Any car accident has the potential to inflict serious harm on those involved, but some victims do not survive. If your family member recently died in a car accident caused by another driver, it is natural to have lots of legal questions about how you can hold them accountable for this unexpected death. An experienced Los Angeles fatal car accident lawyer can provide the guidance and support you and your family need in this difficult situation.
The attorneys at Heimanson & Wolf, LLP, have years of professional experience helping our clients throughout the Los Angeles area with all types of car accident cases, including those resulting in fatal injuries. The standard procedure for recovering from a car accident is to file an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver, followed by a personal injury claim if insurance can’t cover your losses. However, things are different following a fatal car crash.
A wrongful death suit is likely necessary to ensure the fullest accountability possible for the driver who caused your loved one’s fatal accident. While a wrongful death suit and a personal injury claim share many procedural similarities, a wrongful death suit seeks to compensate the victim’s family, and there are special rules for filing this type of case. Your Los Angeles fatal car accident lawyer can be invaluable for navigating the proceedings ahead.
Proving fault is an essential first step after any car accident, including a fatal one. Before you and your family can claim compensation from the driver who caused your loved one’s death, you must prove how they caused the accident and show proof of the full extent of the resulting damages. You can still file a claim against their auto insurance policy, but this is unlikely to cover more than a fraction of the total damages you can claim after a fatal accident.
Your Los Angeles fatal car accident lawyer can help gather the evidence needed to establish fault for your loved one’s death. A few of the most commonly cited causes of fatal car accidents in Los Angeles include distracted driving, speeding, moving violations, and intoxicated driving. After proving fault and recovering what you can through the defendant’s insurance, you can proceed with filing a wrongful death suit.
Under California’s wrongful death statutes, the victim’s family has the right to seek compensation for:
Other factors could also come into play depending on how the accident occurred. For example, the defendant could owe restitution or punitive damages if they caused the accident through some type of illegal misconduct. The attorneys at Heimanson & Wolf, LLP, are ready to work closely with you to help you and your family ensure full accountability for a recent fatal accident in Los Angeles.
A: Yes, state law requires that you prove fault for a recent accident before pursuing compensation for damages through auto insurance and/or a personal injury suit. If you lost your loved one in a fatal crash, an experienced Los Angeles fatal car accident lawyer can help gather the evidence needed to prove liability and hold the at-fault driver accountable for wrongful death.
A: The time any civil claim for damages takes to reach a conclusion depends largely on whether the defendant accepts liability for the damages cited in the claim. If fault for a recent fatal accident is clear, it suits the defendant’s interests to settle the wrongful death case quickly outside of court if possible. Litigation takes much longer than settlement but may be required for some car accident cases in Los Angeles.
A: The total compensation you could recover after losing a loved one in a fatal accident can include proceeds from an auto insurance claim as well as a case award from a wrongful death suit. The at-fault driver is liable for any damages sustained by the deceased’s estate, and the surviving family has the right to claim various damages with a wrongful death suit. Your Los Angeles fatal car accident lawyer can estimate the total value of your claim.
A: Hiring an experienced Los Angeles fatal car accident lawyer is the most effective option for maximizing your case award as much as possible under state law. Your attorney can streamline all the legal proceedings ahead of you and significantly improve the total of your final case award. Ultimately, you have the greatest chance of not only succeeding with your claim but also of maximizing your final case award with an attorney’s help.
A: Most attorneys representing wrongful death suits accept payment via a contingency fee. With a contingency fee agreement, the client pays their attorney a percentage of the final case award instead of paying upfront or ongoing legal fees. However, they only pay this fee if the attorney wins their case, and they owe no fees if the attorney cannot obtain a recovery on their behalf.
The team at Heimanson & Wolf, LLP, knows how distressing and frustrating it is to lose a loved one in an unexpected fatal accident, and you are likely to have many important legal questions in this situation. Our team is ready to provide the compassionate legal representation you need, so contact us today and schedule your consultation with a Los Angeles fatal car accident lawyer you can trust with your case.