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Ventura Car Accident Lawyer / Santa Barbara Wrongful Death Lawyer

Santa Barbara Wrongful Death Lawyer

There are many accidents that happen in Santa Barbara that are very serious and cause severe injuries. In the most tragic of cases, accidents are so severe that victims do not survive them. When this happens and a person passes away due to the negligent actions of someone else, it is considered a wrongful death. As in any accident case, people who act carelessly and cause someone else harm can be held accountable for their behavior.

If you have lost someone you love, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the liable party. However, these claims are extremely complex. Our Santa Barbara wrongful death lawyer can explain the laws that apply to your case and help your family claim the compensation you deserve.

What is a Wrongful Death?

California law defines a wrongful death as any death caused by the negligent, or careless, actions or inactions of another person. Wrongful death cases are different from criminal cases. For example, an impaired driver may crash into another vehicle, killing the occupants inside. While the defendant may face criminal charges of manslaughter, they can also have a wrongful death claim filed against them.

Family members will not receive any compensation through a criminal case. While the defendant may have to pay a fine, it is paid to the state and not to surviving family members. The only way to recover the compensation your family needs is to file a civil claim. Civil and criminal cases are separate from each other and the outcome of one does not necessarily impact the outcome of the other.

Survival Actions in Santa Barbara

A wrongful death claim can help you and your family obtain compensation for your losses associated with the death, such as funeral and burial expenses, you may also be able to file a survival action. A survival action is essentially a civil claim your loved one could have filed if they had survived the accident. Unlike wrongful death claims, the damages awarded in a survival action are not paid to the heirs of the deceased. Instead, they are paid to the estate.

For example, if your loved one was in a car accident and succumbed to their injuries one week later, a survival action can allow the estate to obtain compensation for their losses during that time. Damages in survival actions can include medical expenses, lost income, and more.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim

Only certain family members are eligible to file a wrongful death claim in Santa Barbara. The priority is as follows:

  • The surviving spouse
  • Surviving children, including stepchildren
  • Minors who lived with the decedent for the past six months
  • Surviving parents

Our Wrongful Death Lawyer in Santa Barbara Can Help During this Difficult Time

Losing someone you love is never easy. While financial compensation cannot bring your loved one back, it can offset the financial burden the loss causes you. At Zavala Law, our Santa Barbara wrongful death lawyer can ensure that your family’s rights are upheld and that you obtain the full settlement you deserve. Call us now at 805-429-4292 or contact us online to request a free review of your case.