When a car accident leads to wrongful death, the surviving family can seek damages by filing a wrongful death claim in LA against the liable party. This type of claim is brought against the defendant who caused another person’s death. The cause of death could be due to negligence or deliberate act.
Applicability of Wrongful Death Claim in LA
A wrongful death claim occurs after circumstances wherein a victim who would in other ways, have a legitimate claim died because of the defendant’s misdemeanor. It can arise in several different situations, including:
The victim died because of an intentional act. An example is when a person (defendant) has a deep grudge against another person (victim). That grudge leads to the deliberate killing of the victim.
The victim died due to medical malpractice. This happens when a doctor misdiagnoses a condition or there’s carelessness in the care provided. So when the patient dies, the attending doctor or physician may face a wrongful death lawsuit.
The victim perished due to another person’s negligence. If the victim dies because of the driver’s negligence, the victim’s surviving family may pursue a lawsuit against the defendant.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim prevails when an individual succumbs because of another person’s fault – either by accident or premeditated. Claims involve almost all kinds of deadly accidents, including vehicular accidents, complex medical malpractice, or because of using a faulty product. Involved liable parties may include employers, companies, government agencies, and the town or city. They can be lawfully negligent for failing to act as a sensible person or entity, and for intentionally harming the victim.
Other liable parties who may be sued because of negligence or deliberate action include:
- Chain of distribution (product manufacturer, distributor, or installer of a faulty or dangerous part of the vehicle)
- Driver or employer at fault in the car accident
- Persons or establishments that sold, served or gave alcohol to the impaired driver
- Designer or builder of the faulty roadway
- Government agency that failed to provide sufficient warnings concerning a road hazard that resulted in an accident
What Do You Need to Prove to Get a Claim?
The surviving family needs to prove the defendant liable because of his negligence, which is the reason why their loved one died. They should meet the same burden of proof that the victim would have had to fulfill should he lived. Big Ben Lawyers can represent you and help you prove the defendant’s negligence.
Using negligence demonstrates that:
- The liable party owed the victim a duty of care
- The at-fault party breached his duty
- The breach of duty was a specific and immediate cause of death
- The death brought on damages that the surviving family tries to recover
What Damages are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Claim?
The surviving family can recover several damages in a wrongful death claim. It includes:
- Medical treatment costs
- Funeral and burial costs
- Deceased victim’s pre-death “pain and suffering”
- Loss of any inheritance should the victim lived
- Loss of care, guidance, and nurturing the deceased victim could have provided
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of love and companionship
Who Can Sue and File a Claim?
People who are eligible to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil courts based on California’s wrongful death statute include:
- The deceased victim’s surviving spouse or domestic partner
- The decedent’s surviving children
- The grandchildren of any deceased child of the deceased person.
Apart from the above-mentioned heirs of the deceased person, the following people can also file a claim when there are no surviving individuals in the departed’s line of descent. They can be entitled to the departed’s property through intestate succession. It depends on who is living during the victim’s untimely death. These people include the decedent’s parents or siblings.
Other people can also file a wrongful death lawsuit as long as they prove their financial independence. These people may include:
- The decedent’s “putative spouse”
- Children of the decedent’s putative spouse
- Stepchildren of the deceased’s person
- Deceased person’s legal guardian when parents no longer live
Statute of Wrongful Death Claim in California
Similar to all lawsuits, wrongful death claims should be filed within a specific time frame. In California, the state allows the claimants two years to file a claim from the date of the victim’s death. If the filing was made after the specified period, the claimant loses the right to compensation.
Big Ben Lawyers Can Help with Your Wrongful Death Claim in LA
If you encounter issues with your claim, contact Big Ben Lawyers for legal assistance. Our wrongful death lawyers will always be here to defend your rights. We can maximize your compensation and identify if there are other parties involved in the tragic incident. We work harder to ensure that you will get justice and receive the compensation you deserve.
We work on a contingency fee basis. You can pay us after the verdict or a settlement has been made. Call (818) 423-4878 today and book a free consultation today.