Can Minors File a Wrongful Death Case?

Under California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60, a minor who is the child of a deceased person who was a victim of someone else’s negligence, may have the legal right to file a wrongful death case under certain circumstances. If your parent died as a result of someone else’s recklessness or carelessness in the state of California, you may have the right to file a wrongful death case. Learn more about your legal rights below and by contacting an experienced wrongful death attorney today.

Wrongful Death

Wrongful death is any circumstance in which a person dies as a result of injuries inflicted upon them directly resulting from another person’s negligence or recklessness. Wrongful death cases can include deaths resulting from car accidents, medical malpractice, trucking accidents, slip and fall injuries, dog bite injuries, nursing home abuse and neglect and more. Any instance where a person dies as a direct result of someone else’s action or inaction can bring about a wrongful death claim in California.

Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In California, a spouse, domestic partner, children, grandchildren, and other minor children who were at least 50% financially dependent on the deceased victim (including stepchildren) may have the legal right to file a wrongful death claim.

How Minors File a Wrongful Death Claim

If a minor child loses their only parent, or both parents, as a result of someone else’s negligence, they will first need to have an establishment of guardianship with another adult. A guardian will be named by the court if the parents did not make any provision for their child regarding guardianship in the event of their death. Once a guardian is established under the law, they will act as the legal representative of the child, and may file a wrongful death action on behalf of the child with respect to the loss of the child’s parent.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims

The statute of limitations (deadline by which a person must file a claim or lose the legal right to do so) in the state of California is two years from the death of the victim. While it may seem that two years is a long period of time, wrongful death claims often take a considerable amount of time to develop and can include detailed investigations involving expert witnesses. Time is of the essence, and if you have the legal right to pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of a minor child, you should consider visiting with an experienced California wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.

Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney

Any loss of life can be devastating to family members. When a loved one is a parent, the minor child has lost an incredible amount of time, love, and guidance from them. If you believe that a minor child has the right to file a wrongful death case on behalf of their parent or guardian, contact The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your behalf to ensure that you understand your legal rights and that you receive justice. Contact our experienced wrongful death attorneys at 415-946-8900 or online today.

What Happens When a Car Accident Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits?

If you experienced injuries and losses as a result of a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, most victims understand that they have the legal right to receive compensation from an insurance company for their medical bills, loss of wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. However, in some cases, a car accident is catastrophic with severe injuries and losses. As a result, the car accident claim of the victim exceeds insurance limits. If you filed a personal injury claim, learn more about your legal rights regarding what to do if you claim exceeds the negligent party’s insurance limits.

Car Insurance Policy Limits

Every person will have a different insurance company and a different insurance policy within that company, which offers different coverage limits. While every driver must have the minimum amount of coverage under the law of their state to operate a motor vehicle legally, there are often different levels of coverage to choose from by a policyholder. If a car accident policy only allows for a $50,000 limit for the personal injuries of a victim, what happens when the victim suffers such severe injuries that their medical bills exceed that amount? The insurance company does not have a legal obligation to pay any amount of compensation to a victim in excess of the policyholder’s limits, which may make obtaining full and fair compensation unattainable through the insurance policy alone.

California Insurance Policy Minimum Standards

According to California Insurance Code §11580.1b, the following are the minimum amounts of insurance coverage that every driver in the state must legally carry:

The minimum coverage amount of $15,000 for injury to one person involved in a car accident in California is quite low. Therefore, a victim must look to other options in order to reimburse their costs for medical bills, lost wages and property damage.

Options When a Car Accident Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits

If you suffered injuries or losses in a car accident and your economic and non-economic losses exceed those covered by the negligent party’s insurance policy, the following are some legal options available to you:

  • File a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party for the remainder of your losses
  • Attempt to recover additional compensation from your own insurance policy, if possible
  • File a personal injury lawsuit against another defendant who has legal liability with respect to the car accident, if applicable
  • File a claim under an “umbrella policy” held by a negligent party, if the negligent party is a larger business or corporate entity, such as a trucking company or business that the driver operated a motor vehicle for at the time of the accident

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

You have many legal options available to you following a car accident in which your claim exceeds the negligent party’s insurance limits. Learn more about your options by contacting an experienced car accident attorney at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 or online today.

