Two years after the nation’s deadliest wildfires that killed 19 firefighters, their bereaved families were finally compensated as much as $600,000 each by the Arizona State Forestry Division, the party responsible for the firefighters. The elite firefighting crew, named the Granite Mountain Hotshots, died two days after the wildfire began on June 28, 2013, when they found themselves trapped at the bottom of a canyon.
This settlement may raise the question how courts, particularly courts in California, determine the damages to be awarded to the family of a deceased person. Not only will a family suffer from emotional turmoil after the death of a loved one, but this can also cause financial hardships, especially if the deceased was the breadwinner of the family. To recover from these losses, wrongful death lawyers can guide you in your fight for a just compensation for what you had to deal with after the death of a loved one.
Back in January, a man named Terry Carter was run over by a pickup truck allegedly driven by Marion “Suge” Knight during the filming of an upcoming biopic about the gangster rap group NWA, causing his death. It was only last June when his widow, Lilian, filed a wrongful death claim in a Los Angeles court, where she not only filed claims against Knight, but also against Universal Studios (the studio responsible for the forthcoming film) and even Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, who were original members of NWA.
With wrongful death claims like these, one might wonder how courts decide on a lawsuit and how they can be successful in this case. Generally, courts in California will decide on a wrongful death lawsuit if the elements have been established. Experienced wrongful death lawyers should be able to identify what these elements are to determine if a case can indeed be built upon them.
Brain injury is a widely discussed topic especially in the area of sports, however it seems that many people still hold misconceptions about the cause and extent of brain injury damages. Here are some wrong notions about brain injuries that must be corrected:
Concussions only happen when you lose your consciousness – While loss of consciousness is a very alarming sign, not all concussions result to fainting. It is estimated that only 10% of concussions result to fainting, so you can never be too sure.
A concussion results from a huge force directed at the head – A strong force or hit to the head can result to concussion, but hits to other parts of the body that result to a sudden jerk or movement of the head back and forth (whiplash) can also lead to a concussion.
Everyone has heard of advice like “stay fit and healthy” or “play sports for a longer life”, often from P.E. coaches or the occasional parent. However, some studies have uncovered that staying fit and active does not always equate to health.
Yes, exercise is good, but just like everything else, too much of anything is dangerous. A good example of this is Derek Boogard, a professional athlete who died at age 28 and was diagnosed of a brain condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which was a result of experiencing head concussions way too many times.
In legal terms, negligence is defined as the failure of a person or business to behave with the same amount of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under similar circumstances. California, along with other U.S. states, permits the use of money as compensation for any damage or injury you sustain from someone else’s negligence. Once you decide to sue for negligence, there are several concerns that need to be addressed to proceed with the case.
The first thing you need to do is to gather proof of negligence. Include videos, photos, statements from witnesses, and other documents that may further your case, such as contracts or independent professional evaluations. It’s a good idea to consult a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer as early as possible, so perhaps you can talk to one while you’re gathering evidence.
Special issues can arise in a personal injury claim which can make it very difficult to litigate the case. An example of a special issue is a hit-and-run accident, where the driver who causes the injury flees the accident scene. It may then be difficult for the victim to identify the driver, and with it, recover the damages to which he or she is entitled.
A hit-and-run case solved
Last June, Los Angeles police arrested a driver who allegedly hit a 33-year old cyclist, and then drove off and left him to die. The 21-year old culprit was arrested thanks to the tip of a citizen who came out and identified the offender. Records say the drive was traveling more than 80 mph at the time of the accident, which occurred at Figueroa Street on the morning of June 26, 2015.
When a loved one dies, not only do you have to go through mourning and emotional stress, but you also are hit with financial stress from his or her lost income and medical expenses. There are also plenty of other complications that can arise, and having the assistance of a wrongful death lawyer could help you avoid them.
Statute of Limitations
There is a statute of limitations governing wrongful death lawsuits, which basically means that there is a maximum amount of time after a person’s death that someone can file a wrongful death claim. This window of time, however, is often complicated and blurred because each state has its own rules about when the window begins. An experienced wrongful death lawyer will know whether or not you are still within the allowed statute of limitations to file or not.
A wrongful death case is generally made by proving that the defendant was careless in some manner and that as a result of that carelessness, your loved one died. A wrongful death lawyer can examine the circumstances surrounding your case to help you determine whether or not you have sufficient evidence to prove that the defendant had a duty to the victim and was careless.
Eligibility to File
Other considerations that must be taken into account include whether or not you qualify to file. Some states limit only spouses or children from filing for wrongful death compensation, whereas others extend the chance to grandparents and other relatives.