What is a wrongful death case? How to know if you have a case

posted byLA Attorneys GroupJanuary 27, 2021

Losing a loved one is extremely difficult, but at LA Attorneys, we provide the support you need to pursue your wrongful death case.

It is important to understand how a wrongful death case is defined, how to file a claim, and who is eligible to do so.

In this article, we are going to talk about:

What A Wrongful Death Case Is

A wrongful death case is litigated when a person dies due to another’s negligence or intentional action, often making wrongful death cases very emotional.

The loved one of the person who has died can get compensation for the wrongful death of their family member. In a court of law, those close to the deceased can file a lawsuit against the party that is liable for the death.

There are numerous examples of wrongful death cases. The most common include:

  • Car, Motorcycle, or Truck accidents that result in death: If a person dies due to negligence behind the wheel, a wrongful death claim may be pursued
  • Medical Malpractice: When a patient dies as a result of a doctor’s carelessness or misdiagnosis
  • Intentional Murder: Not all wrongful death cases are based on negligence, they can also involve intentional murder.

However, the examples above are just a few scenarios in which a wrongful death claim is made. Other situations include workplace accidents, falls, and manufacturing defects.

In order for a wrongful death case to be pursued based on negligence, you must prove that negligence was the underlying cause.

This type of case is often based on a “ breach of duty ,” meaning the person at-fault did not take any steps to ensure the safety of those around them.

For example, drink driving is a “break of duty” since the drunk driver made a careless decision that greatly impacts the safety of those around them.

If someone dies as a result of this negligence it can be litigated as a wrongful death case based on negligence.

How to Litigate a Wrongful Death Case

Litigating a wrongful death case means filing a claim. This claim is filed to recover the economic and non-economic losses due to the death of a loved one.

However, in the state of California, only specific people can file such a claim.

Under California law, family members, as stated in the California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60, may file a wrongful death claim. These family members include:

  • Spouses
  • Domestic partners (A person who was a registered partner at the time of the person’s death, in accordance with California Family Code 297(b)).
  • Putative spouses (A person who believed in good faith belief he or she was married to the person deceased).
  • Children and adoptive children
  • Grandchildren (if the children of the person who passed away are also deceased)
  • Stepchildren for whom the deceased person provided at least 50% financial support
  • A person who would be entitled to inherit the property of the deceased person under California’s laws on intestate succession.
  • Parents can also file a wrongful death claim for the loss of their child (minor or adult)

After filing a wrongful death claim, one can recover compensation for both economic damages and non-economic damages.

Compensation for economic damages includes the money that will be spent on the funeral and burial. Since the person died at the hands of another person, that person becomes liable for covering the economic costs of that death.

Additionally, economic damages also include medical bills that helped keep the person alive before their death and the wages the deceased person lost due to their injury. This may even include future wages.

Compensation for non-economic damages includes the pain and suffering of the family of the deceased.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

It may be difficult to engage in litigation after the death of a loved one. However, doing so will ensure that your family is compensated for their losses. While no amount of money will ever be able to replace the loss of life or reduce the amount of pain family members feel, it may ease the undue burden caused by the accident.

A professional injury attorney can help with your wrongful death case in many ways.

First, they can help you establish if you have a case and help determine if proceeding with litigation will produce any results.

For example, they will help you determine if a claim can be made and establish if negligence was the true cause of death.

Second, they can help you file a claim to recover any losses. Since there are several legal implications to filing a wrongful death claim, such as which damages you can seek compensation for and who is eligible to file the claim, hiring an attorney is greatly beneficial.

Finally, an injury attorney will work with you to establish the best legal solutions available for your case.

LA Attorneys will provide personalized advice for your case if you book a free consultation.

Conclusion

If you have lost a loved one at the hands of another person and are hoping to receive significant compensation for your economic and non-economic damages, we can help.

Contact us today to find out if you are eligible to pursue legal action for a wrongful death case.

LA Attorneys can help you get the settlement you deserve so that you can recover from this traumatic experience.

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