Hit by a Drunk Driver? What You Need to Know About Settlements

It is every driver’s responsibility to drive safely according to California’s traffic laws. Unfortunately, not every driver takes that responsibility seriously. Too many times, accidents involve one driver who was driving drunk. These accidents may be especially dangerous because the drunk driver’s reflexes have been hindered, potentially causing greater damage. If you have been hit by a drunk driver, you may be immediately contacted by the drunk driver’s insurance company seeking to settle because they want to pay the minimum amount as quickly as possible.

Settling is attractive because you will not have to go through litigation, which can sometimes take years. You may also need some money immediately to help with your bills from the injuries suffered. However, before you sign anything, here’s what you need to know.

Don’t Settle Right Away

If you are considering a settlement, you want to keep in mind how long you have to file a claim. That way, if you can’t agree on the terms of the settlement, you still have protection from the courts. In California, a victim of a drunk driving accident has two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim with a court of law. Drunk driving accidents are treated just like other car accidents. That means that once the two-year mark passes, which is also known as the statute of limitations, you can no longer collect compensation for your injuries.

However, that doesn’t mean you should rush into a settlement. Most insurance companies will ask you to sign a “release of liability” form when you agree to settle. That will prevent you from seeking any other damages from the car accident if future injuries develop at a later time, no matter how severe.

In California, nothing prevents you from filing a suit while the drunk driver is also being criminally prosecuted for DWI. However, if the other driver has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to driving under the influence or other charges associated with DUI, then you would be in a better position to settle for a larger amount.

Types of Damages

When settling, it is important to understand what you are entitled to. If you have been injured in a drunk driving car accident, you are entitled to compensation, called damages. Damages are a monetary award because there is no other way to mend broken bones or soothe emotional injuries. The amount awarded however, is specific to the injury of the victim, as well as the conduct of the party at fault. Types of economic damages include:

Medical Expenses. You are entitled to the cost of any medical treatment associated with the car accident. That includes doctors’ appointments, surgery, hospitalization, prescription medications, etc. You are even entitled to medical expenses that you have not yet incurred, such as potential future medical bills.

  • Lost Wages. If your injuries associated with your car accident prevented you from working, you can recover those wages. For those with severe, life-altering injuries, you may also be eligible to recover future lost wages.
  • Pain and suffering. This category of damages refers to numerous non-financial damages. It can include both physical and emotional pain.
  • Punitive damages. Punitive damages are rare, but justifiable in some cases when the liable party’s actions that led to the accident were especially horrendous.

If you have been hit by a drunk driver and have been offered a settlement, it is important to contact an experienced attorney to protect your rights. Even though we understand that money cannot change the situation, at Dan Rose Law, we will fight hard to protect your rights to get you the compensation you need. We invite you to schedule a consultation, at no cost to you, by calling 415-945-8900 or scheduling online to discuss your case.

Ways to Prove PTSD Damages on your Personal Injury Case

If you have been involved in a car accident or other terrifying event, the person who caused you harm is not only responsible for your physical damages, like your medical bills and property damage. They are also responsible for your emotional harm, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is a medical condition that is triggered by a terrifying event. Depending on the event and the person, PTSD can be relatively minor. However, there are many cases when PTSD can be severe. Some PTSD symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety. There may also be uncontrollable thoughts about the event. These symptoms can sometimes prevent a person from their everyday normal activities.

If you suffer from PTSD due to a reckless or negligent driver, you may want to include that in your lawsuit. It is important that all your injuries are properly compensated. However, because most of this harm is done inside the mind and body, it is difficult to prove PTSD and its harm, to a jury. Here, we explore ways that you can convey to a fact finder – usually a jury or a judge – that you suffer from PTSD and the extent of your injuries.

How to Succeed in a PTSD Lawsuit

When you bring forward a personal injury suit, you will be responsible to prove certain elements to the fact finder. These include:

(1) Injury. You must prove that you suffered PTSD. That injury must be evident through symptoms, tests, and usually through testimony from an expert witness.

(2) Causation. There must be a link between the PTSD suffered and the car accident. That means that the PTSD was a result of the car accident.

