How Wrongful Death Cases Work in California

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If someone else’s negligence leaves you injured, you can hold them responsible in a court of law and can be compensated in accordance with your financial, physical, and emotional damages. If, on the other hand, someone’s negligence leads to another person’s death, the victim obviously has no recourse. Certain of the victim’s family members, however, do have the ability to seek compensation for the loss of their loved one via a wrongful death lawsuit. If the negligence of another causes you to lose a loved one, it’s time to consult with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney.

Precipitating Events

While every wrongful death case is specific to its own particulars, these cases commonly revolve around the following types of accidents:

  • Traffic accidents, including car, truck, motorcycle, scooter, bike, and pedestrian accidents
  • Accidents on unsafely maintained commercial premises
  • Accidents caused by defective products
  • Accidents in the construction and manufacturing industries

Typically, wrongful death cases are based on someone else’s negligence causing the fatal accident in question.

Determining Your Ability to Bring a Wrongful Death Claim

In the State of California, only the following family members can file a wrongful death claim in response to the loss of a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence:

  • The deceased’s spouse or domestic partner
  • The deceased’s surviving children
  • Certain other designated family members of the deceased (generally his or her parents or siblings) – if there are no surviving children or is no surviving spouse

It’s also important to note that, in California, anyone who was financially dependent upon the deceased, such as a stepchild or parent, is permitted to bring a wrongful death suit.

Calculating Compensation

Again, every wrongful death case is as unique as the person who’s been lost, but there are several categories of compensation that are routinely sought, including:

  • The loss of all anticipated financial support that would have come from the deceased (for example, your spouse’s contribution to your finances)
  • The loss of all household services provided by the deceased (for example, your spouse’s contributions around the house – including housework, house repairs, and childcare)
  • The loss of the deceased’s love and community (for example, the love and companionship you received from your spouse)

The intangible loss of love and community is obviously more difficult to put a price on, but the loss itself is, nevertheless, just as real.

The Most Important First Step Is Hiring an Experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney

If you’ve lost a loved one in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you and your family are going through a difficult grieving process, and you need a dedicated personal injury lawyer to take on the complicated legal proceedings associated with wrongful death claims on your behalf. The formidable personal injury lawyers at Jahrmarkt & Associates – proudly serving Los Angeles and all surrounding areas – are uniquely qualified to skillfully advocate for your rights as your loved one’s survivor and for your rightful compensation. We’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 310-226-7676 to schedule a free case evaluation today.