Let A Skilled, Compassionate And Dedicated Lawyer Handle Your Wrongful Death Case
Grieving for the loss of a loved one is an extremely difficult time for anyone. If you have recently suffered a loss, we extend our condolences during this very difficult time. While the emotional pain caused by a loss can seem overwhelming, this is particularly true when the death was caused by someone else’s carelessness. The Orange County based Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams can fight on your behalf both to recover compensation from the person or company responsible.
Unfortunately, careless acts resulting death occur in Orange County with alarming frequency. Whether a driver gets behind the wheel on the 405 Freeway after drinking, the driver of a car or truck acts recklessly or a company produces or sells a dangerous product, death can tragically result.
No matter how it happens, the surviving loved ones should be able to recover for their losses and the people responsible must be held to account. While it goes without saying that no amount of money can compensate for this type of loss, finding a great personal injury lawyer can help ease the financial burdens caused by the death.
After the death of a family member, you are in no position deal with insurance companies, or their adjustors and lawyers, whose sole purpose is to pay you as little as possible for your losses. You need the help of a skilled and experienced attorney who can fight those battles for you. Insurance companies know they have the upper hand in dealing with people who are not represented by skilled legal counsel and use various well-known strategies to settle claims for the lowest amount they can. You need someone on your side who can effectively counter those tactics.
Our Firm Can Effectively Handle Your Wrongful Death Claim
Based in Irvine, California, the Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams is different than other personal injury law firms. Many personal injury firms operate by bringing in as many cases as they can and settling them as quickly as possible. We believe our firm is different and we work hard to be different by placing our clients’ needs first. We take a compassionate, personalized approach to every case, because every case and every client is different. We pursue each case, whether large or small, with the same dedication and commitment. We value our clients’ input on their cases and keep them advised and informed each step of the way. We communicate regularly with our clients and return telephone calls promptly.
If you retain us for your wrongful death case, we will handle all aspects of insurance claims, case filings, mediations, arbitrations, settlement and trial. You will be in good hands. Also, because our firm takes wrongful death claims on a contingency basis, you will pay nothing until you recover.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?
California law allows certain people with a close relationship to the deceased person to sue for wrongful death. Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60, the following people may recover in a wrongful death lawsuit:
- The surviving spouse, if the person was married at the time of death;
- A surviving domestic partner, which means, “a person who, at the time of the decedent’s death, was the domestic partner of the decedent in a registered domestic partnership”;
- Any children of the deceased person;
- If there are no surviving children, even if there is or is not a spouse or domestic partner, then anyone who would be entitled to inherit property through “intestate succession,” (meaning the inheritance rules that would apply assuming assuming the deceased person did not have a will);
- If at the time of death, there were individuals dependent on the deceased person, including a “putative spouse,” the children of the putative spouse, stepchildren or parents of the deceased. (A “putative spouse” means the surviving spouse of a void or voidable marriage who is found by the court to have believed in good faith that the marriage to the decedent was valid);
- A minor, if that minor had resided with the person for 180 days in the person’s home and was dependent on the person for at least half of the child’s support.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
California law allows wrongful death plaintiffs who successfully prove that the death was caused by the fault of another person to recover a number of different types of damages. The first type is called “economic damages.” These are damages related to the financial loss the plaintiff suffered because of the death, such as loss of the financial support the person would have provided had he or she lived, the value of gifts or other economic benefits the plaintiff could have expected to receive, funeral and burial expenses and the reasonable value of “household services” the person would have provided.
The law also provides for recovery for “non-economic damages.” These are intangible losses, such as loss of decedent’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support. A surviving spouse or domestic partner can also recover for loss of sexual relations.
How Long Do I Have to Make a Wrongful Death Claim?
The statute of limitations in California for wrongful death is two years in most cases. Much shorter limitations periods apply in some cases, such as when the government is at fault, were a claim must be made in as little as 6 months. It is important that you act quickly. As time passes, evidence is lost and memories fade. The quicker a capable lawyer becomes involved, the more complete the investigation will be and the more money you are likely to recover.
Contact Our Orange County Office for a Free Consultation
If your loved one has been killed in an accident, give the Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams a call today at 949-679-9909 for a free consultation. You can also contact us through the form below and we will respond promptly.