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Car Accidents Involving Death in California

Nov 8, 2022 | Wrongful Death

Car accidents involving death happen because of someone else’s carelessness. Although various things might cause them, deadly automobile accidents are the most frequent.

Unfortunately, this can happen when a negligent driver engages in unsafe driving practices, for example:

  • Excessive Speeding
  • Talking on a cellphone
  • Texting
  • Driving when intoxicated, etc…
  • Tailgating
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Violating road rules

While nothing can bring your loved one back, you can feel justified and get money from the driver who caused the accident. Thus, you can make a wrongful death claim with the insurance provider.

Instead, the family members of the victim will have the option to file two different lawsuits: a wrongful death action or a survival action.

What Is a Wrongful Death Action in California?

A wrongful death action is a civil lawsuit in which the plaintiff seeks compensation for losing a loved one. In some circumstances, the negligent party may also be charged with crimes.

A wrongful death action is a civil claim to get compensation for someone’s loss of a loved one. The negligent party can sometimes also be convicted for separate criminal charges.

Usually, people file wrongful death claims in the following cases:

  • Car accidents
  • Bicycle or motorcycle accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Child injury accidents
  • Intentional actions, which can contain a distinct criminal case

When Can You File a Car Accidents Death Claim in California?

Numerous circumstances allow one to file a lawsuit for wrongful death in California after a fatal auto collision. Therefore, as a surviving family member of a victim, you will first need to prove the following elements for a valid wrongful death lawsuit:

  • The defendant had a duty of care and responsibility towards the victim.

The defendant had a legal responsibility to do everything to prevent harm to the loved one. According to California law, all drivers are obliged to drive in a way that does not injure others.

  • The defendant breached his duty of care towards the victim

This means that the defendant committed wrongdoing and breached his duty of care towards the victim.

  • The defendant’s wrongful actions caused the deadly car accident.

The defendant is directly responsible for the car accident that claimed the life of your loved one.

  • You suffered the compensable loss.

To clarify, your loved one’s passing must have caused your family to experience financial or nonfinancial losses, such as the absence of the decedent’s companionship, care, and earnings.

Thus, you will probably be able to obtain a settlement or jury decision that compensates you and your loved ones for both concrete and intangible damages if you or your wrongful death attorney can demonstrate that these aspects are more likely true than false.

Moreover, the victim’s family can have a different claim against the reckless driver for additional damages, like the medical costs related to their injuries before they passed away.

Who Has the Right to Bring a Case for Car Accidents Death Involving Accidents?

According to California law, only certain people can file a wrongful death claim for compensation, including:

  • The victim’s spouse or domestic partner
  • The victim’s children
  • The victim’s grandchild, if his or her child passed away

Under California’s intestate succession laws, anyone entitled to the victim’s property can file a wrongful death action if no family member is listed above. This can also include the victim’s siblings and parents too.

Additionally, some people who were financially reliant on the victims at the time of the accident may be able to file a wrongful death claim. They include:

  • Putative spouse
  • Children of the putative spouse
  • Stepchildren
  • Victim’s parents
  • The legal guardian of the victim

Contact a Los Angeles Attorney Today

Certainly, you will receive support, advice, and representation from the KAASS LAW wrongful death and automobile accident attorneys at this difficult time. Give our office a call at 310-933-5171 and visit our other website for more information.