Bakersfield Wrongful Death Lawyer

Bakersfield Wrongful Death Attorney

California Wrongful Death Lawyer

Our dedicated legal team at The Law Offices of Daniel Kim in Bakersfield specializes in personal injury law. We provide an unwavering commitment to delivering our clients the justice they deserve. Undergoing the trauma of the untimely loss of a loved one is something no one should have to experience.

If you and your family are seeking legal help for a wrongful death case, allow a wrongful death attorney, Daniel Kim, to assist. We offer a 100% free case evaluation to discuss your circumstances and address any surrounding concerns. Please, do not hesitate to contact us when you feel ready.

No Win. No Fee. Guaranteed.

The cost of legal services is a common concern and often the deterrent to families seeking professional assistance. However, with our personal injury law firm, clients will never be burdened with upfront legal fees.

Our contingency fee arrangement allows clients to receive exceptional legal representation with no upfront fees. Therefore, we do not receive payment (which is a small percentage of awarded compensation) unless we deliver a successful settlement or verdict.

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Why Hire Daniel Kim as Your Bakersfield Wrongful Death Lawyer?

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No amount of money can compensate for losing a loved one, and it is not this law firm’s goal to do that. Instead, we intend to help surviving family members obtain the justice they are entitled to by holding the negligent party accountable.

A wrongful death lawsuit secures a stable future for families, filling in the financial gaps that would otherwise not exist. Our history of success at The Law Offices of Daniel Kim is evident in our 99% success rate. Additionally, we have recovered over $300 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients.

Our firm is comprised of a team of compassionate and caring individuals vetted to provide the best possible representation to families undergoing a difficult time. Please, feel free to contact us at your convenience, so we may address your concerns and provide the support you are entitled to.

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What Is Wrongful Death?

Under California law, when a personal injury accident results in death, the right to seek financial compensation shifts from the victim to an eligible surviving family member, in the form of a “wrongful death claim.”

In the legal sense, a wrongful death case is similar to a personal injury case in that both are the result of another party’s negligence. If found liable, the negligent party would be responsible for damages.

Do I Need a Wrongful Death Lawyer?

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Wrongful death cases are often more complex than other personal injury cases, as claimants, damages, and the statute of limitations will vary. While it is not a requirement to seek legal representation, working with an experienced Bakersfield wrongful death lawyer will work as a great advantage.

An insurance company is likely to make an offer–which they will present as a generous one. However, this is a tactic commonly used by insurance copmanies to protect their bottom line, as they know the actual value of a wrongful death claim is extremely costly. We are aware of this, so we recommend never accepting an offer before qualified wrongful death lawyers have properly reviewed it.

At The Law Offices of Daniel Kim, we know how to handle insurance companies to make sure clients are not settling for less than they deserve. After conducting a thorough investigation to determine a case value, we will aggressively negotiate for a fair settlement out of court or go to trial to secure a maximum payout.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

California law carefully outlines those who can initiate a wrongful death claim, ensuring the right to seek justice rests with those most closely connected to the deceased. According to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) Section 377.60, an eligible family member may include:

  • Surviving spouses or domestic partners:

    The person legally married to the deceased or their registered domestic partner

  • Children and grandchildren:

    The deceased’s biological, adopted, or stepchildren, as well as their grandchildren

  • Intestate heirs:

    Individuals who would inherit the deceased’s property if they died without a will, such as parents, siblings, or other relatives

  • Dependent  parents or legal guardians:

    The deceased’s parents, or their legal guardians if the parents are deceased

  • Dependent putative spouses and their children:

    Someone who believed they were legally married to the deceased, even if the marriage was not valid, and children

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

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Families are given a very limited amount of time to take legal action following a fatal accident. Generally, there is a strict statute of limitations. Similar to filing personal injury lawsuits, an eligible family member is only allowed two years from the date of the victim’s passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

There are some exceptions and special circumstances that might affect the statute of limitations. If the statute expires, then families unfortunately lose the opportunity to pursue a wrongful death claim. To ensure a case is aligned with California’s laws, it is always best to consult with Bakersfield wrongful death attorneys.

How Is the Compensation for a Wrongful Death Case Determined?

