Bakersfield Wrongful Death Lawyers

Wrongful Death Attorneys Serving Clients in Bakersfield, CA

Nobody should ever have to experience the death of a loved one because of another party’s negligence. Yet accidents and unintentional wrongdoing occur more often than most of us would like to imagine, and people suffer serious and fatal injuries. If you recently lost a loved one in an accident that resulted from somebody else’s carelessness or recklessness, our dedicated Bakersfield wrongful death lawyers want to help you seek the financial compensation you deserve. Not only can filing a wrongful death lawsuit allow you to seek damages for your losses, but it can also allow you to hold the negligent party accountable for the harm they have caused.

Understanding Bakersfield Wrongful Death Law

What is wrongful death law? According to California law, this is an area of the law that allows a party to bring “a cause of action for the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.” According to the law, the following people may be eligible to bring a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Surviving spouse of the deceased;
  • Surviving domestic partner of the deceased;
  • Surviving children of the deceased;
  • Descendants of the deceased’s own deceased children; or
  • If the deceased has no surviving partner or descendants, then the party who would be eligible to obtain the deceased’s property according to California’s laws of intestate succession.

In other words, if a surviving spouse or domestic partner, or surviving children or parents, lose their family member because of another person’s negligence or wrongdoing, California law allows that surviving family member to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party.

Wrongful Death Law Versus Personal Injury Law In Bakersfield, California

What is the difference between wrongful death law and personal injury law in Bakersfield, California? This question is a common one since personal injury attorneys are frequently the advocates who represent surviving family members in wrongful death lawsuits. These areas of law are closely related, but there are some key distinctions. 

In a personal injury lawsuit, California law recognizes the right of an injured person to file a claim against the party responsible for the injuries in order to seek compensation. When such injuries lead to a person’s death, that injured person cannot file a lawsuit on his or her own behalf any longer. Here is where wrongful death law comes into play. California law allows a surviving family member (from the list cited above) to metaphorically step into the shoes of the deceased and to file a lawsuit against the responsible party for the fatal injuries that party caused. There are also some distinctions in the types of damages that can be awarded in personal injury versus wrongful death lawsuits, as well as a difference in when the clock on the statute of limitations begins to “tick.”

Common Reasons For Wrongful Death Lawsuits In Bakersfield

Wrongful death lawsuits, similar to personal injury lawsuits, can arise out of a wide variety of accidents and incidents of wrongdoing in Bakersfield. Examples of common types of accidents and injuries that give rise to wrongful death claims in California include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Car crashes;
  • Bus accidents;
  • Motorcycle accidents;
  • Trucking collisions;
  • Pedestrian accidents;
  • Slips and falls;
  • Premises liability accidents;
  • Construction accidents;
  • Workplace injuries;
  • Dog bites and animal attacks;
  • Product defect injuries;
  • Drowning cases and swimming pool accidents;
  • Burn injuries; and
  • Brain injuries.

Statute Of Limitations For A Bakersfield, California Wrongful Death Lawsuit

For most wrongful death lawsuits in Bakersfield, the statute of limitations is two years. A statute of limitations refers to the time window in which a plaintiff is allowed to file a lawsuit according to the law. For wrongful death cases, the time window begins on the date of the deceased’s death—whether that occurs immediately and concurrent with the accident, or many weeks or months later when the deceased succumbs to his or her injuries. 

Contact Our Bakersfield Wrongful Death Attorneys As Soon As Possible

Losing a loved one is extremely difficult under any circumstances, and we know that the prospect of filing a lawsuit in the aftermath of a loved one’s untimely death can feel nearly impossible. Yet we also know how critical it is to hold the wrongdoer accountable and to seek compensation for your losses. Since there is only a limited time window in which you can file a claim, it is important to begin working with an experienced Bakersfield wrongful death lawyer as soon as you can. Contact Oaks Law Firm for more information.