It’s difficult to accept the sudden death of a loved one. What made it more difficult was another person’s negligence or a deliberate act that caused the unexpected death. This kind of tragedy leaves the bereaving family with piles of bills to pay, from medical treatment to burial. They are not only heartbroken but also financially broken. No amount can replace or bring back a loved one’s life. What the family can do is file a claim against the defendant(s) who caused the family member’s demise. This will at least cover all the losses and damages they have caused the victim’s family. Speak with the best-trial Los Angeles wrongful death attorney on how you can file a claim.
Wrongful Death Laws in California
The state authorizes surviving family members to file wrongful death claims to obtain compensation when someone’s deeds lead to their loved one’s death. It’s regardless if it’s due to negligence or malevolence.
In a wrongful death claim, the standard of proof is less draconian than in a criminal case. That’s why it’s unusual for the liable party to be innocent and still be found responsible for the murder.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Not anyone has the right to file a wrongful death claim when a loved one dies, according to the law. In most cases, the following are the only ones who can bring a claim to court:
- The surviving spouse of the departed victim
- Deceased’s surviving children
- Parents, brothers, sisters, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews if there’s no surviving spouse or children
What Claimants Need to Prove When Filing a Claim?
Each case is different from another. Working with the best-trial Los Angeles wrongful death attorney can help ensure that you’ll have better chances of a successful claim. You and your hired attorney need to prove the following to have a successful case:
- The defendant owed a legal duty to the succumbed victim
- The defendant regardless breached that duty
- That breach of duty caused or contributed to the cause of the victim’s death
Duties of care differ according to the exact type of accident that transpired. As soon as you have initiated a breach of duty, you need to present these pieces of evidence that the breach of duty caused or led to your loved one’s injuries and death.
You need to have sufficient evidence to fulfill the necessary burden of proof. It’s the amount of evidence you need to introduce to support your allegations to convince the jury or judge that a wrongful death indeed occurred.
Definitely, there’s no need to prove wrongful death. Rather, you need to prove that your loved one died at least 51% because of another person’s negligence or assault. This burden of proof is usually termed as “preponderance of the evidence.”
Proving all of the above and the defendant’s negligence is the key to a successful case and claim. Having a legal representative provides you peace of mind and confidence that you’ll have better odds of winning your case with a fair settlement.
What Damages are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Claim?
Based on California law, surviving families can bring a lawsuit for medical expenses up to the victim’s time of death. Recoverable damages include economic and non-economic damages and sometimes punitive damages:
These damages signify compensation for quantifiable financial losses. It includes:
- past and future medical expenses
- loss of past and future earnings
- costs of repair or replacement
- the economic value of domestic services
- loss of employment or business opportunities
- loss of use of property
- funeral and burial expenses
These damages indicate compensation for personal non-monetary losses. It includes:
- Loss of society and companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
These denote damages awarded to the dead victim’s family as punishment for the liable party. Its purpose is to discourage anyone, especially the defendant from doing the same misdemeanor. This type of damage is not economic or non-economic because these aren’t awarded to recompense any loss.
Need Help with Wrongful Death Claim? Big Ben Lawyers are Here to Help
Filing a wrongful death claim is a complex procedure, with all the paperwork and more. If you don’t have even a slight knowledge about the law, the insurance company will take advantage of you. Working with Big Ben Lawyers will not allow that to happen because we will fight for your legal rights and defend you and your family from those who caused your losses and your loved one’s injuries and death
We understand how you feel and we’ll do everything to help you seek justice and get a fair settlement. Our team of the best trial Los Angeles wrongful death lawyers has the expertise to deal with the insurance companies and bring your case to court if necessary. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you can focus on your recovery, while we take care of your case.
Contact Big Ben Lawyers for a free case evaluation. Dial (818) 423-4878 today and let’s talk about your case.