(3) Recoverable Damages. Damages are monetary awards to the injured party. Damages usually work to make the victim whole again. Damages will always be specific to the injury of the victim and the conduct of the party at fault. However, at a minimum, you can expect to recover your own out-of-pocket expenses.

Expert Witness

An expert witness has special knowledge in a particular field that is important to the case. Expert witnesses are necessary in a PTSD lawsuit settlement because the average person may be unable to determine whether a plaintiff can be diagnosed with PTSD. Also, the average juror may not be able to understand the severity of PTSD.

An expert witness does at least two things in a PTSD case for the jury. First, the expert witness must explain to the jury, in a way they can understand, what is required to diagnose PTSD. The expert witness is essentially helping the jury to understand what PTSD is, and what facts must be present to establish a diagnosis PTSD. That way, the jury can make a finding whether the plaintiff has exhibited those symptoms. Second, the expert may give additional testimony as to whether the plaintiff has shown symptoms associated with a PTSD diagnosis.

In some cases, the expert witness is the therapist who is treating the plaintiff. In these cases, if the therapist has personally witnessed the plaintiff exhibit all the symptoms of PTSD and has diagnosed them with PTSD, then the expert witness also becomes a fact witness. This means that not only can the expert witness help the jury understand what is needed to diagnose PTSD, but they also have personal knowledge that the plaintiff has PTSD.

The more credible sources a plaintiff can provide to the jury about what PTSD is, and whether they have exhibited those symptoms, the stronger the case will be.

What Factors Determine the Value of a PTSD Lawsuit Settlement

Just because the plaintiff can prove they suffer from PTSD, doesn’t mean that they will be awarded damages. The severity of the damages will affect the value of the settlement. For example, if the victim of PTSD suffered job loss and/or pain and suffering, they may be able to receive compensation.

  • Severity of the injury. Documenting mental injuries are more difficult than documenting physical ones. However, it is critical to a PTSD case. To show the extent of your injuries, you can provide evidence showing the need for therapy, the need for medications, time lost from work, and other loss of other activities.
  • Inability to work. Document how PTSD has affected your day-to-day life and your ability to provide for yourself. This can include the amount of time missed from work, job loss, and even lost future income.

If you have been involved in an accident and suffer from PTSD, it may be difficult to prove. However, when a PTSD lawsuit is won it is worthwhile. The experienced attorneys at Dan Rose Law will ensure that your case has all the elements for success. We invite you to schedule a consultation, at no cost to you, by calling 415-945-8900 or online.

How to Get the Most Out of a Motorcycle Accident Claim

As one of the nation’s most populated states, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of motor vehicles on California’s roads. Motorists don’t only share the road with other cars, but also with motorcycles and a motorcyclist is among the most vulnerable travelers on our thoroughfares. When a motorcyclist comes into contact with another car, it is the motorcyclist who usually suffers the most damages. Although it is every driver’s responsibility to reasonably prevent accidents by driving safely, we know all too well that accidents happen. If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident, here are a few things you can do.

Find an Experienced Attorney

In California, once you have been involved in a traffic accident, the law gives you a limited amount of time to pursue your claim. Finding an experienced attorney quickly can help you file a strong claim to assist you with your damages before you lose that protection.

When choosing an experienced attorney, it is important to pick someone who can guide you through important issues. Since most cases take time to resolve, you want an attorney who will be available to guide you in obtaining necessary evidence to document the extent of your motorcycle accident injuries. The attorneys at Dan Rose Law will ensure that you understand the legal requirements that must be met, so that you are better prepared to build a strong case.

Even if you feel you have a strong case, retaining an attorney who will represent your interests is important. Oftentimes, the party responsible for the accident will try to shift some or all of the blame onto the motorcyclist. That’s because California follows the comparative fault doctrine. That means that the responsibility can be shared among the parties, thereby reducing the amount of damages.

Set up Your Claim for Success

A motorcycle accident claim will likely have two different resolutions: a settlement at the insurance claim stage or through litigation.

