Losing a loved one because of senseless negligence not only takes a toll emotionally but can also create an unexpected financial burden. The expenses such a tragedy incur for medical treatment and burial costs coupled with the potential for lost income from a deceased family member can create seemingly insurmountable financial challenges, none of which you should have to deal with while you are grieving a loved one’s death.
An experienced Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer can help ease some of your financial difficulties by making certain you understand your rights and how best to protect them if you choose to seek civil damages against the person or entity responsible for your loved one’s death. Call today to find out about a compassionate personal injury attorney could help you carefully examine the facts and help you pursue justice.
What Constitutes a Wrongful Death Claim?
The concept of wrongful death increasingly emerged throughout the 20th century, and each state in America now maintains some type of wrongful death law. A person can pursue a wrongful death claim if a loved one dies because of the legal negligence or intentional act of either another person or entity.
Valid grounds for such claims may include medical errors, auto accidents, and fatal injuries from dangerous or malfunctioning consumer products. Individuals, government agencies, and corporations may be held liable for actions that led to a wrongful death, whether those actions were unintentional or intentional.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death lawsuits most frequently stem from fatal car accidents. When a driver is reckless behind the wheel and openly disregards traffic law, they can be held liable for damage done in a resulting accident. A Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer can help the family of a fatal car accident victim pursue justice and hold the negligent driver responsible for their actions.
Medical malpractice can also lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. Patients entrust their health and safety to the hands of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers, and lives are often at stake if that trust is taken advantage of. In addition to working with you and your family to research and build your claim, a wrongful death attorney in Claremont can also work with medical experts to determine liability for medical malpractice.
Work accidents are a frequent source of wrongful death cases. Construction workers especially face many daily hazards in their line of work. Despite the inherent dangers of such work, however, employers are obligated to provide their workers with a reasonably safe work environment. When they fail to do so, lawsuits can be filed.
Finally, wrongful death claims can stem from pedestrian accidents. Because pedestrians have nothing protecting or physically separating them from negligent drivers, collisions often result in fatalities. In situations where the driver could not spot the pedestrian because of poorly designed pedestrian walkways, the city or county may be held liable as well.
The Benefits of Legal Assistance
A Claremont and Pasadena wrongful death lawyer can help a client file a claim on behalf of themselves and other close family members who suffered as a result of the wrongful death. These persons are referred to as real parties in interest.
According to California Code of Civil Procedure §377.60, potential real parties of interest in the state include the decedent’s spouse, children, domestic partner, and issue of deceased children—that is, subsequent generations of beneficiaries if the deceased’s children are no longer living.
Those dependent on the deceased, like a putative spouse, the putative spouse’s children, stepchildren, and parents, may also be eligible for compensation. In addition, a minor who resided with the decedent for at least 180 days prior to death and was financially dependent for a least 50 percent of support may file a claim.
Possible Damages in a California Wrongful Death Lawsuit
California Code of Civil Procedure §335.1 places a two-year deadline for filing a claim for injury or death due to another’s negligence. Provided they file within this time period, a California resident can seek compensatory damages for economic and non-economic losses in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Economic damages refer to the financial support the decedent would have offered if they were still alive, as well as funeral costs and benefits and gifts heirs would have otherwise received. Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses such as loss of the deceased’s companionship, affection, protection, training, and/or emotional support.
Settlements frequently include compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Funeral costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological damage
- Punitive damages
Reaching Out to a Wrongful Death Attorney in the Los Angeles Region
If you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you may need assistance from a Claremont and Pasadena wrongful death lawyer who understands the complexities of these kinds of cases and can confidently defend your best interests, so you can effectively pursue the compensation you deserve. Losing someone you care about is never easy, but a seasoned attorney can help you through the hardship and make your best interests their priority. Call whenever you are ready to schedule a consultation.