When you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one in a car crash, it can be difficult to see past the grief. A wrongful death case may seem like too much work when you’d rather just settle in with your memories and put this horrible trauma behind you.
You may believe a claim will stir up too much pain, stress, and emotional trauma—we understand how you feel. But someone was responsible for the death of your loved one, and that person should be held to account for his or her actions.
When you join forces with a Los Angeles fatal car accident lawyer to sue the responsible party in civil court, you’re standing up for your loved one and all others who may be injured because of reckless and irresponsible drivers.
Why do I need a Fatal Car Accidents Attorney in California?
If you have lost a loved one in a deadly car accident in the Los Angeles area, knowing how to proceed with your life can be challenging. Our fatal car accident attorney in Los Angeles can assist you in overcoming any and all legal challenges you are now facing during this challenging time. We can take the following steps to help win your personal injury case.
- Investigate the vehicle accident that took the life of your loved one
- Identify who are the party at fault
- Formulate a legal strategy suited to your unique case
- Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company
- Estimate the actual value of your car accident claim
- Collate accident-related medical records and medical bills of your beloved
- Talk to the accident scene witnesses and experts
- Represent you in court procedures if you decide to file a lawsuit
- Guide you in navigating your personal injury lawsuit
Our personal injury law office can be an invaluable resource after the fatal crash in Los Angeles that took your loved one’s life. We’ll go over the specifics of your case while providing you with courteous assistance. Our team may advise you to settle with the other driver’s insurance company or go to court. Either way, you can count on our Los Angeles fatal auto accident lawyers to fight for you. Get in touch with us now!
Common Causes of Los Angeles Fatal Car Accidents
Fatal motor vehicle accidents are usually the result of a driver’s negligent or reckless behavior or negligent failure to act. Here are some examples of driver negligence:
- Big Truck Accidents
- Distracted driving
- Failure to obey traffic rules
- Fatigue driving
- Reckless driving
- Failing to yield to oncoming traffic
- Texting while driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to observe pedestrians
- Failing to signal before changing lanes
- Making an improper left turn
- Vehicle malfunction
- Bad weather conditions
If you are uncertain as to whether the other driver’s negligence caused the death of your loved one, a Los Angeles fatal accident lawyer can help you assess your situation and establish liability.
Wrongful Death in a Los Angeles Car Accident
A wrongful death claim can be filed when a person dies due to another party’s negligent or reckless behavior. In the case of a wrongful death auto accident, the following elements of negligence must be proven:
- The other driver owed your loved one a duty of care.
- The defendant breached that duty.
- That defendant’s breach was the direct cause of your loved one’s death.
- Your loved one’s death resulted in actual damages such as medical bills, hospitalization, loss of income, and other potential earnings)
All drivers in Los Angeles are responsible for operating their vehicles safely and avoiding endangering other drivers and pedestrians. While this appears to be straightforward, proving the necessary elements of negligence requires the assistance of an experienced Los Angeles wrongful death attorney.
Who Maybe Liable for My Loved One's Death?
The circumstances surrounding the fatal car crash may impact who is responsible for damages. It is quite likely that the other driver was at fault in this incident. If it’s not the case, the city, the vehicle manufacturer, the driver’s employer, or other parties may be held liable for the accident.
Working with Los Angeles fatal car accident attorneys is recommended since determining guilt is often difficult and time-consuming. They can assist in determining which parties are liable and what may be required to demonstrate liability.
Who Is Permitted to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Los Angeles?
After a fatal vehicle collision, you may need to know whether you can file a claim for wrongful death. Here is a list of who may file after a loved one’s death in California:
- The deceased person’s spouse or domestic partner
- Children of the deceased, including stepchildren
- Parents of the deceased
- Dependent minors living in the deceased person’s household
If the deceased had no surviving children, then others who would be entitled to the deceased person’s estate may qualify to file a wrongful death claim after a fatal Los Angeles car accident.
Compensation for a Fatal Vehicle Wreck in LA
Seeking compensation via a wrongful death claim may seem like benefiting from a loved one’s death, but that’s not the case at all. The money can be used for a variety of reasons—to honor your loved one’s memory, to set up driving safety awareness programs, or to be given to charities.
Even if you do use the money from a successful LA car crash wrongful death claim to provide for your family’s future, your loved one would more than likely want you to. Remember, you didn’t ask for the person you cared about to be taken from you by a negligent or reckless person.
You already know that no amount of money could ever make what happened to your family member acceptable, but your award could be used to compensate for things like the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Accident-related medical bills acquired before your loved one passed away
- Pain and suffering
- Mental trauma and mental health services
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of the deceased’s income
Los Angeles Fatal Car Accident Statute of Limitations
In the state of California, the deceased family who is lawfully eligible has two years to file a wrongful death claim. The two-year period commences from the time of the individual’s death. Suppose the incident causes the accident victim to be in a coma for a year before passing away. The statute of limitations for wrongful death begins to run upon the victim’s death, not the date of the accident.
The statute of limitations contains an important exception known as the “discovery rule.” In cases where the cause of a person’s death was unknown at the time of death but is later discovered, the amount of time that person’s family has to file a wrongful death lawsuit may be extended.
If the wrongful death case is against a government entity, such as a road design litigation against the state of California, the heirs of the decedent have only six months to submit a fatal car accident claim. The government entity will normally deny the personal injury claim within 45 days, and the heirs have another six months to initiate a lawsuit.
To ensure you don’t lose the chance to obtain justice and fair compensation, seek legal advice from a Los Angeles personal injury attorney.
Call a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Vehicle Collision Attorney
There are many reasons why you may want to file a wrongful death claim—to assist with payment of funeral and burial expenses, payment of medical costs incurred before your loved one passed away, or to use the money as income if your loved one was the family provider.
Don’t delay your decision. You have only two years to file a wrongful death claim in California. An attorney with Haffner Law can help you with the personal injury claim process, but we also want to see you get the money you deserve in order to right a terrible wrong.
To speak with a Los Angeles fatal car accident lawyer in a free case review, call 1-844-HAFFNER (423-3637) or fill out the online contact form at the bottom of the page.