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The Loss of a Loved One
Fire-related deaths are always tragedies. Sometimes there is no one to hold accountable in a court of law. Other times, there is an individual or entity legally responsible for the death of a loved one. In a natural disaster such as the recent North Bay Fires, don’t assume no one is liable for the tragic death of a beloved family member. Investigations may uncover that a person or company contributed to the wildfires, giving cause for a family member to file a wrongful death claim. The North Bay Fires Consortium can help with these claims.
Do You Have a Wrongful Death Claim?
As the North Bay Fires neared containment, the tragic loss of lives continued to climb, now reaching at least 43 people. That’s 43 lives lost, possibly due to someone else’s act of negligence or recklessness. PG&E Co. is currently under investigation for its potential connection with the North Bay Fires. One couple has filed a lawsuit against PG&E for fire-related damages. The couple alleges that the company failed to take steps to prevent the fires from occurring, despite the fire being a “foreseeable risk” in the conditions.
If investigations show that PG&E or another individual or entity could have reasonably prevented the fires from occurring with due care, surviving family members of the deceased may have grounds to file wrongful death claims against the responsible party. A death is “wrongful” if a person or entity’s actions result in the death. Acts of negligence, wanton disregard for the safety of others, and intent to harm can all result in wrongful death. You will need help from an attorney to discover if your case has merit as a wrongful death lawsuit after the recent Wine Country fires.
Wrongful Death Laws in California
For the civil courts to hear your case, you must obey the state’s rules for filing. Only certain parties have the right to file lawsuits after a death. In California, the deceased person’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, or surviving children may file this type of suit. If these survivors do not exist, anyone “entitled to the decedent’s property by intestate succession” reserves the right to file. This can include the decedent’s parents or siblings.
You have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death claim in the State of California. Missing this deadline can mean losing the right to file. Do not wait until 2019 to file your claim for a loved one who passed away in the latest North Bay Fires. Talk to an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and eligibility for recovery after a negligence-related wildfire takes the life of a loved one.
Count on the North Bay Fires Consortium
The law firms of the North Bay Fires Consortium are deeply saddened by the loss of so many lives from the recent fires. They have lawyers and staff members directly affected by the fires, and want to help victims take stands against responsible parties. Whether PG&E played a role in the recent wildfires and/or another party, the Consortium can help victims receive compensation through insurance and wrongful death claims. If your spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, sibling or loved one passed away in the North Bay Fires, we are deeply sorry for your loss. Let us help you any way we can. Call today to schedule a free consultation.