San Diego Wrongful Death Accident Lawyers

Wrongful Death Lawyer in San Diego

There is nothing more devastating than losing a family member. However, losing them because of another person’s wrongful action can leave loved ones in an unbearable situation filled with countless questions, immense anger and sadness, and financial uncertainty.

If you lost a loved one due to another person’s reckless, negligent, or careless actions, consider contacting an experienced San Diego wrongful death lawyer at Rawlins Law. Our legal team can promptly look into your case, determine what legal options you have, and help you fight for the closure and justice you and your family deserve.

Rawlins Law—How Our Law Firm Can Help You

Top 40 Under 40 National Trail Lawyers

At Rawlins Law, APC, our firm has gained a solid reputation for vigorously fighting for and representing our clients, as well as taking on a large variety of cases, including everything from personal injury claims to car accident cases and even wrongful death claims. However, no matter what case we work on, we pride ourselves in offering our clients honest, ethical, and compassionate representation.

As a result of this dedication and drive, we have not only won millions of dollars for our clients through settlement negotiations and trial verdicts but, in the process, helped countless individuals obtain justice for their injuries.

For these reasons, contact Rawlins Law, APC, if you lost a loved one in a San Diego wrongful death accident for a free case consultation. Our legal team can discuss your situation over the phone or at one of our conveniently located offices, including our San Diego location, off of Camino Del Rio North, near Mission City Pkwy.

San Diego Wrongful Death Guide

What Is a Wrongful Death and a San Diego Wrongful Death Claim?

In California, wrongful death refers to a death caused by another person’s or entity’s negligence or misconduct. However, due to this death, surviving family members or the estate can file a wrongful death claim against the party that caused the death and pursue financial damages for their losses.

These damages are one of the significant differences between a criminal homicide case and a wrongful death lawsuit. A criminal defendant would likely be penalized with jail, prison time, and other sanctions, while in a wrongful death case, the defendant’s punishment is to compensate the victim’s family.

Additionally, in a criminal case, the defendant’s guilt must be established by the highest standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. In a wrongful death claim, liability needs to be shown by the lower standard of a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that it is more likely than not that the wrongful party is responsible for the person’s death.

Proving a Wrongful Death Claim in San Diego

Before you can pursue a wrongful death legal claim in San Diego and go after compensation for this death and your losses, you need proof that:

  • A person passed away.
  • The death was the result of another person’s intentional actions or negligence.
  • The surviving family members sustained financial damages as a result of this death, and
  • The deceased’s estate appointed a personal representative.

Unfortunately, proving all of these factors can get rather complicated, especially as you try to establish the extent of your losses. Thankfully, you do not have to do it on your own. Instead, when you work with an experienced San Diego wrongful death attorney, these lawyers can handle this whole legal process for you and try to find evidence to establish each of these elements and show that you have a valid legal claim.

Types of Accidents That Can Lead to a Wrongful Death in San Diego

Wrongful death claims arise when another person is responsible for someone’s death, which can occur in many situations, including:

As a result, if you want to know whether you have a valid wrongful death claim following the loss of your loved one, consider contacting an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.

At Rawlins Law, our legal team can promptly review your case, assess the situation, thoroughly go over your questions, and help you determine what legal action you can take next. But, more importantly, we can also handle this whole legal process for you, allowing you to focus on more important things, such as your family and healing after a traumatic loss.

The Time Limitations Involved with a San Diego Wrongful Death Claim

If you lost a loved one because of another person’s wrongful actions, under California law, you only have two years from the individual’s death to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. If you do not file your suit within this time, you may no longer bring legal action or go after the compensation you and your family deserve.

This period can change depending on the situation and whether any exceptions apply. For these reasons, if you want to make sure that you file your wrongful death claim before time runs out, contact a knowledgeable San Diego wrongful death lawyer at Rawlins Law as soon as you can.

Our legal professionals can verify how much time you have to file your suit and make sure they submit the appropriate paperwork and motions before this deadline expires.

Who Can Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim in San Diego?

Unfortunately, only certain people can file a wrongful death lawsuit in California.

