Central Coast Wrongful Death Attorney Serving San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Monterey
We expect to live a normal human lifespan into our seventies and eighties, and we expect the same for those we love. When death takes a loved one prematurely, it is always devastating. But when the death was entirely preventable, never should have happened, and was caused by someone’s negligent or careless act, it may be simply too much to bear. When a beloved member of your family is snatched away without warning, through no fault on their part or yours, and you are left with nothing but your grief, a pile of medical bills and funeral expenses, and perhaps even the loss of your family’s income, you may be overwhelmed with anger and sorrow and unsure of what to do next. A San Luis Obispo wrongful death lawyer knows how to act, and can help you through the entire legal process. Call one immediately if your family is suffering from a death caused by negligence.
Defining Wrongful Death
Any premature death for any reason is likely to feel “wrongful” to a bereaved family, but the term “wrongful death” has a specific legal meaning in California law: the death of a person caused by the willful or wrongful act or negligence of another. Wrongful death may occur as a result of a traffic, premises, or workplace accident; medical malpractice; a defective product; a dangerous drug or medical device; or a deliberate violent act.
A wrongful death entitles survivors of the deceased to bring a civil action and attempt to recover a financial award verdict as compensation for the financial and emotional damages they’ve suffered.
The California wrongful death statute allows for a personal representative to bring a legal action on behalf of the decedent’s estate and certain family members: a surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, or grandchildren, or survivors, who would be entitled to inherit from the deceased.
Why You Should Pursue a Recovery
You may be feeling so overwhelmed with grief that you can’t face the thought of a legal action. It may seem crass to place a dollar value on the immeasurable loss of someone you love. It is normal to feel this way. When you turn to the law office of personal injury and wrongful death attorney Jude Basile law, you will be removing some of the burden from your shoulders, allowing a skilled, knowledgeable, and compassionate lawyer to assume the responsibility for the legal tasks, leaving you and your family the time you need to recover, grieve, and come to terms with your loss.
Jude Basile has been helping bereaved families who have lost a loved one in a wrongful death for nearly thirty years in San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Santa Barbara. He understands that no amount of money can compensate adequately for the loss of a human life, and he knows how difficult it is to have to relive the death and focus on your loss when you are grieving. But there are important reasons to begin now to pursue a recovery for a wrongful death:
- Holding the person responsible for your loss helps you to achieve closure. With closure comes acceptance of what you can’t change, and the ability to move on.
- Achieving justice, and holding the person, whose wrongdoing caused this, accountable for the terrible suffering you and your family are going through. The loss of a human life is a terrible injustice and tragedy, and it is only right to do whatever you can to achieve as near to a just resolution as the law allows. In some cases, criminal penalties may also apply, but they do nothing to help you and your family. That’s where a civil action can help.
- Help with your expenses and financial losses. If your family depended on the deceased person for financial support, you may be experiencing financial difficulties resulting from the loss of income. You may have incurred funeral expenses and final medical bills, if there was time between the injury and death. Financial worries only add to your emotional suffering. Compensation can help relieve your economic burden.
- Statutes of Limitations, or legal time limits under California law on filing a wrongful death action. Although you may find it hard to face a legal action when you are grieving, if you don’t act now, you could lose your right to pursue a wrongful death recovery and hold the wrongdoer accountable to you and your family, because California restricts the amount of time you have to file a wrongful death action.
Damages That Can Be Recovered in a California Wrongful Death Action
These are some of the types of damages that California law allows surviving family members to claim in a wrongful death action:
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
- Income and benefits that the deceased would have earned for the benefit of the family in the course of that person’s life expectancy
- Grief and mental anguish
- Loss of love, companionship, affection, support, and guidance
- The reasonable value of household services that the decedent would have provided
- Punitive damages as additional punishment for the defendant when the wrongdoing was exceptionally egregious and unconscionable, demonstrating a gross and blatant disregard for the life of your loved one
- The expenses for medical treatment and related expenses for the injuries of the deceased between the accident and the death
- Loss of consortium; loss of love, comfort, and affection resulting from the death
- In cases of flagrant disregard for human life, punitive damage to punish the wrongdoer and deter the behavior in the future
Free Legal Case Review by a Compassionate and Successful San Luis Obispo Wrongful Death Lawyer
Jude Basile understands that this is a difficult time for you, and is deeply committed to providing you the support you need and justice for you and your family. Call The Basile Law Firm in San Luis Obispo today for a free consultation and allow Jude to help relieve the burden on your family as the result of a wrongful death. He helps clients throughout the Central Coast region, including Monterey and Santa Barbara.