Wrongful Death Lawyer in Stockton CA

California Personal Injury Attorney
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Helping Families File Wrongful Death & Survival Actions

If someone else’s misconduct caused your loved one’s death, seeking accountability in the civil legal system can help your family obtain justice and needed compensation. At Drake Law Firm, our award-winning attorneys are available to speak with families about their rights following fatal accidents caused by negligence. We focus exclusively on fighting for the injured and wronged and have recovered over $150 million in compensation for our clients. 

Discuss your case and how Drake Law Firm can help during a FREE consultation. Our Stockton wrongful death lawyers serve families throughout California.

Fighting for Justice: How Drake Law Firm Can Help

At Drake Law Firm, our legal team draws from more than 100 years of combined experience to help families in a range of civil wrongful death and survival actions, including those involving:

  • Motor vehicle accidents: We represent families who have lost loved ones in fatal motor vehicle collisions, including car wrecks, bus and truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents.
  • Workplace accidents: Our attorneys can help you explore options for bringing civil claims against negligent third parties responsible for workplace or construction accidents.
  • Property accidents: We help families investigate property accidents for potential premises liability claims against landowners, property managers, or other negligent parties responsible for fatal incidents such as explosions and fires, electrocution, drowning, and more.
  • Defective products: If a dangerous product or substance caused your loved one’s death, we can evaluate potential product liability claims against manufacturers, retailers, and / or distributors.
  • Abuse and neglect: If your loved one passed because they were abused or neglected in a nursing home or facility responsible for their care, we can explore your options for legal action.
  • Intentional misconduct: Families can bring wrongful death lawsuits in cases involving intentional misconduct or crime, such as assault, homicide, or manslaughter. Our firm can help evaluate your grounds for a civil claim, which is separate from any criminal case.

How a California Wrongful Death Case Works

Wrongful death cases are claims brought against parties alleged to have caused someone’s death due to negligent or wrongful acts. 

As torts, these claims are handled in the civil justice system and are separate legal actions from criminal cases. This means civil wrongful death lawsuits:

  • Focus on fault and financial liability rather than criminal guilt.
  • Allow surviving family members to obtain financial compensation for their damages.
  • Use a lower burden of proof than “beyond a reasonable doubt” and can be filed even when no criminal charges are brought or when defendants are acquitted in criminal court.

In California, the following claims are typically brought as part of a wrongful death case:

  • Wrongful death actions, which are brought by surviving family members for damages that can include burial and funeral expenses, lost financial support and benefits a decedent would have provided over the course of their life, lost household services, and lost emotional support. 
  • Survival actions, which are brought on behalf of a victim’s estate for damages they would have been entitled to had they lived. This can include hospital and medical bills incurred prior to death, pain and suffering experienced by a decedent, and property loss.
  • Loss of consortium claims, which can be brought by surviving spouses or domestic partners for lost intimacy and companionship.

Eligible Family Members: Who Can Bring a Claim?

California permits the following surviving family members to bring wrongful death actions:

  • Surviving spouses / domestic partners
  • Children
  • Grandchildren (if the victim’s children are also deceased)
  • Stepchildren or dependents, 
  • Relatives entitled to the victim’s estate by law.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Wrongful death actions are subject to a type of legal deadline known as the statute of limitations. If too much time passes after an accident and the statute of limitations expires, families will lose the right to file claims and recover compensation for their damages.

In California, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is generally two years from the date of death. However, this can vary from case to case – as some situations may result in the tolling, or delay, of the statute of limitations, or a shorter statute of limitations.

Because filing a timely claim is critical to recovering compensation, it is strongly advised that you speak with an attorney about your potential case as soon as possible. 

Fatal Workplace / Construction Accidents

While workers’ comp benefits are typically the sole legal remedy for workplace injuries and deaths in California, families who lose loved ones in fatal workplace accidents may have options when it comes to seeking compensation outside of the workers’ compensation system.

Examples of situations where families may be able to file civil claims include:

  • Accidents on multi-employer worksites caused by someone who is not the victim’s employer.
  • Construction accidents caused by negligent third parties.
  • Workplace deaths caused by defective tools, machinery, or other faulty products.
  • Fatal accidents caused by hazardous property conditions landowners failed to address.  

Contact Us for a FREE Case Review 

Drake Law Firm is comprised of compassionate attorneys, paralegals, and support staff who care about clients and their futures. During these difficult times, you can count on our team to provide the support and guidance to pursue the justice you deserve.

To speak with a Stockton wrongful death attorney, call 844-513-7253 for a FREE and confidential consultation

Contact Drake Law Firm for your free initial consultation

Contact Drake Law Firm so I can answer any questions you may have and let you know what I can do to help. If you’re unable to visit our firm, we can come to your home or hospital room.

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