Are you grieving the loss of a family member after a fatal accident in Walnut Creek, CA? You may be entitled to compensation. The experienced Walnut Creek wrongful death lawyers at The Herman Firm are here to help you fight for all of the money you deserve.
Since 2014, our award-winning legal team has been a fierce advocate for grieving families in Walnut Creek and throughout the Bay area. Putting nearly a decade of experience behind every case, our top-rated attorneys have won millions in life-changing awards for clients just like you.
How The Herman Firm Can Help After a Fatal Accident in Walnut Creek, CA
Money won’t bring your loved one back after a deadly accident, but it can make a world of difference in the years to come. Unfortunately, insurance companies won’t be sympathetic to your situation. They’ll put considerable time and effort into denying your claim or limiting your payout.
You’ll need to fight to get the money you deserve. But now is the time to focus on remembering your loved one, not battling an insurance provider. That’s where our Walnut Creek personal injury lawyers can help.
At The Herman Firm, we’re advocates for the people and are dedicated to giving our clients a voice. Our results speak for themselves. It’s why we have unparalleled client satisfaction.
We’ll stand up and demand accountability from anyone who contributed to your family member’s untimely death.
Hire us, and we’ll:
- Conduct a thorough investigation of the fatal accident or incident
- Determine why the accident happened and how it could have been avoided
- Bring in specialists and experts to offer guidance and insight as we build and value your wrongful death case
- Seek damages from all liable parties
- Defend your family member from efforts to blame them for their fatal accident
- Negotiate aggressively to get your family the best possible results
Our accomplished California trial attorneys will be more than ready to bring your case to a jury in Contra Costa County if other parties refuse to offer a fair settlement. Our law office is committed to getting you the financial justice you deserve, and we’re prepared to do whatever we can to make that happen.
Your first case evaluation is absolutely free. Our personal injury attorneys in Walnut Creek work on a contingency fee basis. So, there’s no risk in asking for our help or hiring our law firm after a fatal accident. You only pay us if we win your case—end of story.
Get in touch to get started now.
What Does Wrongful Death Mean in California?
Under the California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60, wrongful death is defined as “the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.”
Wrongful death can refer to deaths caused by criminal acts (e.g., murder, manslaughter) or avoidable accidents (e.g., motor vehicle accidents).
The law helps to ensure that individuals responsible for another’s death aren’t able to walk away without consequence. While the victim may not be able to file a lawsuit for damages, the right to recover compensation isn’t lost. Rather, it simply shifts to the victim’s estate and/or surviving family members.
What’s a Survival Action, and How is it Different From Wrongful Death?
There are two types of claims that can potentially arise after a fatal accident in California: survival actions and wrongful death claims.
Survival actions are filed by the victim’s estate and essentially seek the compensation that the victim would have been able to recover had they survived. Here’s the thing: the victim must have survived their fatal injuries for some period of time. If death was instant, there can’t be a survival action.
Wrongful death claims, on the other hand, are filed by the victim’s family and are intended to compensate them for their losses. Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed regardless of whether or not the victim survived for any length of time.
Who Has the Right to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?
Compared to other states, California has some of the more generous rules in place when it comes to filing wrongful death lawsuits.
Under state law, any of the following parties can potentially file a wrongful death claim:
- Surviving spouse or partner
- Surviving children
- Surviving parent(s)
- Minors who lived with the victim and relied on them for at least half of their financial support (e.g., stepchildren)
- Surviving grandchildren, if the victim’s children predeceased them
If none of these family members exist, other individuals who could receive the victim’s property under California’s estate and probate laws may have the right to file a claim.
What Damages Can Be Awarded to Families in a California Wrongful Death Action?
In California, plaintiffs in wrongful death actions can seek recovery of both economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are awarded to offset the present and projected financial costs of losing a family member.
- Financial support the victim would have contributed to the family over the course of their life
- Loss of gifts or benefits the family would have received
- The cost of a funeral, burial, and other services
- The reasonable value of household services the victim would have provided
Non-economic damages are paid to compensate families for intangible and hard-to-value consequences of a fatal accident, such as:
- Loss of the victim’s love, companionship, comfort, care, protection, moral support, and assistance
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of training and guidance
These don’t have a fixed standard or amount. Instead, the jury is instructed to award an amount that’s “reasonable” given the circumstances.
What is My Walnut Creek Wrongful Death Case Worth?
The value of a wrongful death case depends on many different factors, including:
- The age of the victim at the time of their death
- The victim’s life expectancy
- How much financial support the victim provided for their family
- How the victim supported or provided for their family in other ways
- Out-of-pocket costs related to the victim’s death
- Whether the victim contributed to their fatal accident in any way
Every situation is incredibly different. So, it’s important to sit down and discuss the details of your specific case with an experienced personal injury attorney near you in Walnut Creek, CA.
At The Herman Firm, we’ll listen to your side of the story, carefully assess available facts, and provide a preliminary assessment of what your case might be worth. Get in touch with our legal team to arrange a time for an initial case evaluation now.
How Long Do Families Have to File a Wrongful Death Action in California?
California sets a two-year time limit to file wrongful death actions. Time on the clock begins when the victim dies – which may or may not be the same date as the fatal accident.
Two years can go by before you know it. And if you let the statute of limitations expire without filing a claim, you’ll give up the opportunity to recover the compensation you rightfully deserve.
We Handle All Types of Wrongful Death Cases in Walnut Creek, California
At The Herman Firm, we represent families who have lost loved ones in all types of fatal accidents and incidents in Walnut Creek and across the San Francisco Bay area.
Call if you’ve had a family member die as a result of:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites
- Negligent security
- Accidents involving defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
We’re here around the clock to take your call. Reach out to us today for help during this incredibly difficult time.
Can I Still Win My Wrongful Death Case If My Family Member is Getting Blamed?
Yes, as long as someone else shares some of the blame, too.
California has a pure comparative negligence rule in place. Damages in a lawsuit are reduced based on a victim’s degree of fault. So, if your family member’s own negligence contributed to their fatal accident, it will not prevent you from recovering compensation. However, it will affect how much money you can get.
Let’s say your spouse was killed in a car crash in Walnut Creek, and they were texting at the time of the accident. They’re assigned 60 percent fault. As a result, the damages awarded in your wrongful death lawsuit would be reduced by 60 percent.
Don’t let other parties blame your loved one for their death – especially if they don’t have evidence to back it up. Trust The Herman Firm to stand up and be their voice. We’ll work tirelessly to protect their reputation, minimize the effectiveness of victim-blaming strategies, and fight to get you full compensation in the process.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Trusted Walnut Creek Wrongful Death Lawyers
Have you experienced the death of a loved one in a fatal accident in Walnut Creek, CA? Call The Herman Firm to discuss your legal options. Our Walnut Creek wrongful death lawyer can help you seek full compensation for your loss.
There’s no obligation, so call our law office serving Walnut Creek and surrounding areas to arrange a free consultation today.