Southern California Car Accident Attorney Explains Wrongful Death Lawsuits

When you are injured in a car accident in Southern California, it seems pretty straightforward to file a claim against the driver who caused the collision.  As the injured victim, you then collect compensation to cover your damages.  But what happens when your family member is killed in an accident, who files the claim then?

If you have lost someone you love in a car crash or other accident caused by someone’s negligence, you can pursue a wrongful death claim.  In a wrongful death lawsuit, the allegation is made that the victim was killed because of negligence on the part of the defendant and that the victim’s surviving dependants are entitled to damages.  A California wrongful death suit is very different than other personal injury claims, in that the person suing is not the actual victim.

There was a recent California wrongful death lawsuit that provides an example of the factors involved in these types of cases.  A Bakersfield man has filed a wrongful death claim against a Pismo Beach restaurant and the automaker, Toyota, for a 2007 car accident that claimed the life of his wife.  The man alleges that he was driving away from the Pelican Point Restaurant in Pismo Beach and stopped to enjoy the breathtaking ocean view.  Shortly after, his car crashed through a fence and then fell almost 100 feet over the steep cliffs, killing his wife.  He blames Toyota’s acceleration problems for the fatal crash.

In a wrongful death case, the survivors, including a spouse, children or other dependants, can pursue damages.  This compensation may encompass financial support, funeral expenses and other damages associated with the victim’s death.

For more information regarding your rights after losing a loved one in an auto accident, truck accident or motorcycle collision, contact a Southern California car accident attorney at Steinberg Injury Lawyers at (800) 989-6385.  We would also like to extend our condolences for your loss.  We understand how difficult this time is for you and your family. 
Peter Steinberg, Esq.
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982