Las preguntas más importantes que debe hacer a un abogado especializado en homicidio culposo

Perder a un ser querido es devastador, pero es aún más doloroso si las acciones de otra persona causaron la muerte. Usted querrá respuestas para entender lo que ocurrió, hallar una conclusión y obtener justicia para su ser querido. También es posible que la familia quiera presentar una demanda por homicidio culposo. Puede hacerlo con la ayuda de un abogado especializado en homicidios culposos, pero debe elegir al adecuado para asegurarse el mejor resultado. Formular las preguntas adecuadas le ayudará a entender si un abogado es el adecuado para su caso y el proceso para obtener una indemnización por homicidio culposo.

¿Qué experiencia tiene en reclamaciones por homicidio culposo?

Esta debería ser una de las primeras preguntas que le haga a un abogado especializado en homicidios culposos. Un abogado con experiencia en este tipo de casos será enormemente beneficioso de diferentes maneras. En primer lugar, conocerá los procedimientos de presentación, incluida la documentación requerida y los plazos. Esto es crucial porque cometer errores o saltarse un plazo al presentar la demanda puede poner en peligro su caso.

En segundo lugar, estará en mejor posición para evaluar cuánto vale su caso basándose en su experiencia. Esta información pone a su abogado especializado en indemnizaciones por homicidio culposo en una mejor posición para negociar un mejor acuerdo o argumentar a favor de una mejor indemnización en los tribunales.

Por último, le dará el apoyo y el asesoramiento que necesita a lo largo de este proceso. Usted quiere a alguien que le ofrezca consejos prácticos para ayudarle a entender lo que está ocurriendo y lo que debe hacer. También necesita apoyo cuando se enfrenta a un homicidio culposo, y el abogado puede proporcionárselo o indicarle varios recursos que le hagan más fácil enfrentarse al fallecimiento de un ser querido.

¿Cuáles son sus honorarios y modalidades de pago?

También debe saber cómo y cuánto cobrará un abogado especializado en homicidio culposo de California por llevar su caso. La buena noticia es que la mayoría de los abogados trabajan en régimen de contingencia. En un acuerdo de contingencia, usted no paga ningún honorario inicial ni continuo.

En cambio, al abogado se le paga un porcentaje de su indemnización una vez que el caso concluye o usted llega a un acuerdo con la otra parte.

Sin embargo, aún debe discutir qué porcentaje esperará el abogado en función de los diferentes gastos y costes en los que incurra mientras le represente.

¿De cuánto tiempo dispongo para presentar la demanda?

La ley de California tiene un estricto plazo de prescripción para las demandas por homicidio culposo. Aparte de algunos casos excepcionales, tiene dos años para presentar la demanda, y la cuenta atrás comienza a partir de la fecha del fallecimiento del ser querido.

Una excepción es cuando no se espera razonablemente que los familiares supieran de la muerte de su ser querido y sólo se enteran mucho más tarde. En estos casos, el tribunal puede dictaminar que el periodo de dos años comience cuando los familiares descubrieron el fallecimiento.

Otra excepción se da en los casos de negligencia médica. En estos casos, tiene un año para presentar la demanda a partir de la fecha del fallecimiento o de cuando la familia descubrió la negligencia. Sin embargo, el tribunal puede ampliar el plazo de presentación en circunstancias especiales, como cuando hay pruebas de ocultación o fraude.

La otra excepción es si desea presentar una demanda contra una agencia gubernamental. En esa situación, sólo dispone de seis meses para presentar la demanda, lo que subraya la importancia de ponerse en contacto con los mejores abogados especializados en homicidio culposo para que estudien su caso y lo presenten lo antes posible.

¿Cuánto durará mi pleito?

Cada caso de homicidio culposo es diferente, por lo que no hay forma razonable de saber cuánto durará uno. Sin embargo, un abogado experimentado considerará los hechos y las pruebas y le dará una estimación aproximada. También tendrán en cuenta los posibles retrasos, como en el proceso de proposición de pruebas, y le informarán adecuadamente.

Dado que comprenden la urgencia de la situación, un despacho de abogados especializado en homicidio culposo hará todo lo posible por resolver el caso con la mayor rapidez y eficacia.

¿Cuál es su enfoque a la hora de negociar con las compañías de seguros?

Una vez que usted presenta una demanda o contrata a un abogado, lo más frecuente es que el proveedor de seguros de la otra parte se ponga en contacto con usted con una oferta de acuerdo. Su objetivo es llegar a un acuerdo lo antes posible por lo menos posible.

Su abogado especializado en homicidio culposo debe tener una estrategia de negociación con ellos para que puedan darle el acuerdo que se merece. Los abogados especializados en homicidio culposo de Abogados de Accidentes y Lesiones Personales de Karns & Karns tienen una amplia experiencia en negociaciones de acuerdos y le ayudarán a evitar que una compañía de seguros le rebaje el precio.

