Losing a loved one can be extremely difficult, especially when it occurs as the result of someone else's negligence. California law does enable you to seek damages for your losses through pursuing a wrongful death claim. When doing so, you should be familiar with when and how to go about filing the lawsuit.
When it comes to liability for personal injury, wrongful death and survival actions, under some circumstances it is not only individuals and companies that can be held accountable but also the state of California itself. This potential liability exposure is the subject of an ongoing review by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) of guardrails that have been installed in this state which have been found to be potentially defective in another state.
A fatal accident resulting in the loss of a loved one takes a toll on the family of the victim. Unlike a death caused by a serious illness, families do not have time to prepare themselves and say their goodbyes when a family member dies suddenly in an accident. It only adds to the tragedy when the accident is caused by a driver who might have been intoxicated.
Most people have thought about what the effect would be on their family if they died a sudden and avoidable death. That is one of the reasons why so many people purchase life insurance, to avoid the negative effects that their untimely demise might otherwise have on their loved ones.
Just because police officers may be acquitted of criminal wrongdoing in an incident involving the death of an individual does not necessarily mean that they may not be liable for civil charges. This is a conclusion that may be drawn from a case out of Santa Ana involving two police officers and the death of a homeless man.
The recent killing of a 32-year-old woman in San Francisco, allegedly by an undocumented immigrant who had been convicted of seven prior felonies and deported five times from the United States -- but who was staying in the city under its "sanctuary" policy -- has many people looking in different directions to decide who other than the accused killer may have been responsible for his being free at the time of the murder, despite an apparent request to the city by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be notified upon his release from jail in San Francisco, a request that the city rejected.
Wrongful death claims in California can lead to confusion in a number of ways. Most people, when they contemplate filing a lawsuit based on a physical injury, think in terms of injury to themselves; but a wrongful death claim relates to injuries suffered by someone else. Furthermore, it can be challenging to understand how a wrongful death lawsuit can be proven in court when the person directly involved -- the decedent -- is unavailable to testify. Finally, questions can arise as to who is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, especially given the changing nature of family relationships. What happens if the decedent has no immediate surviving family? Can ex-spouses or children born out of wedlock qualify as plaintiffs?
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office, Bruce Jenner was the driver of one of four vehicles involved in a multiple-vehicle fatal car accident that happened on Feb. 7. The accident reportedly occurred on the Pacific Coast Highway near Coral Canyon road just after 12 p.m.
A 47-year-old pedestrian died in an accident in Irvine on Dec. 10. The accident reportedly occurred in front of a high school on Bryan Avenue. According to police, the investigation into the accident is ongoing.
The California Highway Patrol reported that a 24-year-old man was killed in a crash on Interstate 80 in Roseville in the morning hours of Nov. 1. Another man sustained injuries in the crash. Both individuals were passengers in a vehicle when the driver reportedly collided with a tree while trying to avoid a car that had stalled in the road. The driver was employed by a ridesharing service.