When you lose a loved one due to the negligent or reckless conduct of another, you are doubtlessly traumatized. You may be in shock. You may feel at a loss for what to do. Even in this overwhelming circumstance, after you’ve taken the time to take care of yourself and your family, take the time to contact a knowledgeable San Mateo wrongful death attorney. Your family has suffered an invaluable personal loss, but has also suffered an economic loss, as well. The right legal action can help with the financial damage this accident has caused.
A terrible auto accident
near San Francisco State University likely traumatized the many people impacted by it, but undeniably altered the trajectories of at least two lives – the survivors of the one man who was killed in the crash.
Just before 8:00 am one early February morning, an eight-car pile-up occurred in the northbound lanes of Lake Merced Boulevard, according to a KTVU report. The crash caused five non-life-threatening injuries. The driver who caused the accident was an intoxicated person behind the wheel of a stolen car, according to police. A sixth person, a pedestrian who was out for a jog, was killed in the crash, leaving behind a wife and three-year-old child.
Who can file a wrongful death action in California
If you’ve lost a loved one and need to seek compensation in court, you should know that wrongful death cases in California are governed by a specific state statute
. That statute lays out the people who are entitled to file a wrongful death action in California. They include the deceased’s surviving spouse or domestic partner, his/her children and the offspring of any of his/her deceased children. Based on this, there are circumstances where you might be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in relation to the death of, say, a grandparent.
Even if you weren’t one of those people listed in the preceding paragraph, you may still be able to bring the lawsuit. For example, if you were the deceased’s stepchild and were dependent on the deceased, the law says that you can file a wrongful death action.
Any wrongful death matter is one where you should seek out the aid of an experienced attorney. When the accident that claimed the life of your loved one has complex facts like this San Francisco one did, you are in especially high need of having a skillful legal team on your side.
News reports indicated that the man who caused the fatal accident was both driving while intoxicated and driving a stolen vehicle. That kind of misconduct, especially if the state eventually convicts the man of felony criminal wrongdoing, may raise the possibility of the availability of punitive damages. Be aware that punitive damages cannot be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit. They must be obtained through something called a “survival action,” which is filed on behalf of the deceased person’s estate.
It’s true that no amount of money can bring back your loved one. It’s also true, though, that no amount of grief and pain is going to pay for the economic harm you have incurred. For a caring legal team that can help you use the legal system to get the monetary compensation the law says you deserve, reach out to the experienced San Mateo wrongful death
attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.