¿Están preparados para un juicio si mi caso llega a los tribunales?

La mayoría de los casos de homicidio culposo se resuelven extrajudicialmente. Sin embargo, algunos acaban en litigio, y usted necesita saber si su abogado está preparado para defender su caso ante un tribunal si fuera necesario. Una respuesta reconfortante sería un sí rotundo, y que el abogado le hablara de su experiencia llevando a juicio casos similares y de sus porcentajes de victorias.

¿Qué tipo de indemnización puedo esperar?

En California, hay dos tipos de daños en los casos de homicidio culposo: económicos y no económicos. Cada uno de ellos desempeñará un papel en cómo será su indemnización final.

Las pérdidas económicas se refieren a las pérdidas financieras directas que la familia ha sufrido o sufrirá en el futuro debido a la muerte de un ser querido. Pueden incluir gastos médicos, gastos funerarios o de entierro, pérdida de beneficios y el valor perdido por no recibir asistencia del demandado.

Estos costes y pérdidas son más difíciles de calcular que los de los casos rutinarios de lesiones personales porque son proyecciones futuras. Sin embargo, un abogado con experiencia en indemnizaciones por homicidio culposo le ayudará a cuantificar cualquier cosa e incluirla en los detalles de su caso.

Los daños no económicos se refieren a pérdidas intangibles. Pueden incluir el dolor y la angustia, la pérdida de compañía, amor, cuidados e intimidad en el caso de las parejas, y la orientación parental en el caso de los hijos. Dado que deben considerar numerosos factores y variables, cada abogado calcula los daños no económicos de forma diferente.

Elegir al abogado adecuado para llevar un caso de homicidio culposo garantiza que la familia pueda obtener compensación y justicia, responsabilizar a la otra parte y conseguir la conclusión que merece. Hacer las preguntas adecuadas es la mejor manera de saber si el abogado proporcionará el nivel de representación y conducirá al mejor acuerdo o indemnización.

What Is a Civil Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A family member getting injured or dying is already bad enough because the family has to deal with the complex emotions associated with both. However, things get even worse when they die due to the actions of another person or entity. It is understandable for families to want the responsible party to be held accountable and to be compensated for their loss. One way of doing both is filing a civil wrongful death lawsuit.

What is a Civil Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil lawsuit, meaning the defendant can also face criminal charges after the lawsuit. A death is considered wrongful when it happens due to the actions of another. They can also occur when a party does not uphold their duty of care to another. A great example of this is a doctor who ignores a patient’s symptoms and the patient later passes away due to their injuries or illness.

You should also know that each state defines wrongful death slightly differently and has different statutes of limitations, and the amount of time you have to file the suit. The statute of limitations for filing wrongful death lawsuits in California is two years. This means family members should contact a wrongful death lawyer in California as soon as possible to start the process.

The best wrongful death lawyers also help families unearth the evidence they need to strengthen their cases, establish liability, and get the compensation they deserve. They can help them get medical records, police records, surveillance camera footage, eyewitness statements, and other evidence pertinent to the suit.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?

You should know if you are legally allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit before contacting a wrongful death law firm. The California Code of Civil Procedures outlines who can sue, and the judge will deny any claims made by people not on the list.

Surviving Spouses

A surviving spouse can file a claim for the death of a loved one. California defines a spouse as someone legally married to the deceased at the time of their death. However, there is an exception.

California law also allows putative spouses to file. A putative spouse is a person who entered into an invalid marriage that they thought at the time was valid. However, the circumstances surrounding this marriage mean it was null or nullable.

Putative spouse situation often arises in the case of bigamy where a person marries two people. It can also arise in situations where a person did not ensure their divorce was finalized before remarrying. In this situation, their first marriage is still legal, so their second one cannot be.

Domestic Partners

Domestic partners registered as such under California Law can also file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Children and Grandchildren

The decedent’s children and stepchildren can also file a wrongful death. The rights of a putative spouse also extend to their children, so any children they had with the decedent can also file a wrongful death lawsuit. Before filing, talk to the best wrongful death lawyers and explain your situation. They will then file the suit correctly, noting you as the child of a putative spouse married to the deceased.

Sometimes, the victim’s children might have died, which makes their grandchildren able to file the suit instead.

Parents

The decedent’s parents and legal guardians can also file a wrongful death claim.

Filing as a Minor

California law allows minors to bring a wrongful death suit. However, they must have lived in the victim’s household for at least 180 days before their passing. They must have depended on the deceased for at least half their life.

They are also allowed to file if they depended on the decedent for over half their life. This happens in cases where an adult takes care of a child and then later passes away.

Wrongful Death Alongside Personal Injury

Many people do not know that they can also file a personal injury case before, during, or after a wrongful death lawsuit. Because these are civil cases, double jeopardy does not apply as it would in criminal cases. However, contact a wrongful death attorney in California first if you want to file concurrent lawsuits so they can show you how to do it correctly.

