win a wrongful death lawsuit

Getting through the complex and emotional terrain of a wrongful death lawsuit can be painful for any family. Wrongful death cases arise from a tragic nexus of personal loss and legal responsibility, seeking to hold individuals, companies, or entities accountable for the preventable demise of a loved one.


For those considering their legal options after such a loss, gaining a clear understanding of the process, the challenges, and the strategic paths to success is important.


In this blog, we will look into how to win a wrongful death lawsuit, exploring the defining factors that point to a successful case and providing insights that could tip the scales towards justice.



Defining Wrongful Death in Bakersfield

At the heart of every wrongful death lawsuit in California lies the tragedy of a life lost unnaturally and unjustly.


In Bakersfield, as with the rest of the state, the law provides a means for certain family members and dependents (surviving spouse, domestic partner, etc.) to pursue legal action when their loved one’s death was due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional action of another party.


Wrongful death claims can stem from a myriad of personal injury incidents, including automobile crashes, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and more. It is crucial to recognize that each of these situations carries unique legal nuances that can significantly impact the success of a lawsuit.

Key Elements to Prove a Wrongful Death Claim
in California

key elements to prove a wrongful death claim in california

The chances of winning a Bakersfield wrongful death lawsuit hinges on establishing the following key elements:

The Duty of the Defendant

To win a wrongful death lawsuit, demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased. This can vary from the obligation to operate a vehicle safely to the responsibility of a medical professional to provide a certain standard of care.

Breach of Duty

Proving that the defendant violated their duty, either through an act or omission that resulted in the death of the victim.

What Caused the Death

Establishing a direct link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the death of the decedent.

Economic and Non-Economic Damages

Articulating the financial and emotional impact the death has had on the surviving family members, justifying the compensation sought.

These elements mandate comprehensive evidence gathering, expert testimony, and legal strategy steeped in California law. The wrongful death settlement process can be complex and emotionally taxing for those involved, which is why seeking the guidance of a skilled wrongful death attorney is crucial.

Factors Affecting a California Wrongful Death Settlement

The elements of a wrongful death suit serve as the foundation for determining the amount of compensation that should be awarded to the surviving family members. However, there are other factors that can also affect the outcome of a settlement and increase your chances to win a wrongful death lawsuit.

Impact of Evidence and Witness Testimony

In the context of a wrongful death claim in California, the strength of the evidence can significantly sway the outcome.
Documented details of the incident, medical records, accident reports, and expert opinions can all serve as critical pieces of the evidential puzzle. Witness testimony, if available, may be able to offer powerful insights into the circumstances surrounding the death — further helping to win your case.

Role of Negligence and Liability Laws in California

Bakersfield is bound by California’s negligence and liability laws, which, in the context of wrongful death action, provide a framework for determining fault.


Comparative negligence, which allocates responsibility based on the actions of both the deceased and the defendant, can impact the final settlement or judgment amount. Understanding these laws and how they apply to wrongful death verdicts is a necessary component of any legal strategy.

File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit: The Legal Process
in Bakersfield

A Bakersfield wrongful death lawsuit typically follows these general steps:

  1. Filing the Complaint: The legal process begins with the filing of a formal complaint detailing the allegations against the defendant.
  2. Discovery Phase: This phase allows both parties to gather evidence and information from each other.
  3. Pre-Trial Settlement Negotiation: Parties may engage in settlement discussions to avoid a trial.
  4. Trial: If a settlement is not reached, the case proceeds to trial where a judge or jury will decide the outcome or final settlement amount.
  5. Appeal: Either party can appeal the decision if there are grounds to do so.

The role of an experienced wrongful death lawyer is critical in each phase of the legal process. An attorney will ensure that all necessary evidence is gathered and presented effectively, negotiate on your behalf during settlement discussions, and provide strong representation during trial.


The goal is to obtain just financial compensation for the death of your loved one and hold the responsible party accountable for their wrongful acts.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

In Bakersfield, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is generally two years from the date of the death. However, exceptions may apply in certain cases, emphasizing the importance of swift legal action and consultation with an experienced attorney.

Challenges and Common Mistakes in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California

Mistakes can challenge the chances of winning a wrongful death case. Missteps in the gathering of evidence, inappropriate communication with the defendant’s representatives, or failure to adhere to legal timelines can all undermine its strength.


Those who want to bring a wrongful death case forward should avoid making these common mistakes:

  • Not seeking proper legal guidance
  • Attempting to negotiate with insurance companies without representation
  • Settling for less than what their case is worth
  • Not properly documenting and preserving evidence
  • Failing to comply with court deadlines and procedures

Is It Hard to Win a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Bakersfield? How an Attorney Can Help You Succeed in a Wrongful Death Case.

The challenges of winning a personal injury lawsuit in Bakersfield are as significant as they are in any other jurisdiction. However, with the right approach, legal expertise, and support, achieving a favorable outcome is within reach.


Handling a wrongful death case is not something that can or should be done alone. Seek out the expertise of a law firm that specializes in securing damages in a wrongful death claim in California.


With the right legal champions by your side, the path to justice can be navigated successfully, ensuring both redress for the past and security for the future. RTM Law Firm is your ally.


Call us for a free consultation. We don’t charge any fees until we win.




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