Most cases are usually settled at the insurance claim stage without having to go to trial. However, that doesn’t mean that the insurance company is just going to give away money. In any motorcycle accident claim, the injured party has to prove that they were injured. Insurance companies have skilled attorneys assessing each case and will hold you to your responsibility of proving injuries. That’s why it’s sensible that you have a skilled representative on your side and important to have documented proof of the extent of injuries, including medical records.

In other cases, even when the extent of injuries are obvious, an insurance company may still try to deny the way the accident occurred. Under California law, if the fault of the accident is shared, it lessens the monetary award for injuries suffered. Working with a skilled attorney at the early stages of a motorcycle accident claim will help to show the insurance company that you have a strong case. That way, they are more likely to settle.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a motorcycle accident, our attorneys at Dan Rose Law will fight hard to protect your rights and to get you the compensation you deserve. We invite you to schedule a consultation, at no cost to you, by calling 415-945-8900 or contacting us online to discuss your case.

Top 7 Dirty Tricks Insurance Companies Use After an Accident

If you suffered injuries and losses after an accident that was a result of someone else’s negligence, you may have the legal right to receive a settlement from that person’s insurance company to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, many insurance companies will use manipulative tactics and dirty tricks following an accident in order to pay the minimum amount possible to a victim of an accident. The following are some of the unscrupulous tactics that an insurance company may use following an accident in order to pay the minimum amount possible to a victim.

  1. Settle Quickly

Many insurance companies will attempt to settle with a victim as soon as possible in order to provide a low settlement and close the case. Unfortunately, many victims feel overwhelmed with their astronomical medical bills; their inability to return to work resulting in lost wages as a result of their injuries; property damage to a vehicle making it impossible for them to drive anywhere, and overall pain and suffering resulting from physical or psychological trauma following the accident. Insurance companies understand this and will use it to their advantage to offer low settlement amounts quickly, in the hopes that a suffering victim will simply take the money.

  1. Prevent You From Seeing a Doctor or Requiring You to See Their Doctor

Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible for medical bills, and therefore, they may attempt to deter you from visiting a doctor at all. In other cases, they may indicate that it is a requirement that you visit with their recommended doctor instead. You have the legal right to pursue any medical care you need to ensure your health.

  1. Failing to Disclose the Value of the Insurance Policy

Many insurance companies work hard to keep the value of the insurance policy a secret for as long as possible. This is an attempt to prevent a victim from receiving the amount they deserve under the law.

  1. Delay and Stall Tactics

Insurance companies know that a victim only has a limited amount of time to file a claim in court, and they will intentionally delay the entire process in order to prevent a victim from filing a claim in a court of law within the statute of limitations.

  1. Making the Claim Process Intentionally Difficult

Many insurance companies add layers and layers of bureaucracy in order to frustrate victims and hope that they either give up or fail to actually fill out the necessary paperwork in order to obtain the compensation they deserve.

  1. Attempting to Get You to Go to Their Repair Shop

Many insurance companies want you to go to their specially-selected repair shop which will ensure that they will pay as little as possible for your property damage portion of your claim.

  1. Requesting a Full Medical History

Insurance companies may attempt to request a full medical history in an attempt to find something in your past that could be responsible for your current medical illnesses or injuries a “pre-existing condition.” Victims do not have the legal responsibility to disclose a full medical history to insurance companies following an accident.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you suffered injuries or losses in an accident, consider visiting with an experienced personal injury attorney today at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 or online who can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and ensure your legal rights remain protected.

How Do You Prove Wrongful Death?

If your loved one died as the result of another person’s negligence, you may have the legal right to pursue justice and compensation on their behalf. While no amount of money will ever bring your loved one back, a wrongful death claim can hold the responsible party accountable for your tragic and unexpected loss. The law of California allows family members to pursue a wrongful death claim if they can provide evidence that the other party’s negligence directly caused their loved one’s death. Learn more about wrongful death cases, and how to ensure your legal right to pursue justice remains protected.

State of California Wrongful Death Laws

The wrongful death laws in the State of California are found in the California Code, Code of Civil Procedure – CCP § 377.60. In order to prove that you have the legal right to compensation following your loved one’s death, you must provide evidence to meet a burden of proof that their death occurred as the direct result of someone else’s negligence. It is important to note that a family does not have an obligation under the law to prove that their loved one’s wrongful death occurred as the result of negligence beyond a reasonable doubt, as in a criminal case. Instead, a family of a loved one who died a wrongful death in the State of California must simply prove that the death is at least 51 percent likely the result of the negligence of another person. This burden of proof is known as “preponderance of the evidence.”

