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Death as the Result of a Drunk Driving Accident in California

Negligent inebriated drivers place the lives of their passengers and others on the road in serious danger. Those who choose to get behind the wheel and drive while intoxicated can be held liable for the injuries they cause when involved in an accident. Under California law, drunk drivers who cause the injury of another can be held responsible in a criminal court and through a civil case.

If you have lost a loved one because of the negligence of a drunk driver, you may have the ability to file a wrongful death claim. Here, we will discuss how a claim can be filed and if you are eligible to bring the case forward.

Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable

The emotional trauma associated with the death of a loved one is a matter that cannot be easily overcome. Victims of drunk driving accidents often leave behind financial dependents and seeking financial compensation for the hardship is necessary. By filing a claim, the victim’s survivors have the opportunity to obtain justice through financial restitution.

A wrongful death lawsuit in California can cover the following expenses:

  • The medical bills accrued by the victim before his or her passing
  • The funeral costs of the victim, including burial expenses
  • The survivor’s emotional distress of losing their loved one
  • The loss of household services;
  • The loss of intimacy;
  • The loss of comfort, companionship, love, and care
  • The loss of income from the victim’s passing and any future earnings that the victim may have received

Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits in the State of California

If you have recently lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, you may have the opportunity of filing for a wrongful death claim. In the State of California, a wrongful death claim could be brought forth by the survivors of the victim.

In the event that there are no survivors in the victim’s line of descent, the claim can be filed by any party that has the rights to the victim’s property. This may include the victim’s parents, siblings, and/or any party who was financially dependent of the victim. For a better understanding of the current California State laws surrounding wrongful death claims, seek the advice and support of a qualified attorney.

It can also be presented to a court by the victim’s representative who oversees the victim’s estate. In the event that the claim is successful, any monetary damages will be paid out to these individuals. In order to be legally entitled to file for a wrongful death lawsuit in the State of California, several elements must be met.

It is important to understand again that wrongful death claims will differ from criminal cases, in which a party could be held guilty and sentenced to jail for homicide. Criminal cases are brought forth by the state and unlike wrongful death lawsuits, those found culpable will be penalized by fines, probation, and/or prison time. Equally important, it is worth noting that the victim’s survivors could file a wrongful death lawsuit at the same time that the criminal case for the same incident taking place.

If you have lost a loved due to the negligence of another party, you may have the opportunity to seek financial compensation for your losses. Consult with a qualified attorney who can guide you through the process in order to ensure that your claim meets the necessary requirements. A qualified attorney can help guide you through the filing process as well as ensure that the claim is processed in the appropriate time frame.

Financial Compensation May Be Available

Depending on the facts of each case, the party filing the claim may be able to receive compensation to financially cover any of the following: The victim’s funeral costs, The victim’s burial costs, Medical expenses accrued by the victim prior to his or her death, and/or Any loss of income that the victim would have probably and reasonably have expected to earn.

The Bottom Line

Losing a loved one can be challenging to endure. The pain and suffering can be even greater if the victim passed away suddenly and unexpectedly due to the negligence or carelessness of another party. If you have lost a loved one due to another party’s wrongdoing, you may have the opportunity to seek financial restitution for your grievances. Seek the advice and support of a qualified attorney who can guide you through the claims process.

For a Wrongful Death Claim For Drunk Driving, Speak to a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney

Drunk driving is unlawful in every state in the nation. When a person under the influence makes the decision to get behind the wheel, the actions not only affect their life, but they also affect those around them. If you have lost a loved one because of the carelessness of a drunk driver, it is important to seek the legal skills and advice of a proficient attorney.

The litigators at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP have many years of experience handling wrongful death cases throughout Southern California. The firm understands how difficult these cases are for grieving families, and they are equipped to help families get justice for their loved one’s death. To schedule a free consultation with the firm, consider contacting the firm by calling (909) 894-0812 or complete the contact form here.

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Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.