Despite what an adjuster may claim, damages in a wrongful death case often exceed the initial offers from the insurance companies. Ultimately, wrongful death lawsuits can encompass economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

These losses reimburse families for the lost financial support and services their loved one would have provided, including:

  • Lost wages:

    Earnings from the date of the death to the expected retirement date

  • Future lost income:

    Income the deceased would have earned

  • Lost benefits:

    Pensions, health insurance, or any other benefits

  • Funeral and burial expenses:

    Costs associated with laying the deceased to rest

  • Lost household services:

    The value of chores and tasks, such as childcare or household repairs

Non-Economic Damages

These losses compensate families for the intangible losses they suffer due to the death, including:

  • Loss of consortium:

    Love, emotional support, and companionship 

  • Loss of guidance and training:

    Knowledge and mentorship to children and other family members

  • Loss of enjoyment of life:

    Joy and experiences families can no longer share with the deceased

How to Prove a Wrongful Death

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While the path to resolution can vary, wrongful death settlements typically occur in multiple stages. Based on the strength of the case and proof of negligence, a settlement might arise to avoid the costs and uncertainties that come with going to trial. Substantial evidence that proves fault on the other party and the damages suffered will significantly strengthen a case. Common examples include:

  • Police reports and accident reports
  • Medical records
  • Autopsy report
  • Photographs and videos
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Expert witnesses
  • Pay stubs and tax returns
  • Receipts and bills
  • Proof of dependency

Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case

Negligence is identified as the failure to take preventable actions that a reasonable individual would have taken under similar circumstances. To prove negligence, it must be indicated that the other party:

  1. Owed the victim a duty of care

  2. Failed to meet the duty of care

  3. An accident took place as a result

  4. The accident caused damages

Wrongful death lawsuits are initiated by family members and may qualify for distinct types of damages, such as loss of companionship or support and funeral expenses. 

What Are the Different Types of Wrongful Death?

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In Bakersfield, California, wrongful death claims can stem from a diverse range of accidents and incidents, including the following:

  • Car accidents
  • Uber accidents
  • Lyft accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents 

This list is not exhaustive, and many other situations can give rise to legal action. For any questions regarding a loved one’s passing due to another’s wrongdoing, please do not hesitate to seek legal counsel. At The Law Offices of Daniel Kim, we want you are not alone in this time of grief. We are available to talk day or night, including weekends.

Frequently Asked Questions for Bakersfield Wrongful Death Lawyers

Is wrongful death civil or criminal?

While there are some similarities, a wrongful death is considered a civil case, not a criminal case. A wrongful death is a result of another party’s negligence that could have been prevented, not intentional harm.

What should I do if I suspect a wrongful death but I’m not sure?

Seek legal counsel. Experienced Bakersfield wrongful death attorneys can assess the situation, provide guidance through the legal process, and address any questions. Their expertise can help clarify any uncertainties regarding a case’s validity and advise when to file a wrongful death claim to meet the statute of limitations.

Do I have to go to court for a wrongful death lawsuit?

No. Before filing a lawsuit and going to court, both sides have the opportunity to investigate the event and assess the evidence. Based on the strength of the case at this point, a settlement may be reached instead of going to trial. 

How long does it take to settle a wrongful death suit?

While settlements can happen before or after filing a lawsuit, unforeseen developments can affect the turnaround time of a case, spanning from months to years. The best way to anticipate how long it will take to settle is to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney. An attorney can how long it will take to compile evidence, break down the discovery phase, and if a trial is necessary.

What happens if the defendant is found not guilty in a wrongful death lawsuit?

A not-guilty verdict in wrongful death lawsuits does not guarantee the defendant cannot still be held liable. Both sides, whether from a jury verdict or a judge’s decision, can challenge a federal court outcome through the US Courts of Appeals; California falls under the Ninth Circuit.

Contact the Top Bakersfield Wrongful Death Lawyers Today

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We understand how challenging this time is for you and your family. Consider your options, but please feel free to schedule a free consultation with us for ANY questions regarding your circumstances. You are entitled to seek compensation for the full extent of your pain and suffering.

By understanding your rights with the proper legal guidance, you can hold the responsible party accountable and find the support you need to move forward.

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Car Accident Lawyer Daniel Kim — Bakersfield, CA
Address: 930 Truxtun Ave Suite 210, Bakersfield, CA 93301
Phone: (661) 846-8116

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