Wrongful death occurs in California when a person and/or entities cause the preventable death of an individual. These are civil claims based on negligence, wrongdoing, or even intentional acts, such as criminal attacks. As a surviving family member, you can bring a lawsuit for damages against the party or entity responsible for the death of your loved one. This is called a wrongful death claim. It can be combined with a “survival action,” brought by your deceased loved one’s estate also seeking damages for other losses.
At A. Davies Personal Injury Law, I can help you with these claims and lawsuits. Almost nothing is as devastating as losing a loved one; when it has occurred needlessly, it can be even more shocking, grievous, and overwhelming. Filing these claims and recovering compensation can help you find a measure of closure. Doing so can also ensure that your family has the financial resources needed to move forward, especially in cases where your loved one financially supported the family.
Common causes of wrongful death include traffic accidents, defective products, dangerous premises, medical malpractice, and criminal attacks. In these cases, wrongful death claims can be filed by the following individuals:
- The decedent’s spouse or domestic partner
- The decedent’s children
- The decedent’s grandchildren of any deceased child
Absent any of the above, the claim can be filed by anyone “who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession.” This means that inheritance laws would be applied as they are in a probated estate in which the decedent died without a will.
To successfully prove a claim for wrongful death in California, the plaintiff must show that the defendant acted with either malice or negligence. Malice requires proof that an intentional act was carried out by the other party; negligence requires proof that the other party failed to exercise reasonable care leading to an injury that caused the death. Under California law, any legal action brought for wrongful death must be filed within two years from the date of the accident that lead to the victim's death. If no suit is filed within this time period, then recovery may be barred.
Contact my firm to schedule a free initial consultation about your case. You can reach A. Davies Personal Injury Law online or at (408) 577-3441 to get started.
Damages are designed to compensate surviving families for the reasonable value of the support that the decedent would have been expected to provide if he or she had not been killed.
These damages can include:
- Reasonable value for the loss of companionship, affection, protection, guidance, and sexual relations
- The financial support that the decedent would have provided
- Value for the household services that the decedent would have provided
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of benefits or gifts that the survivors would have been given by the decedent if he or she had lived
These damages may be paid in a lump sum or over time in structured payments.
Under California law, survival actions may be filed in combination with the above wrongful death claims. Survival actions allow the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to sue for losses. These losses differ from those applicable to the above-referenced wrongful death damages. They may include damages for the pain and suffering the decedent endured prior to death, his or her medical expenses accrued as a result of the injury, or lost earnings.
Seeking Justice for Your Loved Ones
Losing a loved one is one of the most devastating experiences anyone can endure. If your loved one has tragically passed away due to someone else's negligence or misconduct, you may be entitled to seek justice through a wrongful death claim. At A. Davies Personal Injury Law, our compassionate and experienced attorney is dedicated to helping families like yours navigate the legal process and obtain the compensation they deserve.
When you choose us to handle your wrongful death claim, you can expect:
- Compassionate support: We understand the emotional toll that a wrongful death can take on a family. Our team is here to provide you with the support and guidance you need during this difficult time.
- Thorough investigation: We will conduct a detailed investigation to gather evidence and establish liability. Our attorney works with a network of experts who can provide valuable insights and testimony to strengthen your case.
- Maximized compensation: We will fight tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation available for your loss. This may include damages for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, loss of companionship, and more.
- Strong advocacy: Our skilled attorney is an experienced negotiator and litigator. He will aggressively advocate for your rights and interests, whether that means negotiating a fair settlement or taking your case to trial.
- Personalized attention: We believe in providing personalized attention to every client. We will take the time to understand your unique circumstances and tailor our approach to meet your specific needs and goals.
While no amount of compensation can ever replace your loved one, pursuing a wrongful death claim can help provide financial stability and hold the responsible party accountable. Contact A. Davies Personal Injury Law today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can assist you in seeking justice for your loved ones.