Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawyers
At Pacific Attorney Group, we handle wrongful death lawsuits for clients across California. If you lost a spouse, parent, child, or other family member or loved one because another person was careless, negligent, or intentionally caused harm, an attorney at our firm may be able to help you seek justice and compensation for your losses. Our Los Angeles wrongful death lawyers take on cases involving auto accidents, defective products, dangerous drugs, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and more.
When the loss of a loved one is caused by another’s carelessness or wrongdoing, surviving family members may experience a profound sense of injustice. They may feel hopeless and frustrated, full of grief. While there is no way to replace the loss of a family member or other loved one, taking legal action can help bring peace of mind. Holding the responsible party accountable can help the family regain financial stability while increasing awareness of the wrongdoing to help prevent others from suffering the same fate. A case of this kind referred to as a wrongful death lawsuit, can also serve to penalize the wrongdoer.
To establish a wrongful death claim, certain elements generally need to be proven. These may include demonstrating that the defendant had a duty of care towards the deceased person, that they breached that duty through negligence or wrongful conduct, and that this breach of duty directly caused the death of the individual. Wrongful death cases are a specific type of personal injury claim that arises when the victim would have had the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit if they had survived.
About Wrongful Death Actions in Los Angeles, California
Wrongful death actions are covered in detail in California Code of Civil Procedure § 377.60.
According to this law, there are specific parties that may be able to take legal action for the loss of a loved one. This may include a surviving spouse, domestic partner or child of the victim. In some cases, a parent may be able to file a wrongful death action. A case of this kind may be brought against another party for a wrongful death caused by negligence or intentional wrongdoing. Wrongful death cases can also be brought on the principle of strict liability, as in cases involving defective products.
Through a wrongful death action, a party responsible for the death of a person may be held accountable for their conduct. Because these cases are brought in civil court, the defendant (person/entity accused of causing another’s death) will not face incarceration or other criminal penalties but will typically face monetary penalties. The defendant may be required to pay financial compensation to cover:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering of the decedent
- Funeral/burial expenses
- Wages the decedent would have earned in his or her lifetime
- Loss of companionship/consortium
- Loss of other support the decedent provided
- Punitive damages (to penalize the defendant)
In certain types of cases, there is a limit to the amount of compensation that can be recovered. This usually applies to emotional and non-economic damages, however, not to economic damages.
There is also a time limit, called a statute of limitations, by which a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed. In the majority of cases, a wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the decedent’s death. If medical malpractice was the alleged cause of death, the time limit is extended to three years. If the case is based on government liability of any kind, however, the statute of limitations is only six months. That is why it is important to get insight from a Los Angeles wrongful death attorney as soon as possible before the statute of limitations runs out.
Understanding Wrongful Death and Laws Related to It
Wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional act of another individual, company, or entity. Wrongful death claims are typically brought by the surviving family members or the deceased person’s estate.
Here are a few key points to consider regarding wrongful death cases in California:
- Who can file a wrongful death claim: Generally, the immediate family members, such as the surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased, have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In some cases, other dependents or individuals who suffer financially due to the death may also be eligible to file a claim.
- Statute of limitations: It’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations, which is the time limit within which a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed. In California, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is generally two years from the date of the person’s death. Failing to file a lawsuit within this time frame may result in the case being barred.
- Potential defendants: The defendant in a wrongful death case can vary depending on the circumstances. It could be an individual, such as a negligent driver in a car accident, a healthcare professional, a property owner, a manufacturer of a defective product, or even a government entity. The specific circumstances of the case will determine who can be held legally responsible.
- Compensation: If a wrongful death claim is successful, the compensation awarded can vary depending on various factors, including the financial losses incurred by the surviving family members, such as funeral expenses, medical bills, loss of income or financial support, and loss of companionship. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or loss of consortium, may also be considered.
- The burden of proof: In a wrongful death case, the burden of proof rests on the plaintiff, which means that they must demonstrate that the defendant’s actions or negligence directly caused the death. Gathering evidence, such as witness statements, medical records, and expert opinions, can be crucial in supporting the claim.
- Seeking legal representation: It is advisable to consult with an experienced Los Angeles wrongful death attorney who specializes in California law. They can guide you through the legal process, help build your case, and advocate for your rights.
Fatal Car Accidents
Have you lost a friend or family member in a car accident? Losing a loved one in this manner may leave you feeling frustrated, wronged, and helpless. At Pacific Attorney Group, we understand just how devastating it may be to lose a loved one because another driver was careless, speeding, or driving drunk. We want to help you take legal action against that driver or whatever other party may have been responsible for the accident, so you can seek justice on your loved one’s behalf. With the help of a Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer at our firm, you may be able to recover financial compensation for medical bills and funeral costs, as well as any other monetary or emotional losses associated with the accident and your ability to provide for your family in the future.
With the number of people on the road throughout California and the amount of time spent traveling to and from work, it is no surprise that auto accidents happen quite frequently. Unfortunately, these may be deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2006 traffic statistics report, traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for people throughout the U.S. from age 3 through 34. In 2008, the NHTSA reported that 37,261 people lost their lives in traffic accidents nationwide. Our firm handles all types of wrongful death claims associated with motor vehicle accidents, including truck, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents. Your initial consultation is free, so don’t waste another minute before contacting our firm.
Fatal Workplace Accidents
Losing a loved one in a fatal workplace accident may be one of the most traumatic experiences you will ever go through. The emotional trauma and stress from your loss may only be compounded by financial difficulties and having to deal with legal matters. Allow an experienced lawyer at our law offices to guide you through this often difficult process as we assist you with your claim or lawsuit against a responsible third party. Our Los Angeles wrongful death lawyers handle all types of fatal workplace accident claims, including:
- Scaffolding accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Ladder accidents
- Electrocution accidents
- Explosion accidents
- Machinery defects
- Falling objects
- Forklift accidents
Speak with a Wrongful Death Attorney at Pacific Attorney Group
If you believe you have a wrongful death case in California, it’s important to consult with a qualified Los Angeles wrongful death attorney to discuss the specific details of your situation. If you are ready to find out more about your rights and legal options, please call Pacific Attorney Group. Your initial consultation is free and confidential, and we handle wrongful death cases on a contingent fee basis. You pay no legal fees unless we win your case.