According to a report from KSBY News, a pedestrian was struck and killed in a tragic accident on Las Positas Road. Based on a preliminary investigation, officers believe that the victim was hit by a pickup truck while crossing the road from east to west. Unfortunately, pedestrian safety remains a serious problem in Santa Barbara County. Following a fatal pedestrian crash, close family members of the victim may file a civil claim to get justice and financial support. Here, our Santa Barbara wrongful death lawyer provides an overview of the rights of family members who have lost a loved one in a fatal motor vehicle collision.
Pedestrian Accidents and Wrongful Death Claims: Four Things Family Members Should Know
- Only Certain People Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
While a deadly motor vehicle accident affects many people, California's wrongful death laws only provide legal rights to a limited number of surviving family members. Only the following people have a general right to file a wrongful death lawsuit underCalifornia Code of Civil Procedure 377.60:
- Surviving spouse;
- Surviving children;
- Surviving parents;
- Surviving grandchildren (if children deceased); and
- Next-of-kin under California's intestate succession laws.
If you have any questions about the steps that you need to take to file a wrongful death claim after a fatal pedestrian accident, reach out to an experienced Santa Barbara, CA wrongful death attorney for guidance and support.
- Liability for a Wrongful Death is Based on Negligence
Wrongful death claims are negligence claims. A driver is not automatically liable for a fatal pedestrian accident. To hold a motorist—or any other party—liable for a wrongful death, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant's careless or reckless conduct contributed to the fatal crash.
- A Strict Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
California has a strict statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits. A surviving family must initiate the claims process within two years of the date of the death. Failure to file a wrongful death claim in time could result in the claim being dismissed outright—without a hearing on the merits.
- Wrongful Death Claims Allow for Recovery of Economic and Intangible Damages
The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to allow the surviving family members to seek justice, accountability, and financial support. Survivors are allowed to claim compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Among other things, wrongful death compensation can include:
- Out-of-pocket medical bills;
- Funeral and burial costs;
- Loss of financial support; and
- Loss of love, companionship, support, and guidance.
An experienced California wrongful death lawyer can help you and your family take action to hold the negligent defendant and their insurer accountable. You deserve the maximum available financial support. Do not let insurers undervalue your emotional loss.
Get Help From a Wrongful Death Attorney in Santa Barbara, California
At Andrade Law Offices, our Santa Barbara wrongful death lawyer is a compassionate, justice focused advocate for grieving families. If your loved one was killed in a pedestrian collision or any other type of accident, we can help. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation. We have a law office in Santa Barbara and handle wrongful death claims throughout Southern California.