Whether you file a wrongful death lawsuit or one alongside a personal injury one, you must prove negligence. This means showing that the defendant had some duty of care to the defendant and that they did not uphold it. Wrongful death lawyers CA can also show that the defendant’s actions caused an injury that led to their death.

Criminal Trials

As mentioned, the state can pursue a case against the defendant even when they are fighting a wrongful death lawsuit. Because these are separate cases, a jury can find the defendant responsible for the victim’s murder even if they are found not guilty in their criminal case.

It can also be frustrating to learn that some traffic accidents do not meet the threshold of wrongful death or crimes because they are deemed as accidents. This means the defendant might not face criminal prosecution in such situations, leaving the family with only the option of filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Other situations that can lead to wrongful death lawsuits and/or criminal charges include:

  • Product liability – A defective product that causes death provides grounds for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. However, they are often more likely to end up as part of a class action lawsuit because defective products typically lead to multiple deaths
  • Workplace accidents – A breach of an employee’s duty of care to employees can lead to workplace accidents that cause wrongful death
  • Medical malpractice – Medical malpractice remains one of the most common reasons for wrongful death suits. The reason many people do not hear about these cases is that they are settled quickly out of court to protect doctors and hospitals

A loved one’s death is one of the most devastating things one can face. The pain and grief can be worse if their death is due to the actions of another. You have the right to file a lawsuit to get compensated for your loss, and there are wrongful death lawyers in California such as ourselves standing by to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys today to get the process started.

The Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Texas

Losing a loved one is one of the most devastating things a person can go through. However, the pain and grief loved ones feel can be amplified if another person’s negligent actions caused the death. In such a situation, loved ones have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Hiring a wrongful death attorney is the first step, but do you know when you should hire one and the deadline for filing?

What is the Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Texas?

The Texas wrongful death statute of limitations is two years. Texas law describes the statute of limitations as starting from the day a person realizes they have the right to pursue legal action against the passing of a loved one.

In almost all cases, the date the statute of limitation starts is the day the loved one passes away. In cases where a loved one has a lengthy hospital stay before passing away, the period they were hospitalized does not count towards the statute of limitations. However, it starts immediately if a loved one passes in an accident.

Remember that while the legal cause or claim for a lawsuit may arise on the day of the accident, you cannot file until your loved one passes away. However, you can still consult with wrongful death lawyers in TX to see if what you have discovered meets the threshold of being a cause for lawful action in case your loved one passes. If they do not, at least you will know whether you have enough to start a personal injury investigation to get your loved one the compensation they deserve.

Tolling the Statute of Limitations

Apart from a lengthy hospital stay, specific circumstances can cause the statute of limitations to start later or pause. The most common example of the first situation is an affected minor. If a child under the age of 18 loses their parents, the statute of limitations does not start until they are of legal age – at least 18.  After that, they have two years following their 18th birthday to file a wrongful death suit.

However, an underage person does not have to wait to file, even if the option is available. Another parent or guardian can pursue the wrongful death suit on their behalf. If you would like to do this, ensure that the minor you represent is comfortable with the arrangement and is fully on board. Also, hire an experienced wrongful death attorney Texas to help you navigate the complexities of this arrangement.

The second situation is where the negligence was not obvious. If you were unaware that a business or another person’s actions or negligence led to the death of a loved one, the law assumes that the cause of action arose immediately after you knew. This means it can take years for the two-year statute of limitations period to start if a loved one does not know the actions that led to their loved one’s death.

The statute of limitations does not also start if someone covered up the death or negligent actions that caused it fraudulently. The clock starts when you discover the fraud, the people behind it, and the concealment.

Lastly, the statute of limitations does not start if you are incapacitated. This is common in cases where family members are injured in the same accidents that led to their loved one’s death. Once you are of sound mind and well enough, you can contact a wrongful death law firm to get help filing a lawsuit.

Texas Also Has a Statute of Repose

The statute of repose is similar to a statute of limitations. However, it is different because it extinguishes all legal recourse once it passes. Even though the situations discussed above could cause the statute of limitations to start more than two years after the passing of a loved one, the statute of repose places a hard limit on when you can file. In Texas, it is 10 years.

Because of how strict it is, you are advised to hire a wrongful death lawyer in Texas as soon as you have a legal reason. Even though you will start the statute of limitations clock, you will not risk falling outside the statute of repose where you can no longer file regardless of what you find out. However, this doesn’t mean that law enforcement cannot pursue the case if you bring forth enough evidence even after the statute of repose has passed.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?

Under the governing laws of Texas, there is only a limited number of people who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These include specific individuals close to the decedent who are their surviving children, spouse, and the parents of the deceased. Texas law also allows one eligible person to file one lawsuit on the whole family’s behalf. Alternatively, everyone can file individually.

If a parent, child, or spouse fails to file the lawsuit within three months of the loved one’s passing, their estate’s personal representative may file it instead. However, they can only do so if the family or the eligible survivors unanimously allow them.

