from an individual failing to follow protocol, follow the law, pay attention, or behave appropriately. There are different ways to prove this in court, each of which depends upon the specifics of your case. For many medical malpractice cases, for example, your attorney will secure an expert witness to testify that the medical professional that caused the death failed to meet the standard of care expected by a reasonable person, causing the death.

After gathering expert witnesses, your attorney will gather evidence surrounding the accident. They may collect security footage, eyewitness statements, medical records, employee handbooks, photographs, and more to build a case against the offender. In some cases, the evidence speaks for itself and the other party’s attorney may propose a settlement. In others, the matter may proceed to litigation.

Litigation vs. Settlement In A Wrongful Death Case

As mentioned, wrongful death claims that are clear-cut may prompt the defense to settle outside of court. This means that the accused party accepts responsibility for the death, and attorneys negotiate a settlement outside of the courthouse. In cases of medical malpractice, the defense attorney for the other party’s insurance company may opt to settle instead of litigate, as well.

If the other party refuses to accept responsibility, both attorneys will bring their cases before a judge in personal injury court. Litigation can be difficult, but it can yield profound results—particularly if insurance companies are involved. Your attorney may feel that the case will end in a settlement, or they may warn you that litigation is likely. A skilled attorney will pursue the avenue most likely to result in a favorable result for their client.

What To Expect From Your Wrongful Death Attorney

Though every attorney is different, there are certain standards that you can reasonably expect from a Folsom wrongful death attorney. When you are experiencing a painful wrongful death case, it is especially important that your attorney is kind, patient, empathetic, and understanding. You can also expect that your attorney will be a good listener. Your case is unique, and your attorney should give you their undivided attention when you are in their office.

Though a wrongful death attorney must be personable with you, they should be tenacious in the courtroom. Be sure to find an attorney with relevant experience—they should not only have wrongful death experience and a good track record, but they should also have specific experience with cases similar to your own. This shows that they have the understanding and background knowledge necessary to win your case.

Contact Kreeger Law

If you recently lost a loved one due to the negligence or malice of another person, the team at Kreeger Law sends our deepest condolences. When you feel ready, we are here to help you build a case and pursue financial relief during this difficult time. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a consultation.