Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawyer
In the United States, over 146,000 accident-related deaths occur yearly, making unintentional injuries the fourth-leading cause of death overall. Many individuals who die suddenly under unanticipated circumstances leave behind parents, children, spouses, and other family members who never imagined they would be dealing with such tragedies. In the wake of these sudden emotional and financial losses, surviving family members may be unsure of how to move forward.
At the Leiva Law Firm, our Los Angeles wrongful death lawyers represent the surviving family members of those victimized by wrongful death. Although some wrongful death claims seem straightforward, this is not always true. During the often complicated time after a loved one passes, their family may benefit from the help of a law firm that has the experience and resources to fight for justice on their behalf.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is defined as a civil lawsuit meant to seek financial compensation for damages and losses suffered by the surviving family of a person who lost their life under circumstances brought on by the negligence of a person or party. The claim is usually brought by immediate relatives of the deceased victim.
In a wrongful death claim, the personal representative or family of the deceased person can sue the entity or individual responsible for the death for monetary compensation. An average settlement for a wrongful death suit can range from thousands of dollars to over a million. However, some cases may result in settlements that are smaller or larger.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
The following family members of deceased victims can file wrongful death lawsuits:
- The deceased person’s surviving spouse
- The deceased victim’s child or children
- Dependent minors residing in the household of the deceased
- Deceased person’s parents
- Other heirs as per California law
- The next of kin
- A personal representative of the deceased’s estate
Statute of Limitations in California Wrongful Death Cases
In California, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date of your family member’s passing. If filed after the wrongful death statute of limitations expires, the trial court can dismiss the suit. If that happens, your family is devoid of the right to recover financial compensation from the person or party responsible for your family member’s death.
What Types of Damages Can You Recover for Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
Those who file wrongful death claims may gather compensation for more than one type of damages. They usually fall under two categories: damages suffered before the passing and those the plaintiff accrued due to their loved one’s death. These may be made up of both economic and non-economic damages. Damages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit depend on the details of the case and the severity of the acquired losses. Some common damages suffered by family members of the wrongfully deceased include:
Often, those victimized in auto accidents, medical malpractice, and other personal injury cases are forced to spend time out of work due to the severity of their injuries. When the deceased victim loses their life, and the personal injury case becomes a wrongful death claim, their family members may be eligible to collect compensation for the wages the deceased victim would have been paid.
Pain and Suffering
Victims who are hurt by personal negligence may file lawsuits for the physical, emotional, and mental trauma they endure. Those who file wrongful death claims may be compensated for the pain and suffering they have endured due to the sudden loss of their family member.
Additional Damages Brought on by the Loss of the Deceased Victim
When a victim who was hurt in Los Angeles due to the negligence of another party dies, their family members may be able to collect compensation for the damages that occurred following the death of the decedent by working with a Los Angeles wrongful death attorney to file a wrongful death lawsuit. These damages may entail economic damages along with emotional and mental anguish they sustained after their loss.
Funeral and Burial Costs
Information provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shows that funerals in the US generally require many services and expenses. For instance, caskets usually range from $3,000 to $11,000. While customers are encouraged by the FTC to compare prices at various funeral homes, families who have lost someone suddenly may not have the mental capacity to seek the best value, and these expenses can escalate quickly. Therefore, expenses related to laying the lost loved one to rest is usually included in a wrongful death claim.
Loss of Future Earnings
Some family members, particularly surviving children and spouses, will require compensation for the victim’s possible future earnings in a wrongful death suit. This type of compensation provides support for families who financially rely on the deceased victim.
Loss of Consortium
California allows the plaintiff to claim loss of consortium, also referred to as loss of companionship, in a wrongful death case. When someone loses their spouse, particularly due to the actions of another individual, they may endure severe emotional turmoil. Financial compensation can aid in gathering the resources required for emotional and mental recovery.
Proving a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Claim
In the majority of wrongful death claims, the case is settled outside of court by an experienced wrongful death attorney. this is because lawyers for both parties aspire to settle agreeably with both sides. However, when a wrongful death claim reaches the trial stage, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the death was wrongful to receive compensation. This means that the following elements must be proven:
- A duty of care was owed to the decedent
- That duty of care was breached
- The death was directly caused by the breach
- Specific damages resulted from the death itself
How a Lawyer Can Help With Your Case
The complicated process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be difficult to conquer on your own. With the help of a wrongful death attorney, you can file a claim that can get you the financial compensation and justice that you need.
Our Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer will gather vital evidence that can help you build a solid case. They can use their resources and far-reaching experience to help determine what events led to the death of the victim. An attorney will also calculate the complete value of your family’s damages, including the cost associated with economic and non-economic damages. This helps you to understand what a fair settlement for your lawsuit should look like. We know how to effectively negotiate with the insurance company of the defendant, their lawyer or, if needed, fight for your rights at trial to recover compensation.
Contact the Leiva Law Firm Today
Contact the Leiva Law Firm to talk to a wrongful death attorney who can help you recover damages when you have lost someone you love due to someone else’s negligence. We work on contingency, which means you pay us nothing unless you are awarded compensation for the losses and damages you may have endured due to the wrongful death of your family member. You can schedule a consultation right now completely free of charge.