Accidents bring about traumatic experiences whenever they happen. It's even more distressing when those involved in an accident end up losing their lives. If you’ve lost your loved one as a result of another person’s fault, it is important to contact a lawyer who will guide you on the best way to file a wrongful death claim. This type of claim is meant to estimate financial loss which could possibly be suffered by the victim’s family members. To get help with your case, please call us at 424-231-2013. At Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, our experienced wrongful death lawyers understand the pain your family is undergoing following a wrongful death accident and are devoted to helping you. We know that nothing we offer can bring your loved ones back to life; all we do is make sure that you do not suffer financial burdens too.
As someone who’s lost your loved one through wrongful death, you might wonder why it's important to speak to a wrongful death attorney in the first place and how they can help your family. Well, wrongful death is the loss of life resulting from an accident caused by the negligence of another person. For this reason, close family members of the deceased will be eligible to seek recovery for costs suffered and damages. An experienced wrongful death attorney is very significant as they will help you file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party and their insurance company. An attorney in this field will help you carry out detailed investigations and further use the information collected to develop a strong case that proves the responsible party is guilty of the charges.
What to Consider When Looking For a Qualified Wrongful Death Attorney
Here in California, filing wrongful death claims may be tricky due to the complex law associated with them. In order for you or your family members to win these claims in a personal injury lawsuit, you will need the help of an experienced attorney to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for the losses sustained. The decision of signing up a lawyer must be made as soon as possible. We understand that you are emotionally distressed and that’s why we want to help so that you can move on with your life.
Below are some significant factors that you should look into when hiring a wrongful death attorney:
- Successful track record. For you to win your case, you need a winner. Make sure that you keenly look at the potential attorney’s performance record in previous settlements in this capacity.
- Good reputation. You should sign up a lawyer who has an acceptable reputation amongst their equals, juries and the community. This is because their good reputation will tell you how fruitful their help will be when pursuing your case.
- Trustworthy. It is vital to work with a lawyer you can trust and believe in. This is to ensure that they will do what it takes to safeguard your interests. The confidence of receiving damages for your claim and justice being served is dependent on trust.
- Good staff. When you make a call to the personal injury law firm, you want to get immediate help no matter what time or day it is. An attorney should also be readily available to answer your queries and even give you the necessary advice as far as your case is concerned.
- Experience. An experienced lawyer is imperative since a claim for wrongful death can be intricate. The best attorneys are those that speak with the customer and work to accomplish a shared objective- getting sufficient monetary compensation. A gifted legal advisor will secure all rights entitled to their clients and give appropriate representation by building a strong case to prove all the four components of wrongful death claim.
What Is Meant By Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a claim against an individual who can be held responsible for the death of your loved one. The death could have been as a result of the reckless behavior or negligence on the part of the party accused. The failure of a person to act in a reasonable manner that a prudent person would under the specific set of conditions is what is termed as negligence.
At What Point is a Wrongful Death Case Applicable?
A wrongful death claim is only calculable when a casualty who might in some way or another have a personal injury claim dies due to recklessness or negligence on the defendant part. Wrongful death can be applicable in situations such as:
- When an accident occurs causing death as a result of negligence. A wrongful death claim is filed when a victim who suffered injuries during the incident dies.
- When a victim is intentionally killed.
- When a casualty dies due to medical malpractices. In case someone dies as result of doctor’s failure to properly diagnose patient’s situation or proof not to care when they are required, the doctor can face a wrongful death action.
It is only possible for the plaintiffs to receive damages as compensation for wrongful death if they prove that it is the deliberate intentions or negligence of the defendant that caused the death. Apart from collecting enough evidence and interrogating witnesses, the affected family members are also required to file wrongful death lawsuits before the statutory deadline set for such action expires. Despite the pain you are undergoing for the loss, it is important to take necessary legal action to secure maximum compensation for all the affected persons. Here are the four main elements of wrongful death as defined by the law;
- Negligence. This element requires the surviving wrongful death victims or their attorney to demonstrate that death of their loved one was contributed by recklessness, neglectful acts, or carelessness on the part of the defendant
- Breach of Duty. In order to succeed in a wrongful death case, the plaintiff side must also prove that the Respondent had a duty to care for the well-being of the decedent. Basically, the plaintiff must demonstrate the existence of this duty and how it was breached by the negligence.
- Causation. Apart from proving how the duty was breached, the plaintiff should likewise establish how the offender’s disregard led to a demise of their loved one.
