In the face of tragedy and loss, RTM Law in Bakersfield, offers a strong, supportive presence in wrongful death cases. We understand the immense grief and disruption such events cause, and we are committed to standing by your side.
Our team of experienced Bakersfield personal injury attorneys combines legal expertise with a deep commitment to advocating for victims and seeking justice. We are known for our proficiency, determination, and most importantly, our track record of securing significant victories. At RTM Law, you’ll find not just legal professionals, but passionate allies in your pursuit of justice and rightful compensation.
What Does Wrongful Death Mean?
Wrongful death is a legal term that refers to the untimely and preventable loss of life caused by someone else’s negligence or misconduct. In these cases, surviving family members may have the right to seek compensation for their loved one’s death through a civil lawsuit.
Common examples of wrongful death include fatal car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and product defects. However, any situation where someone’s actions or inactions result in the loss of a life can be considered a wrongful death case.
Note that wrongful death is classified as a civil case, not a criminal one. This means that the goal is not to punish the responsible party but rather to seek financial compensation for the damages caused by their actions. In contrast, a criminal case seeks to punish a person for their wrongdoing.
Survival Action Defined
Survival action is another type of legal claim that may arise in a wrongful death case. It allows the estate of the deceased person to pursue legal action for any damages that were incurred by the victim before their death, such as pain and suffering or medical expenses.
In simpler terms, a survival action is meant to continue any legal claims that the deceased person would have been entitled to if they had survived. This can include compensation for funeral expenses, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and other financial losses caused by the incident.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Each of these causes of wrongful death involves unique elements and legal considerations, but all share the tragic commonality of preventable loss of life.
This could occur when a healthcare provider, such as a doctor or nurse, causes injury or death to a patient through negligent acts or omissions.
Fatal accidents can happen due to reckless driving, drunk driving, distracted driving or failure to obey traffic laws.
Employers failing to meet safety standards may lead to severe workplace accidents that result in wrongful deaths.
If a product is defective and leads to someone’s death, the manufacturer can be held responsible under product liability law.
Property owners can be held accountable if their negligence in maintaining safe premises leads to fatal injuries.
Although typically handled in criminal court, instances like homicide can also give rise to wrongful death lawsuits in civil court.
Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
An unfortunate reality for some senior citizens is neglect or abuse in nursing homes leading to wrongful death.
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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim
The laws surrounding who can file a wrongful death claim vary from state to state. In Bakersfield, Kern County, the following parties may have the legal standing to file a wrongful death claim:
- ✔ Spouse or domestic partner of the deceased
- ✔ Children of the deceased
- ✔ Parents of the deceased (if there are no surviving spouse or children)
- ✔ Siblings of the deceased (if there are no surviving spouse, children, or parents)
Note that these individuals must be designated beneficiaries in order to file a wrongful death claim. If there are no designated beneficiaries, the court may appoint a representative to file on behalf of the deceased’s estate.
Statute of Limitations:
When To File a Claim for Wrongful Death
The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Bakersfield is two years from the date of the deceased’s passing. However, there are exceptions to this rule depending on the circumstances surrounding the case.
If you believe you have a valid wrongful death claim, it’s important to act quickly and seek legal guidance as soon as possible. A qualified Bakersfield wrongful death attorney can help determine the best course of action for your specific case and ensure that all necessary paperwork and deadlines are met.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
In a wrongful death claim, there are two types of damages that may be awarded: economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to financial losses such as medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost wages. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, cover more intangible losses such as pain and suffering or loss of companionship.
Calculating these damages can be complex and require the expertise of an experienced attorney. They will take into account factors such as the deceased’s age, earning potential, and contributions to their family in order to determine a fair amount for economic damages. Non-economic damages are often subjective and can vary greatly depending on the individual circumstances of each case.
Proving a Wrongful Death Claim
For a case to be considered valid, it must substantiate four crucial legal components with evidence:
- ✔ Duty of Care: The defendant had a responsibility to ensure the safety or well-being of the deceased person.
- ✔ Breach of Duty: This duty of care was not upheld by the defendant.
- ✔ Causation: The failure to uphold the duty of care was a direct contributor to the death.
- ✔ Damages: The death resulted in specific losses or damages for which the plaintiff seeks compensation through the legal process
LOST A LOVED ONE DUE TO SOMEBODY ELSE'S NEGLIGENCE?
Why Trust RTM Law With Your Bakersfield
Wrongful Death Case?
Experience You Can Trust
RTM Law has a team of highly skilled Bakersfield wrongful death attorneys, medical experts, and case managers with extensive knowledge of California’s personal injury laws. Our expertise empowers us to handle complex wrongful death cases with confidence and ease.
At RTM Law, we offer personalized legal strategies for each unique wrongful death case. Your concerns are our priority, and we ensure your voice is heard throughout the legal process.
Our Bakersfield wrongful death attorney has a strong history of securing significant settlements and verdicts in wrongful death cases, totaling millions of dollars in Kern County and throughout California. Trust RTM Law to guide your case confidently and provide financial peace of mind.
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Bakersfield Wrongful Death Attorney: FAQs
How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?
The time limit to file a wrongful death claim varies by state but typically ranges from one to three years from the date of the person’s death. This is known as the statute of limitations and it’s crucial that you file within this timeframe in order to maintain your rights.
Can I still file for personal injury if I cannot afford an attorney?
Yes, at RTM Law we operate on a contingency fee basis which means you do not pay any fees unless we win your case for you. We offer free initial consultations where our Bakersfield wrongful death lawyers discuss your case and explain how we can help.
How does RTM Law approach each case of wrongful death in Bakersfield?
At RTM Law we personalize our legal strategies based on each unique case. We prioritize your concerns and ensure your voice is heard throughout the entire legal process. Our aim is to guide you through this difficult time with empathy and professionalism.
What sets RTM Law apart in wrongful death cases?
Our firm has a strong track record of securing significant settlements in wrongful death cases, totaling millions of dollars. We are experienced, dedicated, and committed to ensuring our clients receive the resolution they deserve. Trust our Bakersfield wrongful death attorneys to navigate your case confidently and provide financial peace of mind.
What happens if I decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
First and foremost, we understand that no amount of money can bring back your loved one. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is often a difficult decision to make, but it is an important step towards seeking justice for your loss. Our team at RTM Law will guide you through the legal process and explain all your options to help you make the best decision for your situation.
What is the one action rule for wrongful death claims in California?
The one action rule for wrongful death claims in California states that only one lawsuit can be filed on behalf of a deceased person. This means that if multiple individuals wish to file a claim for the same wrongful death, they must coordinate and file together as co-plaintiffs. This rule is meant to prevent multiple lawsuits from being filed against the same defendant for the same incident, saving time and resources for all parties involved.
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Hire an Experienced Bakersfield Wrongful Death Lawyer.
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The loss of a loved one is a devastating experience, especially when it happens due to the negligence or misconduct of another person. In these difficult times, filing a wrongful death claim can help you seek justice for your loved one and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
However, navigating the legal process can be overwhelming and confusing, especially during such an emotional time. That’s why it’s crucial to have an experienced Bakersfield wrongful death lawyer by your side. RTM Law Firm has years of experience handling wrongful death cases, serving Bakersfield and the rest of California.
Insurance companies are NOT on your side. They will try to minimize your claim and pay you the least amount possible. That’s where we come in. Our team of attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation for your loss.
Call our California wrongful death attorneys today. We are available 24/7.