Who Is Responsible For Filing A Wrongful Death Claim?

The death of a friend or loved one is a traumatic experience no matter how it happens. But when that death is caused by the negligence of another person, the stress is increased tenfold. For friends and family, many questions remain about how to handle the situation. Who should call the attorney? When should they call the attorney? What damages can the family receive?  The Rush Injury Law team has experience handling these delicate situations. Here’s a helpful guide on how to proceed with a wrongful death claim.

Wrongful Death vs Accidental Death

Remember there’s a difference between these two terms. An accidental death is usually the fault of the deceased person. Maybe the person blew a stop sign and got hit by a truck or failed to put on their seatbelt during a wet, rainy day. Wrongful death can only be caused by the negligence of another person. If a driver causes an accident because they had been drinking, then you’ll be looking at a wrongful death case.

Who Can Claim Wrongful Death?

The deceased can’t claim for themselves, so this task must be undertaken by a family member or loved one. But California law has specific statutes on who can file a claim like this. Usually, the claim must be made by a surviving family member. A spouse or domestic partner and children of the deceased are usually granted this claim without much hassle, but special exceptions can be made for stepchildren, parents, and other relatives if it can be proved they depended on the deceased person for financial stability.

If no direct relatives or dependents exist, a wrongful death claim can still be filed in California by the person who will receive the deceased person’s assets. This process is known as intestate succession and usually applies to people who die without making a will.

When Must a Claim Be Filed and What Compensation is Available?

In California, eligible parties must file within two years of the death of their loved one. If you don’t file within two years, you’ll likely kiss all possible compensation goodbye. Dealing with a wrongful death can take time to overcome, but make sure you don’t wait too long to make your claim.

Compensation for wrongful death suits comes in two different methods. First, damages are awarded to the estate of the deceased. These typically cover acts from the time of the incident to the death of the individual. Lost wages, medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, and funeral expenses will fall into this category. Next, damages will be awarded to the surviving family members (or dependants). These can be trickier to value since they fall under the non-economic damages statute. Mental anguish, depression, moral support, and future guidance fall under this heading.

Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence can devastate families and communities. If you’ve suffered through the death of a loved one like this, contact Rush Injury Law immediately and schedule a consultation. James Rush will fight to make sure you are properly compensated for having to deal with the unexpected demise of someone you care about.

Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Accidents

The perils we face when behind the wheel are well-known to drivers of all vehicle types. Whether you’re in a sports car, pickup truck, or motorcycle, the rules of the road (and common sense) must be followed to avoid accidents. Operating a vehicle is dangerous. Despite efforts to improve safety in cars and regulations to keep drivers more attentive, motor vehicle accidents are on the rise. The number of automobile fatalities has risen every year since 2014. Fatalities per 100,000 settled to its lowest ever in 2014 at 10.28, but reached 11.59 in 2016. In addition, three million people are hurt in motor vehicle accidents every year, with over 90 deaths per day. Accident injury cases may vary depending on the vehicle involved, so it’s important to know the facts about different types of automobiles.

Car Accidents

Accidents in normal, boring sedans are by far the most common types of accidents. Fortunately, they often also involve the least amount of pain, suffering, and property damage. Still, a car accident shouldn’t be taken lightly. Be sure to get a police report on any accidents and photograph any damages or injuries. Take a trip to the doctor just in case too, you might have injuries that aren’t visible or painful yet.

Truck Accidents

Trucks are bigger and heavier than cars or motorcycles, which is great for hauling construction materials or other massive industrial projects. There’s a downside to the size of trucks however as their size usually means more catastrophic damage or injury to people hit by them. Commercial trucks are even larger, like big-rigs or trash trucks. While they have industrial utility, they also take longer to slow down, have larger blind spots, and generally don’t perform as well as cars. Be wary when driving near large trucks; always stay out of their blind spots and give them a wide berth.

Motorcycle Accidents

Driving a motorcycle is a unique experience you just can’t get if you’re driving a car or truck. There’s a feeling of freedom and excitement that comes from the wind blowing past you and the landscape visible on all sides. Unfortunately, while motorcycle drivers have a clear, unobstructed view of the road, motorcycles are sometimes hard to see for drivers in cars or trucks. Motorcycles are simply more dangerous than other vehicles – the death rate is higher and the coordination and skill required to operate one proficiently is much more taxing than a car. In addition, some riders are resistant to helmet laws, which makes them 11 times more likely to die in an accident. Wear your helmet! Failure to wear a helmet not only increases the chance of death, but it might limit the amount of compensation you can receive in an accident case.

No matter what type of vehicle was involved in your accident, contact Rush Injury Law for a consultation. Accident victims are often entitled to compensation and you don’t want to miss out on a windfall to pay bills and expenses.