- Damages. Before and after an individual dies there must be several quantifiable damages suffered, for instance, medical expenses, hospital bills, funeral cost, loss of protection and other benefits. There must be a proof that the damages were as a result of the breach.
Since risks associated with wrongful death claims are extremely high, our firm has specialized in this area and we are more than willing to help you generate strong evidence to support these elements. We have highly skilled attorneys with vast knowledge in cases concerning wrongful death.
Who Qualifies To File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Following the wrongful death of an individual, there are only two specific groups of individuals who are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. The first group includes those closest to the deceased- they are given the highest priority. Highest entailment goes to the spouse and children of the deceased. Other individuals who can file this kind of claim include:
- Parents of the deceased
- Siblings to the departed
- Children of deceased’s siblings
- Putative spouse, their children, and stepchildren
They are only legible if they directly depended on the departed until his death. If there is any minor with the proof that they were dependent on the decedent’s care until the time of their death, they might have a feasible suit.
These parties can choose to jointly or separately file the claims. They can as well have a personal representative of the estate of the deceased to act on their behalf. The compensations received from a personal injury lawsuit will then be shared amongst the surviving family members as stated by the wrongful death statute.
Potential Damages That One Can Recover In a Wrongful Death Claims
Losing someone you love because of another person's careless or neglectful activities can be sincerely an uncontrollable experience that can cause significant damage to the whole family. Notwithstanding the enthusiastic hardships caused by this misfortune, you are likely to endure some monetary inconveniences too. It's your entitlement to file a wrongful death claim to recuperate both financial and non-monetary harms in such cases. As the survivor of a wrongful death victim, you can claim the following damages:
- Medical bills and funeral costs
- Lost income in case the deceased was the bread winner
- Value of household support
- Loss of love and companionship provided by the late
- Lost benefits the deceased may have earned, such as pension plans, health care
- The pain and suffering of the survivors
- Loss of consortium from a deceased spouse
- Loss of inheritance due to untimely death if the deceased was a parent
If the deceased spend some time in the hospital or had their property damaged before they die, the family members can receive punitive damages. These are damages awarded following survival actions. In addition, punitive damages can be compensated for in case the death is a deliberate homicide and the defendant has been sentenced for a felony. In most cases, survival action and wrongful death claim are taken to the court of law at the same time. For correct estimation of all these damages, you must contact an experienced attorney to help you with the calculations.
Developing a Wrongful Death Case on Your Behalf
With a specific end-goal on building an absolutely legitimate case against the careless party, Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney may employ private investigative personnel to safeguard pieces of evidence that precisely reinforces your claims. More information related to the misfortune can be acquired by interviewing the eyewitnesses. Our experts have the capacity to even apply scene reconstruction technology in the case of an accident to ensure that there is enough evidence both physically and in video form as a proof of neglectful actions.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
A wrongful death lawsuit falls under civil action and not a criminal case. This consequently makes the burden of proof set lower. To be fruitful, the claim must be won on the prevalence of evidence rather than the standard set in a criminal case of being liable beyond any sensible doubt. There are several steps involved in pursuing civil actions for wrongful death cases. These steps include strategy development, claim investigation, communicating with professionals, doing research on tort law, and interviewing eyewitnesses. Furthermore, a legal process concerning wrongful death will comprise mediation, demands, and attempts to settle the claims. A lawsuit is only filed when a settlement was not agreed upon by the parties involved.
Wrongful Death Statutes of Limitation
If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death case, one important thing that you should keep in mind is that time is of the essence. In most cases, the claim must be filed within 2 years after the death. This, however, is with the exception of medical malpractice in which the plaintiff has only 1 year and 6 months in cases involving government entities.
Wrongful Death Settlements
In most occurrences, a wrongful death claim does not go to trial- it is settled outside the court. It is therefore fundamental to hire an aggressive lawyer with excellent negotiation skills who will help you in managing the settlement. However, in settling wrongful death claims, the quantity of evidence provided by the plaintiff’s side does not matter but what matters most is the quality and credibility of the evidence.
Contact Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you believe you have a wrongful death claim following a catastrophic loss of someone very close to you, as a result of another person’s negligence, call Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney at 424-231-2013 for free consultation and evaluation of your case. With a history of fruitful judgments and settlements from the previously handled wrongful death claims, our attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights. Our promise is that you only pay when we win.