These individuals include:

  • The deceased’s surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • The deceased’s children
  • The deceased’s grandchildren, if the decease’s children have also passed away
  • The deceased’s stepchildren, if they were financially dependent on the deceased
  • Other individuals who may be entitled to the property based on California’s laws on intestate succession

Discuss your relationship to the deceased with a San Diego wrongful death attorney to determine if you have standing to sue for wrongful death. These knowledgeable lawyers can help you determine whether you can file a wrongful death case, determine the financial damages you can pursue, and help you fight for maximum compensation.

What Financial Damages Can You Obtain in a San Diego Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Financial damages refer to payment for the losses that individuals sustain in a personal injury case. As a result, when it comes to damages in a wrongful death case, they are awarded to compensate the decedent’s family members for the value of the support they reasonably could have expected to receive from the deceased had they survived.

These damages usually break down into the following categories:

Economic Damages

These damages include:

  • Financial support the decedent would have provided to their family during their lifetime
  • The loss of benefits or gifts the beneficiary could have expected to obtain from the decedent
  • Burial expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • The reasonable value of domestic services the decedent could have provided

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, usually include payment for the more subjective losses that the family experiences after the decedent’s loss.

These losses generally include:

  • The loss of society and companionship
  • The loss of protection
  • The loss of moral support and affection
  • The loss of sexual relations
  • The loss of training and guidance

To determine which of these damages may apply to your wrongful death claim, consider discussing your case with an experienced San Diego wrongful death attorney at Rawlins Law. Our lawyer can thoroughly review your case, determine which of these damages you should pursue, and help you fight for the maximum compensation you and your loved ones need.

Actions That Can Help Your San Diego Wrongful Death Claim

While taking legal action after the death of a loved one may not be a priority, it is important to realize that the steps you take after this loss can help you fight for the justice and compensation you and your family deserve.

That is why if your loved one was killed because of another person’s intentional, reckless, or other wrongful actions, you should consider doing the following as soon as possible:

Get Your Loved One’s Death Certificate

Before taking any legal action, you must obtain a death certificate to show proof of death. To do this in San Diego, contact the Vital Records and Statistics Office of the County’s Health and Human Services Agency. However, you should also check with the mortuary before contacting the Vital Records division, as they may be able to provide the certificate faster.

Try to Gather Evidence Following the Accident

If possible, you should try to obtain as much evidence from the wrongful death accident. Relevant evidence includes pictures and videos of the accident scene, any police and medical reports available, bills and receipts that resulted from the wrongful death, and any other evidence that can help demonstrate what happened and who was responsible for this wrongful death.

Check With Witnesses

If anyone saw the incident, try to get their contact information, including their names, phone number, and email address. These witnesses can provide you and your attorney with further details regarding the incident and offer testimony that can substantiate your legal claim.

However, if you cannot find these witnesses or gather the above evidence on your own, do not worry. Once you retain a San Diego wrongful death lawyer, these legal professionals can begin investigating the wrongful death and work on obtaining this evidence for you.

Do Not Say Too Much

As you talk to others after the incident, you also want to watch what you say. Avoid making conclusive statements about what you believe happened, blaming your loved one for the incident, or apologizing for what happened. The other side can use these comments to hurt your wrongful death claim and stop you from getting all the compensation you deserve.

Provide Evidence to Your Wrongful Death Lawyer

When you meet with your wrongful death attorney for the first time, bring all the evidence you have, including any bills that resulted from the wrongful death and any other documents indicated above. Your lawyer can use this evidence to determine what happened, prepare the strongest legal case on your behalf, and help you go after all the financial damages you are entitled to for losing your loved one.

If you lost a family member due to the wrongful actions of another, do not go through this devastating time alone. Instead, contact Rawlins Law to determine your legal options and how you can go after the monetary damages you and your family need.

Once hired, our lawyers can:

  • Go over your questions and concerns in depth, and provide you with the legal support you need during this tragic time.
  • Investigate the wrongful death accident and gather the evidence required to show what happened and who was responsible.
  • Determine the value of your claim by assessing how losing your loved one impacted your family.
  • Handle all aspects of your case, including preparing and filing necessary motions, files, and documents.
  • Handle all the discussions and negotiations with the insurer and ensure your legal claim is treated fairly and respectfully.
  • Take your wrongful death claim to trial if the other side refuses to provide you with a just settlement, and fight for maximum financial damages.

Do not wait any longer. Contact Rawlins Law today at (858) 529-5872 for your free case evaluation, and let us show you how we can fight for your rights and help you get the financial support you need during a challenging time.