It’s hard to accept when a loved one passes away. What makes it more difficult is when he or she dies because of other people’s negligence. It’s an instinct to seek justice and recover damages incurred by the deceased victim and his family. Contact a credible personal injury law firm and discuss your case with its first-rate wrongful death lawyers in Los Angeles.
What is a Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death occurs when a person dies because of another person’s negligence. It also transpires because of a faulty product or malicious intent. It also involves drunk driving, premeditated acts, and distracted driving.
Who is Liable in a Victim’s Wrongful Demise?
Identifying the liable person in a wrongful death case can be sometimes tricky. Hiring a skilled and knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer from a credible personal injury law firm can help determine liability. Responsible parties may include:
- Drunk driver
- Manufacturer (faulty vehicle parts or defective products in product liability)
- Land or Property owner (Premises Liability)
- Physician (Misdiagnosis or malpractice)
- City or government that failed to maintain or fix sidewalk conditions
Civil Lawsuit vs. Criminal Lawsuit in Wrongful Death Case
A civil lawsuit is completely isolated from a criminal lawsuit. However, both can come about at the same time. A knowledgeable lawyer from a prominent personal injury law firm can handle your civil wrongful death lawsuit. If necessary, he can address your case as well.
In most wrongful death lawsuits, a criminal trial is no longer needed. When it involves negligence, instead of criminal intent as the reason for death, a civil lawsuit would suffice.
What You Need to Prove in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit to Obtain Compensation?
For the court to consider your claim, you need to prove that your loved one died because of another person’s negligence. These four basic elements are:
The surviving family members need to prove that the defendant failed his duty which resulted in their loved one’s death.
Breach of Duty
Claimants need to prove the defendant owed a duty of appropriate care to the departed victim. The surviving family needs to present proof according to a preponderance of evidence that the dead victim perished from a breach of duty.
The surviving family not only needs to prove the defendant’s breach of duty which led to the victim’s death. They also need to show how the liable party’s recklessness caused the victim to die.
When it comes to damages, the claimants have to prove how the defendant’s carelessness adversely affects them emotionally and financially. It includes medical expenses, financial losses, funeral and burial costs, and pain and suffering, among others.
What Recoverable Damages the Dependents Can Get?
No amount can revive a loved one, however, you need to file a claim to cover the expenses incurred because of the tragic accident. These damages include:
- Expenses from medical treatment and hospital bills before the victim’s death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of future wages
- Loss of benefits
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
The court sometimes awards punitive damages to the family if the cause of the victim’s death was maliciously intentional.
Who Has the Right to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The people eligible to file a wrongful death claim is the immediate family. They are the:
- Acknowledged spouse
- Domestic partner
In case there’s no surviving spouse or children, the departed’s parents or sibling can file a claim. Stepchildren can also file a claim if they can prove their financial dependence on the deceased victim.
How Long Must You Wait to File a Claim?
California law allows the surviving family members to file a claim within two years from the death of their loved one. However, there are some exceptions to the rule, including:
- Minor children can file a claim two years from the day they turn 18, on behalf of their dead parent
- The existing family members have two years to file a claim from when you learn that your loved one died because of negligence
- With regards to medical practices, you have one or three years to file based on the predicaments
- If the government’s negligence caused your loved one’s death, you just have six months to file a claim
Need Help to Get Fair Compensation? Contact the Big Ben Lawyers
Losing a loved one is a catastrophic experience and Big Ben Lawyers understand how you feel. Together with our compassionate and competent Los Angeles wrongful death lawyers, are here to help you in every step of the way. We’ll stay by your side and protect your legal rights. Moreover, we’ll maximize your compensation and represent you in court if needed.
You can never go wrong with Big Ben Lawyers because we can establish a strong case and make it a successful one. We work on a contingency fee basis so you can focus on your recuperation while we do our best to seek justice and fair settlement for your family.
Together we will hold the defendant accountable and pay for his negligence. Call us today at 818-423-4878 and tell us about your case at no obligation.