San Francisco Wrongful Death Attorneys
Compassionate Counsel for Grieving Families
When another party’s negligence causes a death, the surviving family
members may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the at-fault
party (or parties) accountable. A successful wrongful death claim may
result in compensation for the harm caused, including, funeral and burial
expenses, the loss of love, society, protection, and companionship, as
well as lost income. As of January 1, 2022, California allows for recovery
of the compensation the decedent would have been entitled to for pain
and suffering caused by the negligent party.
A wrongful death lawsuit also forces the at-fault party (or parties) to
confront any negligence that may have contributed to the incident, which
will help prevent future incidents from happening again.
Retaining an experienced San Francisco wrongful death lawyer is the best
way for the surviving family to pursue a successful claim and receive
maximum compensation owed under the law. At Wisner Baum, we understand
that participating in a lawsuit may be the last thing you want to do when
you are grieving, which is why we work hard to make it as easy as possible
for you. We take a compassionate approach to your needs but an aggressive
approach to advocating for you against any at-fault party.
Contact Wisner Baum
to schedule a free consultation with a San Francisco wrongful death attorney.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
When an individual or company causes the death of another person through
an intentional or unintentional wrongful act, the decedent is considered
to have suffered a “wrongful death.” When choosing legal representation,
it is essential to look for attorneys skilled in wrongful death law
and the type of accident/incident at the center of your case.
Wisner Baum’s team of trial lawyers has represented clients in personal
injury and wrongful death claims across a wide variety of practice areas,
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Generally speaking, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit belongs
to the closest relative (or relatives) of the decedent but these laws
vary in each state:
- Spouse or domestic partner
- Dependent step-children
- Minor(s) living with the decedent for six months or more
- Dependent parents
If none of these people can file suit, the right to file moves to:
- Siblings and their children
If you believe you have grounds for a case, even if you are unsure, consult
with a San Francisco wrongful death lawyer to learn more about your legal
rights. Acting quickly to pursue a case helps ensure that key pieces of
evidence are preserved and that important information to bolster your
case is not lost.
Furthermore, there is a time limit (statute of limitations) for how long
you have to file a wrongful death action. California allows grieving families
two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim.
How Hard Is It to Prove Wrongful Death?
All wrongful death plaintiffs (those filing suit) must show that the defendant
(the party being sued) was liable “by a preponderance of the evidence,”
which simply means that the defendant is more likely to have been responsible
for the decedent’s death than not. In this way, wrongful death cases
differ from criminal homicide cases, which require that the defendant
must be proven guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Still, this does not mean a wrongful death defendant will be any more willing
to admit fault. Many parties and their insurance companies will go to
great lengths to avoid or limit their liability in a wrongful death case.
Hiring an experienced law firm will strengthen your case and increase
your chances of full compensation for all your losses.
Compensation for Wrongful Death Cases
The value of your case depends on several factors. Wrongful death claimants
seek compensation for damages like funeral and burial expenses, medical
expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the loss of comfort, love,
society, guidance, protection and companionship, among others. In many
cases, the decedent suffered severe pain and suffering caused by the negligent
party. California now allows recovery for the amount that would have been
owed to the decedent had he or she lived.
It is important to remember that the surviving family also loses the financial
help that the deceased earned. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the projected
loss of income from the deceased can be awarded for the duration of the
decedent’s expected life span or the family member bringing the
claim, whichever is shortest.
Call (855) 948-5098 for a free consultation.