125 East Victoria Street,Suite A, Santa Barbara, California 93101
McCarthy & Kroes
Personal Injury Free Consultation 805.564.2085

Santa Barbara Attorneys Guide Families Through Wrongful Death Claims After the Accidental Death of a Loved One

Helping family members from Ventura to San Luis Obispo

There is no more devastating experience than the accidental death of a loved one, especially when that accident is caused by the negligence or wrongful acts of others. During this time of grief, many surviving family members also find themselves facing overwhelming medical and burial costs and the loss of a financial provider.

At McCarthy & Kroes, we understand how difficult this time is for you and your family. We offer compassionate, experienced legal support to help you recover compensation. We fully investigate, gather and preserve valuable evidence and reconstruct the accident if necessary to ensure the person at fault is held responsible.

Accidental death

Under California wrongful death law, family members can sue for compensation for wrongful death when negligence or a wrongful act by another person or business causes the death of a loved one. To prove wrongful death, family members must show that the responsible party had a duty to act a certain way, breached that duty, and the breach caused the death of the victim. Only certain family members are entitled to receive compensation:

  • Surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • Surviving children or grandchildren
  • Dependent stepchildren or parents
  • Certain dependent minors
  • Legal heirs

At McCarthy & Kroes, our wrongful death attorneys help you recover compensation for all types of fatal accidents, including car accidents, accidents caused by a defective product, animal attacks and property owner negligence, in addition to accidents that lead to fatal traumatic brain injury or other injuries. Under California law, eligible family members may recover compensation for a broad range of damages:

  • Loss of financial support and gifts or benefits
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Reasonable value of household services
  • Loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, moral support, consortium, and training and guidance

Suicide and wrongful death

In certain cases, a family may sue for wrongful death even when the deceased committed suicide. One recent example of this is the highly publicized case of Audrie Pott, the 15-year-old girl who committed suicide after allegedly suffering sexual abuse by schoolmates who then posted pictures of the attack online and at their school. In California, intentional infliction of emotional distress such as this may be a cause of action for wrongful death in certain situations:

  • Defendant’s conduct was outrageous
  • Defendant acted intentionally or recklessly
  • Defendant’s behavior caused or contributed to the victim’s emotional distress
  • Deceased suffered severe emotional distress

California law also allows for recovery for negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Seek assistance from experienced lawyers before it is too late

Under California’s statute of limitations, you may have less than two years to sue for wrongful death and recover the compensation you need. For efficient, reliable representation in your case in Santa Maria, contact McCarthy & Kroes online or call 805.564.2085 today for a free initial consultation.

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