Fighting for Justice After the Negligent Death of a Family Member
The reality is that nothing is a painful and traumatic as the death of a loved one as the result of someone else’s negligence. If you’ve found yourself facing the negligent death of a family member, you need to understand your vital legal rights. You need to know where you can turn in order to protect those crucial legal interests – and to obtain justice for the death of your family member.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful Death claims are unfortunately common and very difficult to deal with. In general, these claims arise when someone is responsible for the death of another person.
A wrongful death claim is a kind of personal injury claim. This process requires the surviving loved ones (or estate representative) filing the case to answer the same three foundational legal questions as personal injury plaintiffs do when filing claims related to non-fatal injuries. These questions are:
- Did the defendant owe the injury victim a duty of care under the law?
- Did the defendant breach their duty of care to the injury victim by engaging in reckless, negligent, or intentionally dangerous conduct?
- Did the defendant’s breach of care serve as a substantial factor in the cause of the victim’s injuries?
The primary difference between a standard personal injury claim and a wrongful death claim is the inclusion of a final question into this foundational set: Did the victim die as a result of their injuries sustained – in substantial part – due to the defendant’s breach of care?
The wrongful death claims process doesn’t compensate surviving loved ones for the pain and suffering felt by the injury victim. Instead, it seeks to compensate surviving loved ones for the losses that they have incurred as a result of the death of their family member. For example, wrongful death damage awards frequently include compensation for funeral costs, lost earnings, loss of companionship, etc. The victim’s pain and suffering, if actionable must be addressed in a survival action.
California Code, Code of Civil Procedure – CCP § 377.60 is one of the major sources for law governing wrongful death cases in the Golden State.
A cause of action for the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another may be asserted by any of the following persons or by the decedent’s personal representative on their behalf:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, and issue of deceased children, or, if there is no surviving issue of the decedent, the persons, including the surviving spouse or domestic partner, who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession.
- Whether or not qualified under subdivision (a), if they were dependent on the decedent, the putative spouse, children of the putative spouse, stepchildren, or parents. As used in this subdivision, “putative spouse” means the surviving spouse of a void or voidable marriage who is found by the court to have believed in good faith that the marriage to the decedent was valid.
- A minor, whether or not qualified under subdivision (a) or (b), if, at the time of the decedent’s death, the minor resided for the previous 180 days in the decedent’s household and was dependent on the decedent for one-half or more of the minor’s support.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death in California
- Traffic-related crashes, including:
- Auto accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice, including:
- Anesthesia errors
- Birth injuries
- Defective medical equipment
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Surgical errors
- Defective products
- Premises liability, including:
- Animal attacks and dog bites
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Physical violence
- Slip and fall accidents
The circumstances of your loved one’s death will differ from any other case, so do not hesitate to contact wrongful death attorney at Eldessouky Law to discuss the details of your loss – as soon as you are ready. You can reach our firm by calling (714) 409-8991.
Losing the physical person requires a lengthy mourning period, and it may be months before you realize the financial losses that follow their death. In the State of California, the standard law regarding the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of your loved one’s death. That means time is of the essence when it comes to pursuing the negligent party who caused your loss for financial recovery.
What Types of Financial Recovery Are Available in Wrongful Death Cases?
Damages in wrongful death claims are meant to compensate for the value of support the plaintiff would have expected to receive from their deceased family member. This usually comes in the form of compensatory damages, which is usually broken up into economic and non-economic damages.
The wrongful death attorneys at Eldessouky Law know that both are equally important, and we will work diligently to make sure you recover damages from the financial support the deceased would have provided, gifts or benefits you may have received, funeral and burial costs, and household services you would have received.
Eldessouky Law also acknowledges the non-economic losses you may have suffered and will fight to get you compensation for your loss of society and companionship, protection, affection, moral support, training and guidance, and sexual relations. All are important pieces you may be missing from a loved one.
Each wrongful death case and the expenses that accompany the death of a loved one requires a wrongful death attorney who has the knowledge and experience to calculate the total losses properly. At Eldessouky Law, our commitment to protecting our clients’ needs going forward is paramount. We will leave no detail to chance when calculating your finances, so you can positively move forward.
Common financial recovery options that can be pursued in a wrongful death claim include:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of inheritance
- Medical expenses and hospital bills incurred prior to death, where applicable
- Ongoing financial expenses
- Property damages
- Recovery of lost past and future earnings
There is not limit set by California for how much someone can receive in compensatory damages. However, most of the time, the amount will be decided based on factors associated with the deceased family member that include:
- Character and condition
- Earning capacity
- Life expectancy
- Health and intelligence
- Additional financial and physical circumstances
There’s also a small possibility you may be able to recover punitive damages. These are reserved for cases that can prove the defendant acted particularly malice in nature. One examples may be if someone intentionally tried to kill someone with their vehicle. You can contact our office and speak to a lawyer to see how much your case may be worth.
Our experienced wrongful death lawyers will outline your unique financial circumstances and supply a full explanation of benefits and miscellaneous expenses that can be included in your claim. We will answer any questions you have along the way, and address each of your concerns with a compassionate and personal commitment to success.
How Do I Know If I Have A Wrongful Death Case in, California?
Wrongful death cases are complex and require an experienced wrongful death attorney to compile and prove in the courtroom. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, or believe that another’s negligence led to their demise, we want to hear your case.
Proving wrongful death requires research, evidence acquired through investigative tactics, and testimony from experts who can confirm your loved one’s loss was the fault of another. The order in which our wrongful death law firm obtains this evidence will differ, depending on the cause of death.
An experienced wrongful death lawyer, like a member of the legal team at Eldessouky Law, can provided a preliminary case evaluation. This process aids in determining whether you have a viable wrongful death claim.
Who can Pursue a California Wrongful Death Case?
California law states that there are only specific relatives or family members that are legally able to sue on behalf of the deceased for wrongful death. These individuals include:
- An individual
- Company staff
- Corporate entities
- Medical professionals, teams, or facilities
- Private or public property owners
- Operating and management companies
- Maintenance staff
- Security professionals
Each wrongful death case will have its own set of circumstances that require a precise legal approach to prove in court, and our experienced wrongful death attorney will provide you with the knowledge you need to feel confident in our decision to move forward with your case.
Who can be Held Responsible for a Wrongful Death?
Both companies and individuals can be held liable for a wrongful death claim. This can include a negligent driver, a medical professional, or any other person who through their actions caused the death of another.
Elements of a California Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death claims often follow a criminal trial, but they are solely for the loss of benefits from a deceased family member. There also requires a lower margin of proof. To know for sure if you have a wrongful death claim, you must have the following:
- The death of a human
- The death caused by another individual’s negligence or intentional harm
- There was monetary suffering of the surviving family as a direct result of the death
- an established representative of the deceased’s estate
Protecting Your Legal Rights and Obtaining Justice After the Wrongful Death of a Family Member
The first step in protecting your legal rights and seeking justice after the wrongful death of a family member is to schedule an initial consultation and case evaluation with experienced, dedicated legal counsel. You can arrange an appointment with a wrongful death lawyer right no by calling Eldessouky Law at (714) 409-8991.
We can schedule an initial consultation with a wrongful death attorney from our firm any time and any place that is convenient for you. There is never a charge for an initial consult with our firm.