Was Your Loved One Killed in an Accident?
If your loved one was killed in an accident, you may be entitled to a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim, except the plaintiff is a family member of the deceased. The Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys at Martinian Lawyers can assist in these types of claims to that grieving family members can secure deserved compensation.
While we understand that nothing can fully remediate the sorrow of losing a loved one, a successful wrongful death claim is a helpful tool for securing the funds necessary to ensure financial stability after the death of a loved one. If you have recently lost a loved one, then the last thing you want to be worried about is your financial stability in a time like this.
What Is Considered Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a tragic event that occurs when someone dies due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person or entity. In California, wrongful death can be attributed to a variety of scenarios, including medical malpractice, car accidents, workplace accidents, and defective products. To be considered wrongful death, the party responsible for the death must have acted negligently, recklessly, or with intentional harm. The death must have also resulted in damages, such as emotional distress, loss of financial support, and loss of companionship. In California, surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the liable party accountable and receive compensation for their losses. It is important to seek the guidance of an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles to navigate the legal process and ensure a fair outcome.
Common Types of Los Angeles Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death claims in Los Angeles are often filed following various types of fatal incidents. These claims seek compensation for the deceased person’s surviving relatives due to negligent or intentional acts that led to the individual’s death. Here are some common types of wrongful death claims in the region:
- Car Accidents: Los Angeles’s busy roads and high traffic volume often lead to fatal car accidents caused by reckless driving, impaired driving, or failure to adhere to traffic laws.
- Motorcycle Accidents: Given their lack of protection, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable, and accidents often result in fatalities.
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents: Pedestrians and cyclists are at high risk due to limited protection in traffic collisions.
- Medical Malpractice: Medical professionals sometimes provide substandard care that leads to a patient’s death. Examples include surgical errors, misdiagnosis, or improperly administered treatments and medications.
- Workplace Accidents: Fatalities can occur in various workplace environments, particularly in high-risk industries like construction, manufacturing, and transportation.
- Premises Liability: Property owners may be held liable for deaths that occur due to unsafe conditions on their premises, such as slip and fall accidents, swimming pool accidents, and inadequate security measures leading to fatal attacks.
- Product Liability: Manufacturers, distributors, or sellers can be held responsible for deaths resulting from defective or dangerous products, including faulty auto parts, dangerous drugs, and malfunctioning appliances.
- Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect: Elderly individuals might face fatal injuries due to negligence or intentional harm within nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
In California, a wrongful death claim can only be filed by certain individuals or entities. These can include surviving spouses, children, and domestic partners of the deceased, as well as parents, siblings, or anyone who was financially dependent on the person who passed away. Additionally, a wrongful death claim may be filed by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. It’s important to note that these claims are subject to strict timelines and filing requirements, and therefore it’s crucial to seek legal assistance from an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process. While the legal system can never fully compensate for the loss of a loved one, a successful wrongful death claim can provide some financial relief for the surviving family members.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in California?
Legal cases involving wrongful death can be difficult to navigate, especially when it comes to understanding the statute of limitations in California. Generally, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in California is two years from the date of death. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and it’s important to understand them. For instance, if the wrongful death was caused by medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is extended to three years. Additionally, if the defendant is a government entity, then a claim must be filed within six months of the incident. It’s important to speak with a qualified Los Angeles wrongful attorney to understand your legal options and determine the specific timeline for your case.
How to Prove Wrongful Death in California
Wrongful death occurs when someone dies as a result of another party’s wrongful act, neglect, or default. If you suspect that your loved one’s death was the result of someone else’s wrongful actions, it is important to know how to prove it. Typically, wrongful death lawsuits require substantial evidence to support the claim. This may include witness testimonies, medical records, and expert opinions.
There are four key elements that must be established:
- Duty of Care: The plaintiff must show that the defendant had a legal duty to exercise reasonable care towards the deceased.
- Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must show that the defendant breached their duty of care towards the deceased by acting negligently or recklessly.
- Causation: The plaintiff must show that the defendant’s breach of duty caused the deceased’s death.