Types of Compensation Following a Wrongful Death Suit

The best wrongful death lawyers can guide you on what type of compensation to pursue when filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The attorneys at our firm, Karns & Karns Personal Injury, and Accident Attorneys can help you pursue different types of compensation, including:

  • Lost income if the deceased was the breadwinner
  • Loss of advice support, services, maintenance, and care
  • Loss of society, comfort, companionship, and love
  • Costs related to their fatal injuries and related hospitalization
  • Psychological pain and anguish

What Happens If You File After the Statute Of Limitations Lapses?

Every lawsuit has exceptions, but in almost all cases the defendant will ask the court to dismiss the charges. If this happens, you lose the ability to hold them accountable or to seek an out-of-court settlement.

Filing a wrongful death suit is one of the last things family members can do to hold the person responsible for their loved one’s death liable and to get justice for them. You should understand the statute of limitations and the various laws and exceptions surrounding it in Texas. By doing so, you do not miss the deadline, you file correctly and can hold the other party liable. If you need advice, contact Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys today.

What Has to Be Proven in a Wrongful Death Case?

Losing a loved one through an accident that wasn’t their fault — like a car crash, fatal workplace injury, or exposure to a hazardous chemical — is one of the worst things that can happen to a family.

Many families experience the trauma of losing their loved ones and are angry at the party that caused the accident. Financial worries are another concern. While no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles can help families with a wrongful death settlement to ease their financial plight.

However, proving a wrongful death claim can be complicated. Generally, a wrongful death claim requires the same burden of proof as a personal injury case and the same legal elements as well.

What Is a Wrongful Death?

Not every death — even one caused by accident — is considered to be a wrongful death under the law. A wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the decedent’s heirs which are generally family members. It can also be filed by a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. Not all family members qualify to bring a wrongful death case, and such cases must meet specific criteria to be valid.

Main Components of Wrongful Death Cases

Your personal injury attorney in Los Angeles will need to prove four things:

  1. Legal Duty
  2. Negligence
  3. Causation
  4. Damages

We’ll explore each element a little closer.

Legal Duty

Duty of care is a legal responsibility that people have toward each other.  For example, a doctor or nurse owes a duty of care to their patients. A manufacturer of consumer products has a duty toward customers to create safe products. A driver has a legal duty of safety to others on the road. Before showing that the defendant caused a wrongful death you must first show the defendant had a legal duty of care to the decedent. This finding is essential for a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles to proceed with a wrongful death case.

Negligence

Negligence is a fancy word that basically means someone did something wrong or acted unreasonably. This wrongful or unreasonable conduct is negligence. When a wrongful death lawsuit is brought your lawyer must show that the defendant was negligent. They must prove that the defendant acted unreasonably and thus breached their legal duty of care to the decedent. All types of conduct can be considered negligent. Violating traffic laws like running a red light would certainly be considered negligent conduct. Allowing a dangerous condition on a property can be considered negligent. Other types of negligence may include sloppy oversight on the part of a consumer product manufacturer, disregarding workplace or OSHA safety standards, or distracted driving that causes a vehicle collision. Negligence can also include the failure to act, known as an omission.

Causation

The personal injury attorney has to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the death of their loved one. They’ll gather evidence, including witness statements, CCTV footage, or details about company procedures that focus on safety. A defendant may still be responsible for the wrongful death of a loved one even if they were not the sole cause of the death. There may be a number of factors that lead to a loved one’s death. The defendant’s conduct or omission only needs to be more than a trivial factor in the death for a valid wrongful death claim.

Damages

Damages are the money owed to compensate the family in a wrongful death case. These are both economic (quantifiable) and non-economic (impact on the survivors’ lives). Common damages in a wrongful death case include:

  • Medical expenses, including hospitalization before the individual died
  • Burial and funeral costs
  • Loss of income and potential earnings
  • Pain and suffering of the victim before death and the family after the death
  • Loss of love, compassion, society, and affection

Although some of these costs can be quantified, others are harder to put a dollar figure on, which is why families benefit from an experienced wrongful death lawyer.

Common Wrongful Death Causes

Many causes of wrongful death are the same as those classified by personal injury. Each type of wrongful death requires the same four elements to be proven.

The most common causes of wrongful death are:

  • Medical malpractice and birth injuries
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Occupational exposure or hazards
  • Product defects
  • Abuse or neglect in a nursing home or other care facility
  • Premises liability accidents
  • Construction accidents

Although each type of accident has the four elements that determine liability on the part of the defendant, establishing the elements is different for each type of accident.

However, since it’s a civil matter, the burden of proof in a wrongful death case is lower than in a criminal case. While the defendant may face criminal charges — such as the penalty for DUI in a car crash — wrongful death cases are to compensate victims, not punish the guilty party.

Who Is Able to File a Wrongful Death Case?