Proving a Wrongful Death Claim

In order to prove a wrongful death claim, the family of the person who died must prove the following:

  • The negligent party had a duty of care owed to others, including their deceased loved one
  • The negligent party breached that duty of care
  • The breach of that duty of care was directly responsible for their loved one’s death
  • The result was the death of their loved one, as well as economic and non-economic damages

It is important to note that some wrongful death claims arise from intentional violence instead of negligence. These cases may result in a criminal case; however, many victims still have the legal right to pursue a civil case as well to receive compensation for their loved one’s injuries and their losses. Evidence to prove a wrongful death claim will include accident reports, police reports, independent investigations, surveillance footage, witness testimony, medical notes from those who diagnosed and treated your loved one, employer information providing evidence on lost wages, funeral expenses, and legally complex calculations regarding pain and suffering and the loss of consortium of family members.

Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney Today

If your loved one died as the result of another person’s negligent or intentionally violent actions, you may have the legal right to pursue a wrongful death case in the State of California. Contact the experienced wrongful death attorneys today at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your behalf to ensure that you receive the full compensation you deserve and ensure your loved one receives justice. Contact our experienced attorneys today at 415-946-8900 or online.

Can I Sue Someone for Exposing Me to COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hundreds of thousands of people in the United States have now lost their lives a result of the COVID-19. There are certain circumstances under which a person may have the legal right to file a claim against another person or entity for exposure to COVID-19. Learn more about your legal rights below.

Basis of Personal Injury Claims

A claim regarding exposure to COVID-19 would fall under personal injury law. In order to have a strong personal injury claim, you would need to prove the following elements:

  • The person or entity had a legal duty and responsibility to you to protect you from COVID-19 exposure.
  • The person breached their legal duty regarding protecting you from COVID-19 exposure
  • You suffered actual exposure to COVID-19.
  • The exposure to COVID-19 resulted in either actually contracting the COVID-19 virus. and/or suffering any other types of economic or non-economic damages.

Legal Duty

In most cases, one human being does not have a legal duty to another human being regarding exposure to viruses. However, there have been cases regarding HIV, where someone knowingly and purposefully infected another person, resulting in a lawsuit. Given the fact that the laws in several areas now require people to wear masks and remain socially distant, an argument can be made that the failure to do so breaches a person’s legal duty and the requirement to ensure the safety of others with respect to COVID-19. Additionally, if an employer failed to provide proper safety equipment, you may have a legal right to bring a claim against your employer for your exposure and development of COVID-19.

Causation

While an argument can be made that a person has a legal duty to wear a mask and social distance themselves from others (or quarantine if they have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus), the victim must prove that they received the exposure from this exact person. The evidence to do that may prove legally complex, as it is challenging to directly determine which person gave another person the COVID-19 virus conclusively. You may have the ability to prove causation if an employer failed to send home people who are sick, failed to provide protective equipment, or large gatherings were not appropriately canceled.

Damages

Exposure to COVID-19 is simply not enough to file a claim in a court of law. A victim must have suffered actual physical, psychological, or financial harm because of COVID-19 exposure.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

To date, nearly 800 cases involving COVID-19 exposure have occurred and many of these claims are directly related to exposure issues and negligence of different parties. If you contracted COVID-19 as the result of someone else’s negligence, consider visiting with an experienced personal injury attorney today at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 or online who can work with you to help you understand your legal rights.

Difference Between Personal Injury Cases and Wrongful Death Cases

If you suffered injuries in an accident due to someone else’s negligence or if your loved one died as a result of someone’s negligence, you may have the right to file either a personal injury case or a wrongful death case to receive justice and compensation for your injuries and losses. Understanding the difference between personal injury cases and wrongful cases can help you better understand which type of case is right for you.