- Damages: The plaintiff must show that they suffered damages as a result of the deceased’s death, such as funeral expenses, medical bills, and loss of support.
Damages Available in a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Claim
There are various types of damages that can be awarded to the family members of the deceased.
- Economic damages can be awarded for financial losses such as the loss of support or services that the deceased would have provided.
- Non-economic damages are meant to compensate for losses that are much more difficult to quantify such as the loss of companionship or love.
- Punitive damages may also be awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless or malicious.
While no amount of money can ever replace a loved one, understanding the damages available can help families seek the justice and closure they deserve.
Calculating Damages in a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Claim
In a wrongful death claim, various damages can be pursued. Funeral and burial expenses refer to the costs associated with laying the deceased to rest. These expenses encompass a wide range of services and goods, including but not limited to the cost of the casket, embalming or cremation, hearse rental, grave plot, headstone, and the services rendered by the funeral home and staff. Families of the deceased can seek compensation to cover these often significant and unexpected costs, relieving the financial burden associated with honoring their loved one’s memory.
Loss of income and financial support considers the earnings and benefits the deceased would have provided to their dependents had they lived. This calculation often includes the deceased’s salary, expected raises, bonuses, and benefits, such as health insurance and retirement contributions. The aim is to compensate the family for the financial void left by the deceased’s untimely death, helping them maintain a semblance of financial stability and security. Loss of consortium addresses the emotional and relational loss experienced by the family members of the deceased. It encompasses the loss of companionship, affection, love, care, and marital relations that the survivors will miss due to the death of their loved one. Loss of moral support also recognizes the guidance, advice, and encouragement that the deceased provided to their family, acknowledging that the impact of wrongful death extends beyond financial losses to deeply personal and emotional ones.
Household services the deceased would have provided include everyday tasks and maintenance essential to running a household. This could encompass chores, repairs, cleaning, cooking, childcare, and eldercare that the deceased typically performed. Compensation for the loss of these services helps the family cover the costs associated with hiring individuals to perform these tasks, acknowledging that the deceased’s contributions to the household were valuable and multifaceted. This category of damages seeks to mitigate the practical disruptions and additional expenses families face in the aftermath of their loved one’s death.
Insurance Considerations in a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Claim
Insurance considerations play a crucial role in determining potential compensation avenues for the grieving family. The type and limits of the at-fault party’s insurance policy can significantly influence the amount of compensation available. If the responsible party has insufficient insurance or is uninsured, the victim’s family may need to rely on their own insurance policies, such as uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, if the claim stems from a vehicular accident. Additionally, life insurance, health insurance, and even homeowner’s policies might come into play, depending on the circumstances of the death.
How Martinian Lawyers Approaches Wrongful Death Claims
At Martinian Lawyers, our approach to wrongful death claims is rooted in a deep sense of compassion, dedication, and meticulous attention to detail. Understanding the profound emotional and financial toll such tragedies inflict upon families, we prioritize providing support and clear communication every step of the way. Our experienced legal team begins by conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death, ensuring that all relevant facts and evidence are uncovered. Leveraging our vast network of experts, from medical professionals to accident reconstructionists, we build a compelling case to demonstrate liability.
Moreover, recognizing the financial strain that often accompanies these tragic losses, we meticulously quantify all economic and non-economic damages, from lost wages and future earnings to pain and suffering, ensuring that families receive the full compensation they deserve. Our seasoned negotiators work diligently to secure fair settlements with insurance companies, but we remain unafraid to take the case to trial if it serves our client’s best interests. With Martinian Lawyers, families can trust that their wrongful death claim is in the hands of dedicated professionals who will fight tenaciously for justice and closure.
Financial Compensation You Can Recover
Martinian Lawyers is a personal injury law firm with a reputation for excellence in all it does. Not only this, but the compassion that each attorney displays has not gone unnoticed. Our firm is trusted time and time again with these extremely sensitive cases.
To learn how you could secure representation from the firm, contact a Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer today.