In California, the only parties that can file a wrongful death suit are the deceased’s:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Children, both biological and adopted
  • Parents
  • Siblings in the absence of any of the above

Technically speaking, the only person who files the wrongful death suit is the deceased’s heirs at law. A decedent’s estate can also file a wrongful death claim through a personal representative of the estate.

Compensation in wrongful death cases can and should be significant. The loss of love and affection from a father, mother, or child is significant. Wrongful death cases often result in large settlements and jury verdicts.

A Guide to Wrongful Death Claims in Las Vegas, Nevada

Losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult experience. Trying to pursue legal action through your grief can be overwhelming, which is why you need to get help from an experienced law firm. This guide will walk you through some key aspects of filing a wrongful death claim in Las Vegas to help you understand your options.

Definition of a Wrongful Death Claim

A wrongful death claim alleges that someone’s death was caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another party. The claim aims to hold the at-fault individual or entity financially accountable through a civil lawsuit.

Nevada state law allows certain family members to file a wrongful death claim through the court system to seek compensation for their damages. This includes reimbursing burial costs, replacing lost wages and benefits, and compensating for sorrow, grief, and emotional distress.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Nevada

Nevada law specifies which surviving loved ones the court recognizes as “real parties of interest” in a wrongful death claim. This includes:

  • The deceased person’s spouse
  • Children and grandchildren
  • Parents and siblings
  • Any person entitled to inherit the decedent’s property under Nevada law

If the deceased person does not have any of these statutory beneficiaries, a wrongful death case cannot typically proceed.

Time Limits for Filing

It’s important to understand strict filing deadlines apply for wrongful death claims in Nevada:

  • Two years from the date of injury or death if filing against a private party
  • As little as six months if a government entity is named as defendant

Missing the statute of limitations will make your case much harder or impossible to pursue. An experienced attorney can help file quickly and strategically to meet the prescribed deadlines.

Proving Liability

In a wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove the defendant’s negligent or wrongful actions caused your loved one’s death. Common scenarios include:

Motor Vehicle Crashes

By far, motor vehicle collisions cause the majority of wrongful death cases in Nevada and across the US. Drivers, trucking companies, vehicle manufacturers and more may be held liable for deviating from reasonable standards of auto safety and operation if it results in a fatality.

Medical Malpractice

Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare providers can make mistakes resulting in a patient’s death. Filing a wrongful death malpractice claim takes extensive skills proving medical negligence through expert testimony and records review.

Unsafe Premises

Property owners have a responsibility to maintain reasonably safe conditions to avoid slip-and-falls, trip hazards, inadequate security, fires and other perils. Gross negligence resulting in death warrants a lawsuit.

Defective Products

Manufacturers and retailers can also be sued if defective vehicle parts, medical devices, dangerous drugs or other flawed products lead to loss of life to recover costs. Strict liability laws often apply in these cases if negligence and a direct connection to the defect itself causes a death.

Workplace Accidents

Federal labor laws aim to protect workers through safety protocols and injury prevention. Employers who willfully ignore hazards like falls, power equipment, trench collapses and more may face a wrongful death claim if gross negligence results in fatality.

An attorney from Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys can help gather evidence showing exactly what happened as well as the liable party’s specific breached duty or carelessness. Damages must also be thoroughly quantified and directly linked to the incident itself.

Seeking Compensation in a Settlement

Many legitimate wrongful death claims settle out of court once liability and damages are clearly demonstrated through evidence exchange, risk analysis and negotiation between legal representatives on both sides. This spares families the added stress of a lengthy trial.

A settlement can provide a lump-sum payment upfront to cover all associated expenses now and into the future, like:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Loss of benefits like health insurance
  • Emotional grief, sorrow and loss of companionship

The settlement often gets structured based on the specific projected losses using expert calculations. Factors like the victim’s age, earnings, personal relationships, and more impact the value. Special needs trusts may even get established to disburse funds.

If a fair settlement cannot be reached through alternative dispute resolution methods, then the court verdict decides the amount of compensation owed. Having an assertive, seasoned lawyer helps maximize recovery either inside or outside the walls of a courtroom.

Getting Help from a Wrongful Death Attorney

Pursuing a complex wrongful death claim amid crushing grief and trauma can be extraordinarily difficult. Even basic tasks like paperwork, calls, records procurement, evidence review and litigation steps require more effort right now.

That’s why hiring a wrongful death attorney experienced specifically in fatal accident cases often makes sense. They innately understand the convoluted legal process, high burden of proof, versatile options for liability arguments and emotional dynamics profoundly affecting family members already in crisis.

A dedicated wrongful death law firm like Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys can handle virtually every aspect while clients focus on basic functioning, preserving memories and processing loss. Wrongful death lawyers NV can conduct a full independent investigation of what actually happened, identify liable parties, prove negligence responsible for the death, fend off insurance low-ball offers, accurately calculate lifetime damages, and tenaciously negotiate the maximum possible settlement or court award. They don’t earn attorney fees unless the client recovers rightful compensation.

