A sudden death in the family is a shocking event that many people never fully recover from, particularly when the death was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness. You may find it helpful to stay busy in the aftermath of the funeral. One of the tasks on your to-do list might be to visit an accident attorney in Riverside to determine whether you can file a wrongful death lawsuit . A legal claim won’t fix your heartache, but it can help you find closure and recover financially from your loved one’s passing.
You are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Your accident injury lawyer will ask you about your relationship with the decedent to determine if you’re eligible to bring a legal claim. California laws state that a wrongful death claim may be filed by the decedent’s:
- Surviving spouse
- Domestic partner
- Grandchildren if the children of the deceased are also deceased
- Dependent minors
You suffered economic and non-economic losses.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a means of seeking justice on behalf of the deceased family member. You might also decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit because your family has sustained financial losses from the death. If your claim is successful, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your loved one’s medical bills and related expenses, if the death did not occur immediately after the incident. You can request compensation for funeral and burial or cremation costs. You might also be entitled to seek damages for your loved one’s anticipated future earnings, and for your loss of financial support and companionship.
Your accident attorney can prove certain elements.
The lawyer reviewing your case will discuss its merits with you. The law requires wrongful death plaintiffs or their legal counsel to prove that certain elements exist. They are the following facts:
- The individual died.
- The death was directly caused by someone else’s intentional act to inflict harm, or by an act of negligence.
- The death caused financial injury to the surviving family.
- The decedent’s estate is represented by an appointed personal representative.
You are mentally prepared for the discovery and trial processes.
Assuming your lawyer does determine that your case has merit, you’ll need to decide whether you do want to move forward with an accident lawsuit. Many cases are settled out of court, but you need to be prepared for the possibility that your case will go to trial and you may give testimony. Your lawyer can help you understand what to expect and how to prepare.
Driver distraction, impairment, and recklessness are all common causes of car accident lawsuits in Riverside, California, but sometimes, the fault lies with the vehicle’s manufacturer. The state’s lemon law—officially called the Tanner Consumer Protection Act or the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act—protects car owners from financial damages caused by a manufacturing defect. An accident attorney can help you sort through the legalese to figure out your options.
Is my car covered under the lemon law?
The lemon law covers purchased new and used vehicles, as well as leased vehicles, that have a manufacturer’s warranty. These vehicles include:
- Vehicles leased or purchased for company use
- Vehicles leased or purchased for personal use
- Dealer-owned vehicles and demonstrators
- Sedans, SUVs, pick-up trucks, and vans
- Drivetrain, chassis, and chassis cab of motorhomes
Your vehicle is covered if it falls into one of those categories. Vehicles are only covered if they are still within the original warranty period.
How can I prove that my car is a lemon?
California’s lemon law presumes that your vehicle is a lemon if any specified criteria are met within 18,000 miles or within 18 months of the buyer taking possession of the car. These criteria are:
- Four-plus attempts have been made to fix the same warranty problem.
- Two-plus attempts have been made to fix a warranty problem that could result in serious injury or death if the car is driven.
- The defects are not caused by the consumer’s abuse of the vehicle.
- The defects substantially affect the vehicle’s safety or value, or the consumer’s use of the vehicle.
- Mechanics have held the vehicle for 30 days to fix the problems. The days do not necessarily have to be consecutive.
Can I return a lemon?
If your situation meets certain criteria, yes. The manufacturer must provide a replacement or do a buyback. A replacement of the car will only occur if both the owner and the manufacturer agree to it. The replacement option requires the manufacturer to provide you with a substantially identical vehicle. Your new vehicle will have a new warranty. In a buyback, the manufacturer must pay you the amount the car cost, minus an offset for mileage.
Statutes of limitations apply to both criminal cases and civil accident lawsuits . A statute of limitations is a deadline. Once it expires, an injured party no longer has the right to file an accident lawsuit. This is one crucial reason why it’s important to speak with an accident attorney in Riverside as soon as possible after an incident occurs. If you wait too long to speak with a lawyer about your options, legal recourse may no longer be available to you.
Statutes of limitations vary from state to state. There are different deadlines for different types of claims. For example, a claim for property damage carries a statute of limitations of three years. Any type of personal injury claim usually has a two-year statute of limitations. The clock starts ticking from the date of the injury. However, it is possible for a patient to not detect the injury right away. If this is the case, then patients have one year to file the accident lawsuit from the date that they discovered the injury, even if two or more years have passed.
Most dogs are friendly, lovable family pets. Unfortunately, even dogs that are normally mild-mannered can inexplicably attack people. If you were bitten by someone else’s dog, you may be eligible to file an accident lawsuit in a Riverside-area court. Speak with a lawyer who handles accident cases to find out what you need to do to protect your legal rights and options.
What is strict liability?
California is a strict liability state with regard to dog bite cases. This means that defendants cannot successfully argue that they are not liable because the dog did not have a history of aggressive behavior. Defendants also cannot argue that they took all reasonable precautions to prevent injury to others. Regardless of these factors, the dog’s owner may still be held liable for the plaintiff’s losses.
Does it matter where the incident occurred?
Sometimes, yes. Dog attacks often occur in public places, such as when the owner is walking the dog. In this case, the injured party can usually file an accident lawsuit. If the dog attack occurred on private property, then your accident attorney will need to consider whether you were lawfully on that property. If so, you may have a claim.
Why does California have criminal and civil dog bite laws?
Although the strict liability statute does not require dogs to be considered vicious in order to hold owners liable, California does still have statutes that apply to dangerous and vicious dogs. In this state, a dangerous dog is one that has bitten another person in an unprovoked incident and caused an injury labeled as “non-severe.” A dangerous dog might have injured, bitten, or killed another domestic pet twice within 36 consecutive months while away from the dog’s owner’s property. Two separate acts of aggression toward humans within 36 months while away from the owner’s property also fit this category. A dog that is legally considered vicious has severely injured or killed a person, or is owned by someone with an illegal dog fighting conviction. If the owner of a dog legally considered dangerous or vicious fails to exercise reasonable care and the dog causes serious injuries or death, then the owner may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. However, criminal charges proceed separately from civil accident lawsuits. Even if the owner is facing criminal charges, he or she may still be held liable in civil court.
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