Personal Injury vs. Wrongful Death Cases

When you suffer injuries or losses as a result of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. If a person dies as a result of their personal injuries resulting from someone else’s negligence, the family of the deceased person has a legal right to file a wrongful death case. A wrongful death case the same as a personal injury case a victim would file if they had lived after the accident. A family of a victim who dies due to someone else’s negligence may have the legal right to receive compensation for funeral expenses, remaining medical bills, loss of wages, property damage, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering of the victim.

Types of Personal Injury Cases and Wrongful Death Cases

Many personal injury cases and wrongful death cases stem from similar accidents.. The difference is that in some cases, a victim receives serious injuries (personal injury cases) versus when a victim passes away from their injuries (wrongful death cases). Some of the types of accidents that result in either personal injury cases or wrongful death cases include the following:

  • Car accidents
  • Trucking accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Defective drugs
  • Medical malpractice
  • Railroad deaths
  • Defective medical devices
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Premises liability accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Nursing home neglect and abuse cases
  • Product liability cases

Parties Who May File a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Claim

Any person who suffers injuries as a result of someone else’s negligent, careless, or reckless actions may file a personal injury claim in order to receive compensation for their injuries and losses.

If a person dies as a result of their injuries related to an accident due to someone else’s negligence, some family members may have the legal right to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one. In most cases, spouses, children, or siblings of the victim can bring a wrongful death claim. In the instance that none of those parties exist, a court may appoint a plaintiff ad litem to prosecute the negligent party in the wrongful death claim.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

If you suffered injuries or if you have a loved one who died as a result of someone else’s negligent actions, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim or wrongful death claim. Consider visiting with our experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your behalf to ensure that you received the full compensation you deserve. Contact our experienced attorneys at 415-946-8900 or online today.

How Can Hearsay Issues Affect a Wrongful Death Case?

Hearsay is a statement made outside of the court that is then presented as evidence by another person during a trial for purposes of submitting that statement as evidence and as fact. In most cases, hearsay is typically inadmissible evidence when a proper objection is made in a timely manner. However, in wrongful death cases, a deceased plaintiff (victim) may offer testimony prior to his or her death. Learn more about hearsay and how it may impact a wrongful death case.

Wrongful Death Cases

A wrongful death case is one in which the victim dies from the injuries inflicted upon them resulting from someone else’s negligence. If the victim lived, they would have had the legal right to bring a personal injury case to receive justice and compensation for their injuries and losses. Because the victim died, the family members of the victim have the legal right to pursue this justice and compensation on behalf of their loved one.

Testimony of the Victim

Many wrongful death cases include testimony from different parties as well as evidence that is presented to the court in order to make a determination of liability and responsibility for negligence with respect to an accident. If the victim lived, they would have had the legal right to testify on their own behalf. However, due to the fact that they passed away from their injuries prior to a trial, the question remains whether or not any statements made by the victim can be introduced as evidence.

Hearsay Exception – Dying Declaration

There is a hearsay exception which is the “former testimony” exception, where evidence is admissible if the other side had an opportunity to cross-examine or introduce the testimony at a prior time. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 804(b)(1); Conn. Code Evid. § 8-6(1); Mass. G. Evid. § 804(b)(1); R.I. R. Evid. 804(b)(1); see also Lohrmann v. Pittsburgh Corning Corp., 782 F.2d 1156 (4th Cir. 1986).

However, the more common hearsay exception that occurs within wrongful death cases is the “dying declaration” exception. If a victim made a statement under the belief that their death was either “imminent” or “impending” and their statement was directly related to the cause or circumstances surrounding their death, it can be admitted as evidence as an exception to the hearsay rules. See Fed. R. Evid. 804(b)(2); R.I. R. Evid. 804(b)(2).

It is important to note that Dead Man Statutes (allowing a hearsay exception for the admissibility of a decedent’s statements) is available only in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. While some plaintiffs still attempt to admit the testimony of a deceased victim under these Dead Man Statutes, in most cases, they will not be allowed within a wrongful death case.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

If your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may have the legal right to submit their testimony at a wrongful death trial under a “dying declaration” exception to the hearsay law. The laws surrounding wrongful death cases remain complex and legally challenging. Call our experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose. We will work on your behalf to ensure that the legal rights of your loved one remain protected. Contact our experienced attorneys at 415-946-8900 or online today.