Turn to a Reputable Las Vegas Attorney

Losing a beloved immediate or extended family member suddenly shifts your entire world off its axis. Finding some justice and reasonable financial compensation can never replace your loved one’s physical presence or erase the intense grief. But a favorable legal outcome can help ease short-term and long-term financial stresses so you can redirect energy toward healing.

The choice of legal counsel makes a tremendous difference in navigating the complexities ahead. Turn to compassionate and strategic wrongful death attorneys Las Vegas committed to personal service and results. They honor human value over profits and understand no settlement nor court award ever restores what was taken. But pursuing a legitimate wrongful death claim can make space for grieving families to adjust to forever-changed lives.

Contact Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys today to learn more.

Why and How California Truck Accidents Can Lead to Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Truck accidents are an unfortunate risk on California’s busy highways and roads. When they happen, the sheer size and weight of a loaded semi mean truck crashes often turn deadly. Surviving family members are left grieving the loss of a loved one and struggling with practical concerns like lost income and large medical and funeral bills. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in California may be an important step in seeking compensation to cover damages. Here is an overview of how these tragic accidents happen and why truck crash victims and their families should consider legal action.

Factors Leading to Deadly Truck Crashes

A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. When driving at highway speeds, that amount of weight and momentum takes a very long distance to stop—much longer than a car or SUV. Some common reasons these crashes turn so serious include.

  • Driver fatigue or sleep deprivation, often from unrealistic delivery schedules
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Distracted or inattentive driving behaviors such as texting, eating, talking on a cell phone or CB radio
  • Failure to adequately inspect and maintain the truck’s condition including brakes, tires, lighting or cargo restraints
  • Violations of hours of service rules that prohibit driving more than 11 hours per day or 60-70 hours per week
  • Failure to properly secure cargo which can shift and unbalance the truck
  • Speeding, aggressive driving, or tailgating when behind schedule
  • Improper training for new truck drivers or inadequate screening of new hires

Blame often lies with the driver, but trucking companies and commercial vehicle manufacturers can also be at fault through:

  • Inadequate driver screening, training, or supervision policies
  • Demanding delivery schedules that coerce unsafe driving behaviors
  • Poor equipment safety, vehicle defects like faulty brakes, or overloaded trucks
  • Failure to comply with proper vehicle weight limits, size restrictions, cargo regulations, maintenance schedules and more
  • Prior knowledge of or lack of response to driver violations

When one or more of these factors is present, deadly truck crashes are tragically common. Victims can suffer crushing injuries, amputations, severe burns, brain and spinal cord trauma, internal organ damage or simply the catastrophic effects of an 80,000 pound vehicle crushing a smaller passenger vehicle.

Why File a California Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Fatal Truck Accident

When negligence or misconduct results in a fatal truck accident, injured accident victims or grieving family members must deal with emotional grief as well as medical bills, funeral expenses, lost current and future income, and other accident-related damages. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit allows certain specified family members or representatives of the deceased’s estate to take legal action and recover compensatory damages.

In California, state law permits the following people to have legal standing to bring a wrongful death case after a truck accident fatality:

  • Spouse or registered domestic partner
  • Children
  • Parents or Grandchildren, if no surviving children
  • Anyone who can verify financial support from the deceased
  • Minor children of the deceased born after their death

Damages available through a wrongful death lawsuit handled by a personal injury accident lawyer include:

  • Medical and funeral expenses
  • Loss of financial support and inheritance
  • Loss of love, companionship, guidance, training, advice, caretaking and more
  • Pre-death pain and suffering experienced by the deceased
  • Punitive damages in cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct

For some families, these damages may be essential to cope with their loss financially as well as emotionally. Settlements and jury awards can total hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars depending on the economic and noneconomic damages in a case.

The Complex Legal Landscape After Fatal Truck Crashes

Several factors make truck accident cases more complex than other motor vehicle crash cases. Multiple corporate entities may share liability, like the driver, trucking company, shipping company, manufacturer or cargo loaders. Trucking companies frequently fight back aggressively against claims to avoid increased insurance premiums.

Rules like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations establish minimum standards for commercial trucks and drivers on items like training, maximum driving hours, cargo, maintenance and alcohol/drug testing. However, showing violations of these regulations still requires detailed investigation and evidence.

The trucking company may also argue the victim shared partial fault for the accident. Establishing total liability usually needs extensive evidence like black box data, driver communication logs, truck inspection records, and witness statements. An experienced California truck accident attorney has the resources and knowledge to navigate these legal hurdles.

