Negligence can occur in many different forms, and unfortunately, it often leads to serious injuries. Some of these injuries may even be fatal. In personal injury law, these situations are considered wrongful deaths and it is always the family left grieving following the accident.
It’s a difficult thing to experience, grieving the loss of your loved one knowing that the cause was someone else’s negligent actions. What can you do to recover? How do you move forward after the accident with your family’s best interests in mind?
It’s not something that is easy to do, but it is important to recognize what rights you may have following the wrongful death so that you can hold the wrongdoer responsible for their actions. Here are some things you should recognize about moving forward following a wrongful death.
What are Some of the Problems Encountered After a Wrongful Death?
Nobody wants to imagine a situation in which a loved one passes away. It’s even more difficult to think that it happened because of someone else’s actions. This puts the family in a number of hardships that have to be considered before taking legal action against the negligent party.
One hardship that may be encountered is the emotional hardship. This is caused by the pain and suffering that the family goes through after losing a loved one. The loss of companionship, loss of guardianship, and more. It’s a difficult situation for any family to endure.
Another potential issue is the financial burden the family is unexpectedly hit with following the passing. In any matter of a sudden wrongful death, the expenses can put the family in a difficult position because there are so many different costs associated with the fatal injury.
For the family, most of the time there isn’t a firm understanding of what they are able to do after a wrongful death. It’s not just about seeking compensation to cover some of the expenses associated with the loss, but also seeking justice and forcing the negligent party to accept accountability.
Who Is Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Claim In the State of California?
In California, the wrongful death statutes dictate the parties who may be available to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The state also puts a number of situational parties in the statute who may have been financially dependent on the decedent. Here are some of the eligible parties:
- The surviving spouse of the deceased individual
- The surviving domestic partner of the deceased individual
- The surviving children of the deceased individual
The California statute also states that any persons who may be entitled to the decedent’s property due to intestate succession may file a wrongful death claim. This can include the surviving siblings or parents of the decedent, dependent on who is still alive.
In some situations, other parties may file a wrongful death claim if the law determines that these individuals were financially dependent on the decedent prior to death. This can also include parents, as well as stepchildren, putative spouse, or children of the putative spouse.
Potential Damages Recoverable Under California’s Wrongful Death Statute
In California, there are certain damages that the claimant can pursue upon filing a wrongful death claim. These are dependent on the individual case and the circumstances of the wrongful death. However, the damages are supposed to be used to compensate the estate and divided by losses associated with the death and personal losses.
The estate may receive compensation for certain expenses associated with the wrongful death. This includes costs for the funeral and burial of the decedent, the expenses for medical costs from the date of the injury to the date of the passing, and any potential lost income—past and future—that the decedent would have earned.
Surviving family members may seek damages based on the personal losses they experienced. This can include loss of the value of household services, any financial support that would have been anticipated, and loss of love, guidance, affection, and more.
Complications In the Legal Process and Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer
Pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit on your own can prove to be very difficult as there are a number of different factors that must be considered. For instance, not everyone recognizes the statute of limitations for the wrongful death lawsuit, which allows individuals two years from the date of the death to file a claim.
Any claims filed after the two-year statute is almost certain to be denied.
Understanding the importance of filing a claim, as well as the intricacies in the process means recognizing the need for a lawyer in the matter. Having strong legal advocacy can give you a better idea of whether you can file, how fast you have to file, and what rights you have at every step.
At Shoop APLC, we are determined to help families following a wrongful death caused by negligence. Those responsible must be held accountable for their actions, and families should have strong counsel focused on their best interests.
Nobody wants to think about legal matters while grieving, so our Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys take that burden off your hands. We focus on your rights, protecting them as we build a strong case on your behalf, pursuing the maximum compensation to which you and your family are entitled.
Contact our legal team today at (866) 884-1717 and discuss your potential wrongful death case in a free consultation. You focus on your family—we’ll focus on your lawsuit.