If a loved one died because of a faulty product, careless Uber driver, or negligent government agency, you’d want the responsible party held accountable. By filing a wrongful death claim, family members and spouses can seek financial compensation for their loss. Contact an experienced wrongful death attorney to investigate the possibility of filing such a claim in California.
Turn to Davana Law Firm to navigate a wrongful death case or any personal injury lawsuit. Our team keeps more than 8 legal professionals on staff, practices 9 specialties, and has won over 500 cases. We examine every detail of client cases to ensure that each dispute resolves successfully and fairly. Moreover, we work without charging fees until we win your case. For more information, sign up for a free case evaluation or call (818) 501-1055 today.
Below, we detail the critical elements of wrongful death cases:
Wrongful Death Lawsuits at a Glance
Wrongful death lawsuits can emerge from several situations, including car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace exposure to hazardous substances, defective products, and criminal activities. A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney can help you hold people, companies, and/or government agencies accountable for negligence or purposeful harm.
According to the California Code of Civil Procedure, eligible parties for filing a wrongful death claim in the state include:
- Immediate family
- Putative spouses, life partners, and financial dependents
- Distant family members
No matter who files a suit, they must offer sufficient proof and observe the statute of limitations. Speak with a wrongful death lawyer to determine whether you can file a suit on behalf of your loved one.
California’s laws and courts outline exacting procedures for those that wish to claim damages for wrongful death. Indeed, claimants must meet the legal standards of proof before another party is held responsible for wrongful death.
In other words, you must have sufficient evidence to persuade a judge or jury that wrongful death occurred. Despite the inherent challenge, it is easier to get a conviction for wrongful death than murder or manslaughter. The former requires a “preponderance of the evidence” that the death was wrongful, whereas the latter requires proof to demonstrate guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Providing Sufficient Proof
In California, you must show that negligence or the wrongful act of another party caused the victim’s death. Doing so involves details such as:
Proof of negligence: You must provide proof of the guilty party’s negligence. The requirements for this include:
- The liable party owed the victims a duty of care
- The party breached its duty of care
- The breach resulted in an accident and injuries that caused the death
- The death resulted in losses to you and other claimants
Proof of intentional harm: Rather than arising from negligence, some wrongful death lawsuits allege that deliberate violence occurred. You must evince the following factors to prove intentional harm:
- The liable party meant the harmful act
- The defendant made non-consensual contact with the victim
- The contact resulted in the death
Proof of damages: To receive compensation for damages, you must provide evidence of them. California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed Senate Bill 447, which allows for the recovery of non-economic damages—such as pain, suffering, or disfigurement—in addition to economic damages. In California, you could file for damages including:
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Medical and support services from the date of the victim’s injury till their death
- Costs associated with the funeral and burial of the decedent
- Loss of future income and employment-related benefits expected from the time of death till retirement
- Loss of household services
- Loss of the decedent’s love, companionship, comfort, care, protection, affection, nurturing, and moral support.
In some cases, claimants may also obtain punitive damages.
Davana Law: Book a Free Case Evaluation with a Wrongful Death Attorney in California
Although the legal terminology can become complicated, a wrongful death attorney with extensive experience and deep knowledge can prove all the necessary aspects of such a case. For any personal injury case in California, look to the legal professionals at Davana Law. Visit our website or call us at (818) 501-1055 today for a free case evaluation.