Coping with the Aftermath of a Serious Truck Accident

Recovering from a serious accident can be extremely difficult both physically and emotionally. Focus first on allowing yourself time to heal without feeling rushed or pressured. Surround yourself with a strong support system of loved ones, friends, medical professionals, and consider joining a support group. Don’t isolate yourself. Expressing your feelings and anxieties can aid the coping process. Be patient with the pace of your recovery, seek counseling if you struggle with trauma or depression, and know that there are resources and people available to help if you feel overwhelmed in handling everything on your own after a major accident. Recognizing it’s okay to ask for assistance is important.

Losing a loved one suddenly in a truck accident tragedy can be completely devastating. In addition to grieving, shock, anger, and sorrow, you may struggle with handling daily responsibilities when overwhelmed with emotions. Be gentle with yourself as you cope and adapt to a world now missing someone cherished. Keep close connections to supportive family and friends who intimately understand your loss. Consider grief counseling or support groups specific to those mourning tragic accidental deaths. Finding compassion and gaining perspective from others on this profoundly difficult journey can aid healing your heartache a small step at a time. You need not walk this lonely road alone.

Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Legal Action After Losing a Loved One

The grief of losing a close family member unexpectedly only compounds the injustice when a wrongful death occurs in a preventable California truck accident. Reach out to an experienced wrongful death attorney from Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys to fully understand your right to legal action, prove liability and negligence in your case, determine all available damages, and negotiate assertively for maximum compensation through a settlement or jury award. With compassion and expertise guiding your claim, you gain help coping with grief while holding all responsible parties fully financially accountable for their misconduct.

What Has to Be Proven in a Wrongful Death Case?

Losing a loved one through an accident that wasn’t their fault — like a car crash, fatal workplace injury, or exposure to a hazardous chemical — is one of the worst things that can happen to a family.

Many families experience the trauma of losing their loved ones and are angry at the party that caused the accident. Financial worries are another concern. While no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles can help families with a wrongful death settlement to ease their financial plight.

However, proving a wrongful death claim can be complicated. Generally, a wrongful death claim requires the same burden of proof as a personal injury case and the same legal elements as well.

 

What Is a Wrongful Death?

Not every death — even one caused by accident — is considered to be a wrongful death under the law. A wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the decedent’s heirs which are generally family members. It can also be filed by a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. Not all family members qualify to bring a wrongful death case, and such cases must meet specific criteria to be valid.

 

Main Components of Wrongful Death Cases

Your personal injury attorney in Los Angeles will need to prove four things:

  1. Legal Duty
  2. Negligence
  3. Causation
  4. Damages

We’ll explore each element a little closer.

Legal Duty

Duty of care is a legal responsibility that people have toward each other.  For example, a doctor or nurse owes a duty of care to their patients. A manufacturer of consumer products has a duty toward customers to create safe products. A driver has a legal duty of safety to others on the road. Before showing that the defendant caused a wrongful death you must first show the defendant had a legal duty of care to the decedent. This finding is essential for a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles to proceed with a wrongful death case.

Negligence

Negligence is a fancy word that basically means someone did something wrong or acted unreasonably. This wrongful or unreasonable conduct is negligence. When a wrongful death lawsuit is brought your lawyer must show that the defendant was negligent. They must prove that the defendant acted unreasonably and thus breached their legal duty of care to the decedent. All types of conduct can be considered negligent. Violating traffic laws like running a red light would certainly be considered negligent conduct. Allowing a dangerous condition on a property can be considered negligent. Other types of negligence may include sloppy oversight on the part of a consumer product manufacturer, disregarding workplace or OSHA safety standards, or distracted driving that causes a vehicle collision. Negligence can also include the failure to act, known as an omission.

Causation

The personal injury attorney has to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the death of their loved one. They’ll gather evidence, including witness statements, CCTV footage, or details about company procedures that focus on safety. A defendant may still be responsible for the wrongful death of a loved one even if they were not the sole cause of the death. There may be a number of factors that lead to a loved one’s death. The defendant’s conduct or omission only needs to be more than a trivial factor in the death for a valid wrongful death claim.

Damages

Damages are the money owed to compensate the family in a wrongful death case. These are both economic (quantifiable) and non-economic (impact on the survivors’ lives). Common damages in a wrongful death case include:

  • Medical expenses, including hospitalization before the individual died
  • Burial and funeral costs
  • Loss of income and potential earnings
  • Pain and suffering of the victim before death and the family after the death
  • Loss of love, compassion, society, and affection

Although some of these costs can be quantified, others are harder to put a dollar figure on, which is why families benefit from an experienced wrongful death lawyer.

 

Common Wrongful Death Causes

Many causes of wrongful death are the same as those classified by personal injury. Each type of wrongful death requires the same four elements to be proven.

The most common causes of wrongful death are:

  • Medical malpractice and birth injuries
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Occupational exposure or hazards
  • Product defects
  • Abuse or neglect in a nursing home or other care facility
  • Premises liability accidents
  • Construction accidents

Although each type of accident has the four elements that determine liability on the part of the defendant, establishing the elements is different for each type of accident.

