San Diego Wrongful Death Accident Lawyers

Wrongful Death Lawyer in San Diego

Wrongful death occurs when a person loses their life due to the negligence or intentional act of another, leading to legal action by the deceased's survivors to seek compensation for their loss.

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.

A wrongful death suit helps get you back on track with a positive wrongful death action.

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. Wrongful death cases and tragic death are devastating for grieving family members left behind.

A fatal accident will change survivors forever. Wrongful death attorneys help survivors and the surviving spouse put their lives back together.

A separate wrongful death claim may be filed against a different party when multiple factors contribute to a person's death, allowing families to seek justice and compensation from all responsible entities. A wrongful death claim based on negligence holds parties accountable for their actions or inactions that directly lead to someone's untimely demise.

Our San Diego wrongful death legal team can promptly look into your case, determine what legal options you have, and help you seek compensation your family deserves.

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.

At Rawlins Law, APC, our dedication to justice and commitment to excellence sets us apart. Spearheaded by the visionary founder and CEO, Ashley Rae Rawlins, our firm embodies the spirit of relentless advocacy and personalized legal services.

Growing up in a small town in Western Massachusetts, Ashley dreamed of becoming an attorney at the age of six. Her journey to becoming an attorney is a testament to her unwavering persistence, tenacity, and deep-seated passion for the law and helping those in need.

Despite having no legal practitioners in her family, her fascination with the law propelled her to excel at the Western New England University School of Law. This eventually led her to Southern California, where she passed the California State Bar Exam through sheer work ethic and faith.

Our firm concentrates on a broad spectrum of personal injury and car accident cases, building a stellar reputation for zealously representing our clients with a unique concierge service—we will come to you!

Renowned for A+ client communication, we pride ourselves on being always available and responding quickly, ensuring you feel supported and valued at every step.

Our client-focused approach is not just a promise but a cornerstone of our practice. Choose Rawlins Law, APC, where your case is our cause, and experience unparalleled dedication to achieving justice for you.

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 Camino Del Rio North, near Mission City Pkwy.

Our concierge service truly sets Rawlins Law, APC apart, underscoring our commitment to convenience and compassionate representation. Understanding that navigating the aftermath of an accident can be challenging, our attorneys are prepared to meet you wherever you are—be it at your home, hospital, or any location of your choosing.

This service is designed to alleviate the stress of logistics, ensuring that your focus remains on recovery while we handle the legal complexities.

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 wrongful death lawsuits, the defendant's punishment is to compensate the victim's family.

In a criminal case, prosecutors establish the defendant's guilt by the highest standard beyond reasonable doubt.

With 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 Liability in a Wrongful Death Claim in San Diego

Before you can pursue a wrongful death legal claim in San Diego and pursue compensation for this death and your losses, you must prove someone else's negligent actions caused the trauma.

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.
  • The deceased's estate appointed a personal representative.
  • Actual financial loss.

Proving all these factors can get complicated, especially as you try to establish the extent of your losses. Thankfully, you do not have to do it alone.

When you work with an experienced San Diego wrongful death attorney, these wrongful death 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 Lead to a Wrongf

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

Wrongful death occurs when another person is responsible for someone's death, which happens 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 discuss your questions, and help you determine what legal action to take next.

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 get 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. If you want to make sure you file your wrongful deaths claim before time runs out, contact a knowledgeable San Diego CA wrongful death lawyer at Rawlins Law as soon as possible.

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 individual losses in a personal injury case. As a result, damages in a wrongful death case to recover compensation to 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
  • Medical 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 damages may apply to your wrongful death claim, consider discussing your case with an experienced San Diego wrongful death attorney at Rawlins Law.

Our San Diego wrongful death lawyer thoroughly reviews your case to determine which of these damages you should pursue and help you fight for the maximum compensation you and your loved ones need.

Actions That Help Your San Diego Wrongful Death Claim

While taking legal action after the death of a loved one from a fatal accident may not be a priority, the steps you take after this loss can help you fight for the justice and compensation the surviving spouse and 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 prove your death. Contact the Vital Records and Statistics Office of the County's Health and Human Services Agency to do this in San Diego.

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

You also want to watch what you say as you talk to others after the incident. 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.

California's Wrongful Death Statute

California's wrongful death statute is a critical legal provision designed to provide recourse for the survivors of a person whose death was caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another. This California law, primarily codified under sections 377.60 to 377.62 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, allows specific family members or representatives of the deceased's estate to seek compensation for their losses, including loss of companionship, emotional distress, and financial support.

The parties eligible to file a wrongful death claim typically include the deceased person's spouse, domestic partner, children, and, in some cases, other dependents or heirs.

The California law mitigates the financial and emotional impact of the deceased's untimely death on their loved ones by compensating them for various damages such as funeral and burial expenses, lost income and potential earnings, and the value of household services the deceased would have provided.

California's wrongful death statute embodies a blend of compassion and pragmatism, aiming to provide meaningful support to the bereaved while fostering accountability for negligent or intentional acts that lead to a person's death.

What are Wrongful Death Risks?

Wrongful death risks refer to situations or actions that increase the likelihood of incidents leading to fatalities, which could result in wrongful death claims. These risks can stem from various sources, including:

  1. Medical Malpractice: Mistakes made by healthcare professionals, such as misdiagnosis, surgical errors, or improper medication prescriptions, can lead to patient deaths that might be deemed wrongful.
  2. Workplace Hazards: Employers failing to provide a safe working environment, not adhering to safety regulations, or neglecting necessary training can result in accidents and fatalities.
  3. Defective Products: Manufacturers and sellers of products found to be inherently dangerous or faulty, without proper warnings, can be liable for deaths caused by their use or consumption.
  4. Motor Vehicle Accidents: Drivers who operate vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs, drive recklessly, or violate traffic laws, leading to fatal accidents, may be held responsible for wrongful death.
  5. Premises Liability: Property owners must ensure their premises are safe for visitors. Fatal accidents due to neglected maintenance or failure to warn of dangers can result in wrongful death claims.
  6. Criminal Acts: Individuals or entities that commit or are complicit in criminal acts leading to someone's death can face wrongful death lawsuits in addition to criminal charges.

Understanding these risks is crucial for individuals and entities to implement preventive measures and avoid actions that could lead to wrongful death claims.

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If you lost a family member due to the wrongful actions of another, do not go through this devastating time alone. 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:

  • Discuss your questions and concerns, and provide 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.

Contact Rawlins Law, experienced wrongful death lawyer, 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.