WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON DEFENSES TO A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON DEFENSES TO A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?

Posted on Friday, February 14th, 2020 at 2:02 am    

Our California wrongful death lawyers handle a variety of cases involving the death of an accident victim. A wrongful death claim can arise from many different situations, including but not limited to:

  • Car Accidents
  • Premises Liability Claims (slip and fall accidents, swimming pool accidents, amusement park accidents, etc.)
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Medical Malpractice
  • DUI Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Dog Attacks and Animal Attacks
  • Commercial Vehicle and Truck Accidents
  • Defective Products
  • Elder Abuse
  • Bicycle Accidents


Almost any personal injury accident can result in a wrongful death. Unfortunately, there are several defenses to wrongful death claims. Our experienced Sacramento wrongful death attorneys are familiar with wrongful death defenses and how to overcome many of the ways people try to avoid taking responsibility for their negligence and wrongdoing.

Defenses to Wrongful Death Claims

There are many different ways a party may try to avoid liability for a wrongful death accident. Four common defenses used by many parties are:

Self-Defense
If a death occurs because of a physical altercation or attack, the party causing the death may argue that he or she was only acting in self-defense.

Assumption of Risk
Another wrongful death defense that a party might claim is the assumption of risk. This defense can be used with or without a waiver or release of liability. The party claims that the person who died knew that an activity or action held certain risks of injury or death and decided to participate even though he or she understood the risk.

Comparative Fault
Comparative fault alleges that a victim had some responsibility in the cause of his or her death. For instance, a person was speeding at the time of a deathly car accident; therefore, the victim is partially at fault for the crash that took his life. According to comparative fault laws, the victim is not entitled to full compensation for damages because he contributed to the cause of the accident.

Statutes of Limitation
Wrongful death lawsuits must be filed before the expiration of the statutes of limitation for such claims. Statutes of limitation set deadlines for filing certain types of claims. In most cases, California wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date of death.

However, some exceptions can lengthen or shorten the time to file a wrongful death claim. For instance, wrongful deaths arising from a medical malpractice claim usually must be filed within three years of the date of death.

Contact a Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer for Help

Losing a loved one is never easy, but it can be very traumatic when the death is unexpected and sudden. Thinking about a lawsuit is usually one of the lowest priorities after the death of a family member. However, as stated above, your time to file a claim is limited.

If you suspect that the death of your loved one was because of the error, negligence, or wrongdoing of another party, contact our office to discuss your situation with an understanding wrongful death lawyer. We can help you investigate the death of your family member to determine whether you have a claim for wrongful death.

Contact The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website to schedule a free consultation with one of our California wrongful death lawyers.

Client Testimonials

Elena Basquez
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The Tiemann law Firm has been very good to me ever since I walked in the door. James and Emily have been very responsive and professional and make me feel comfortable when I start to freak out a bit. Accidents can be pretty stressful and I feel like they’ve gone above and beyond. I’m happy that keep me up-to-date on how my case is going. I appreciate that they make me feel like a priority and that they take my case serious. I have already recommend them to a few friends and family members. God forbid I get into another accident, but if I do, I know exactly where to come for help.

Elizabeth Ochoa
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I chose Tiemann Law Firm to help me after a car accident I was involved in. Throughout the entire process, Moe made sure to keep me updated, he always responded quickly whenever  I had questions about anything. My case won thanks to this law firm and their dedication. My experience with Tiemann Law Firm was amazing! 10/10 recommended.

Beca Lopez
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Tajii Black
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Dawniel Ewing
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Amy J
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Michael T.
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I sat down and met with Jelena Tiemann about my vehicle accident.I presented all of my documentation to her in which she gave me her assessment.Although the Tiemann Law Firm wont be representing me because my settlement offer was pretty good she was very clear,forward and professional about what she felt could and couldn't be done.I recommend this law firm to anyone who needs a helping hand at fighting a case where you don't have to worry about the outcome not going in your favor. Please don't review this business if you received a freebie for writing this review, or if you're connected in any way to the owner or employees.

Herb T.
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The Tiemanns were referred to me by a friend and I am exceptionally happy with the service I received. I had never been in an accident before. I had no idea what to do. Jelena verbally explained how everything would work to me, and she and Peter handled everything. I didn't have to lift a finger once. They went above and beyond for me and I am extremely grateful. I pray I won't ever need this type of assistance again, but I will definitely be referring them to friends and family.

Jennifer T.
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I highly recommend The Tiemannn Law Firm! I had never before been in a situation where I sustained injury and had to seek legal representation. I was nervous, traumatized, and had no idea what to expect. Jelena, Peter, and their staff walked me through each step of the process. They explained everything in detail. They patiently answered all my questions, responded quickly to every email, text message, phone call, etc. I felt totally prepared for each new phase of the legal process. Furthermore, they were fearless in their defense of me. In certain situations, when I felt attacked or scared my attorney protected me like I was family. Their diligence, honesty, integrity, and compassion provided a true sense of healing and closure for my family and I. The Tiemann Law Firm accomplished more for me than I ever thought possible and I am forever grateful.

Hanna Padilla
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From the very start of my case the Tiemann Law Firm was wonderful. Perter came all the way to my home to sit down and talk to me about my options. He made me and my partner feel very comfortable and promised us he would take the very best care of my case. Peter kept me informed every step of the way and was always on top of things. everything was done in a timely manor and I always felt like I was the only case he was working on because he was so fast. In the end Peter got me back way more money than I ever expected. I would recommend this law firm to everyone. I am very happy with the outcome of my case thanks to the Tiemann Law Firm! Thank you!

S.B.
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Star Fire
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It is hard to put into words the care and dedication that I received from the Tiemann’s. They have been here for me every step of the way and were always available when I had questions or concerns. My husband and I will be forever grateful for everything they have done for us and our family. Thank you so much for all of your hard work and time you have put into my case, we greatly appreciate it and your friendship. We highly recommend this firm and will always be thankful for everything they have done. Thank you so much again, Kim

Jereme S.
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No-one wants to have to hire a lawyer, but if you do. I prefer Tiemann Law. They helped a family member who was injured on the job, and the company did not want to compensate him even though, the injury occurred on the job on company time. Jelena was always professional in explaining the lengthy process of fighting a large corporation. 2 years later he finally is receiving the deserved compensation.

Maye Ly
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I just saw my lawyer Jelena Tiemann on a t.v ad, which reminded me how much she helped when I was in a desperate situation. I just love her! That is why I feel a need to tell everyone. I had a situation that happened & didn’t know what to do, our where to go. I didn’t even know if she could help me or if any lawyer could. All I wanted was it to go away & was afraid most lawyers wanted to drag it out & possibly go to court. For one she was very professional but was very personable (maybe b.c she’s a lady). She didn’t make me feel embarrassed or self-conscious that I did something wrong or was the cause of the situation. She immediately said we should try our best before going to court. Let me handle some paperwork, if at the last we do go to court we have documents. She gave me all the details, pros and cons but reassured me she deals with these cases all the time. She came through and made it as painless as possible. I now have my life back.

Matt H.
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I was in a car accident a while back where I was injured and had to miss work for an extended period of time.  After nearly a year of fighting with the insurance company with no results and no progress, I met with Jelena Tiemann.  I couldn't have asked for a more responsive and supportive advocate.  We quickly reached a settlement and I finally was able to move from the stress and burden of feuding with my insurance.  I highly recommending meeting with Jelena if you're in need of a lawyer.

Jennifer Birdseye
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Lendzey Garcia
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