However, since it’s a civil matter, the burden of proof in a wrongful death case is lower than in a criminal case. While the defendant may face criminal charges — such as the penalty for DUI in a car crash — wrongful death cases are to compensate victims, not punish the guilty party.

 

Who Is Able to File a Wrongful Death Case?

In California, the only parties that can file a wrongful death suit are the deceased’s:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Children, both biological and adopted
  • Parents
  • Siblings in the absence of any of the above

Technically speaking, the only person who files the wrongful death suit is the deceased’s heirs at law. A decedent’s estate can also file a wrongful death claim through a personal representative of the estate.

Compensation in wrongful death cases can and should be significant. The loss of love and affection from a father, mother, or child is significant. Wrongful death cases often result in large settlements and jury verdicts.

How Do I Prove Wrongful Death in Texas?

Losing a loved one is always a sad, tragic experience. The loss can be even more traumatic for you when your loved one has passed away as a result of the negligent actions of somebody else. If your loved one has died due to the conduct of somebody else, then you may be within your rights to file a wrongful death lawsuit against them. Although there is no amount of money that can help bring your family member back to you, a lawsuit can help you ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable and help you financially as you adjust to life without your loved one by your side.

Most people will understandably not have any experience with these types of claims. So, if you are considering it, you might be wondering, how do you prove a wrongful death? It can get quite complicated to successfully prove that somebody else is responsible for the death of your loved one. In Texas, only certain surviving family members are able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

 

How to Prove Wrongful Death in Texas

As an eligible family member, you must prove that that defendant is responsible for the death of your loved one before you will be able to receive any compensation. In a wrongful death claim, there are four main elements of negligence that should be proven. These include:

Duty of Care

This is the first main element to prove. If the defendant had a duty of care, then they were legally bound to act a certain way or refrain from acting a certain way. For example, anybody who drives a vehicle has a duty of care requiring them to ensure that they drive safely and follow rules of the road. Medical professionals have a duty of care towards their patients.

Breach of Duty

This is the second element of negligence that must be proven in your case. You will need to show that the defendant acted in a way that was intentional, negligent, or reckless and violated their duty of care. For example, somebody who drives while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is violating their duty of care as a driver, by putting other road users at risk. Someone who simply runs a red light or blows through a stop sign also violates or breaches their duty of care.

Causation

Causation is the third element of negligence that should be proven for a successful wrongful death lawsuit. You will need to be able to show that the breach of duty committed by the defendant was the cause of the death of your family member. This is often the most complex element to prove as there may be cases where the defendant has undoubtedly breached their duty of care, but this may not have always contributed to or caused the death of the victim.

Damages

Finally, you will need to be able to prove that you and your family have suffered losses due to the death of your loved one. Losing a family member is obviously a huge emotional loss; however, in a wrongful death case, the law also allows you to recover any financial loss as a result of the death. For example, this could involve the cost of the funeral and burial or cremation of your family member, the loss of financial support from their job, or the loss of the household support they provided.

In a wrongful death lawsuit, the damages will differ compared to a regular personal injury claim. In a wrongful death claim, damages reimburse the family members for their own losses, rather than reimbursing them for any losses that were directly suffered by the victim. Under certain circumstances a separate survival action can be filed by the personal representative of the victim’s estate to recover any damages that the victim would have been eligible for had they lived.

Actions That Lead to Wrongful Death Claims

Two of the main aspects of proving a wrongful death in Texas involve proving that the defendant has breached a legal duty of care to the victim which resulted in their death. All parties in Texas are bound by a legal duty to ensure that they do not act in ways that present any foreseeable risk of injury or death to any other party. Some common types of actions that defendants may do which can form the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • Careless and/or illegal driving that leads to a fatal car, motorcycle, truck, bicycle or pedestrian accident.
  • Deaths caused by an intentional violent act like a robbery or assault.
  • Deaths that are the result of a defective product, device, appliance or drug.
  • Deaths that are caused by poor maintenance or security at a property such as a store, school, hotel, college, stadium, casino, concert hall, etc.

Proving Causation

Proving that the actions of the defendant directly led to the death of the victim can be one of the most complex parts of any wrongful death case. This is often a very fact-intensive process that requires the site to be investigated immediately, eyewitnesses to be contacted and spoken with, and as much medical, physical and technical evidence as possible to be gathered. Because of this, if you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, it’s important to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after losing your loved one to begin the process.

Here at Karns & Karns Personal Injury & Accident Attorneys, we know how emotional and heart-wrenching a wrongful death case can be. We are here to support you as you grieve your loved one and work to get the compensation that you deserve for having them taken away from you too soon. Our experienced team of attorneys know what is necessary for a successful wrongful death case in Texas and will work tirelessly to prove that the defendant breached a duty of care towards your loved one which led to their passing.

If you have lost a loved one and want to file a wrongful death attorney, get in touch today at 877-557-4221 for a free, confidential consultation.