Santa Barbara Wrongful Death Lawyer
According to the United States Census Bureau, 19% of US households were unable to afford upfront medical costs in 2017 when they were in dire need of care. Nobody wants to face crippling medical debt, so many people avoid seeking medical attention for minor issues, causing them to pay even higher medical bills when those issues worsen. But if the medical issues have arisen due to a healthcare provider’s wrongful actions or negligence, you should not be held responsible for the resulting medical costs.
The families and loved ones of a wrongful death victim can recover damages under the California court system. Unfortunately, the process of filing a claim is very complicated and overwhelming for people when they are coping with grief and concern about their future.
Who can sue for wrongful death in California?
Under California wrongful death laws, the surviving family members in Santa Barbara are able to file a wrongful death claim to recover financial losses when another person’s negligence, misconduct, or reckless actions have resulted in the death of their loved one. The wrongful death attorneys at Maho Prentice, LLP have over 60 years of combined experience providing legal advice to victims of any type of wrongful death action in Santa Barbara. We believe that the liable party or insurance company should bear the financial burden of their actions and neglect, not the grieving family members. We are prepared to guide you through the process of filing a claim, so call us now to speak to a Santa Barbara wrongful death lawyer at Maho Prentice, LLP.
Is wrongful death hard to prove?
In order to get the compensation that you deserve, your Santa Barbara lawyer will need to produce strong evidence, such as testimony from expert witnesses. Insurance companies hire their own legal representation to reduce their liability, so you need an aggressive lawyer who will fight for you to receive the damages you deserve.
Wrongful death cases could be the result of intent. However, they can also be due to a fatal accident or a negligent action. Although murder can be a type of wrongful death, not all wrongful deaths are considered murders. The standard of proof in a wrongful death claim is less strict than it is in criminal cases, so even if a defendant is acquitted of murder or manslaughter after a fatal accident, they can still be found liable for the victim’s death.
One key characteristic that distinguishes these types of cases from murder is that they are heard in civil court rather than criminal court. Let’s say that a case is filed by loved ones or representatives of the estate and that they are claiming that the defendant caused the victim’s untimely death through intentional or negligent actions. In a murder case, the lawyer would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant caused the victim’s untimely death and that the defendant intended to commit murder. In a wrongful death case, your lawyer must prove that the negligent action directly caused the victim’s untimely death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The individuals who have the right to file a claim in California include the:
- Decedent’s surviving spouse or domestic partner
- Decedent’s surviving children, both biological and adopted
- Decedent’s grandchildren
Additionally, the decedent’s putative spouse, stepchildren, parents, or legal guardians can also file a claim if they can prove that they were financially dependent on the decedent.
Common Causes Of Wrongful Death
It is understandable to be distraught after a loved one has passed away, but it is even more distressing for loved ones to deal with death that was due to a preventable accident. Unfortunately, there are myriad ways a person could be killed by another individual or entity’s actions or inactions. As Santa Barbara wrongful death lawyers, we represent family members of individuals who have been fatally injured due to a:
- Construction accidents
- Catastrophic injury
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Dog bites
- Boating Accidents
- Aviation Accidents
- Product liability
- Violent assault
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Premises liability, or injuries resulting from a neglected property such as slip and fall
- Car accidents, truck accidents, or other motor vehicle accidents
Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death
Following the devastating death of a loved one in Santa Barbara, CA, you may have many questions for a wrongful death attorney. If your family member or loved one died because of an accident that was caused by another’s negligence or recklessness, then a personal injury attorney from Maho Prentice, LLP can answer your questions about wrongful death cases. The following information does not constitute a client-attorney relationship. For specific answers regarding your wrongful death lawsuit, call Maho Prentice, LLP now to schedule your risk-free case evaluation.
What types of damages can be recovered in a wrongful death case?
If the decedent would have had a valid personal injury case and have been entitled to compensation had they lived, but their life was cut short due to the negligence of the defendant, then you need an attorney who specializes in these types of personal injuries and wrongful death cases. A lawyer from Maho Prentice, LLP can help you recover damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection
- The mental pain and suffering the decedent experienced before their untimely death
Damages for pain and suffering compensate the family members and dependents for the emotional distress they have experienced. If you have suffered shock or trauma as a result of your loved one’s death, then call Maho Prentice, LLP to schedule a consultation with an attorney in Santa Barbara.
How are wrongful death cases proven?
In order to win compensation for their clients, a wrongful death attorney in Santa Barbara must prove that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care. For example, drivers have the duty to obey traffic laws and be sober behind the wheel to prevent a car accident. Medical health providers have a duty to treat patients in accordance with professional medical standards. Your Santa Barbara attorney will have to establish the defendant’s duty to the decedent and that this duty was breached as a result of their negligent or reckless action or inaction.
The wrongful death attorneys at Maho Prentice, LLP can win compensation for their Santa Barbara clients deserve by proving that:
- The defendant’s actions or inactions directly caused their loved one’s death.
- The decedent’s death had a devastating effect on the surviving family members and dependents, both financially and emotionally.
- The loved one’s death resulted in financial losses, such as funeral expenses, and other monetary damages.
Call Us To Discuss Santa Barbara Wrongful Death Case
Clients seek us out because of our 20 years of experience serving the people of Southern California with their personal injury cases. The lawyers at Maho Prentice, LLP are committed to helping our Santa Barbara clients obtain the maximum compensation for their claim. Calculating damages can be confusing and difficult, especially when grieving the loss of a loved one. This is why we are here to guide you throughout the entire legal process and advise you of your rights with compassion and empathy. We fight for justice on behalf of all of our clients, and we will leave no stone unturned when pursuing your claim. Call now to schedule your free case review.