California Wrongful Death Lawyers
If you’ve ever heard the term “wrongful death” and wondered what it means, you’re not alone. Consider a person or loved one who died by what is considered wrongful means, whether through recklessness, malicious intention, or negligence of someone else. Wrongful death is criminal and handled in a civil court of law. These types of cases are filed by the relatives or estate of the deceased with claims that the defendant caused the death of the victim through a negligent or deliberate act.
A wrongful death lawyer investigates the case, paying close attention to the circumstances of the death. They explain all the rights of the family or estate and files lawsuits on their behalf. Every state has specific laws relating to wrongful death cases and their statute of limitations. A wrongful death lawyer advises the family and helps in seeking compensation and punitive damages.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
In California, the following individuals may file a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Surviving spouse or domestic partners
- Surviving children
- Grandchildren of any deceased child of the decedent.
In the event there is no surviving family member, the lawsuit can be filed by anyone entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession. This includes the parents and siblings of the deceased. Additionally, individuals who can prove they were financially dependent on the deceased such as a “putative spouse” (someone who believed they were in a lawful marriage) or the children of that putative spouse, stepchildren, parents, or legal guardians.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the liability of the defendant only deals with financial compensation which is ordered by the court after responsibility has been proven. It is important to obtain guidance from a wrongful death lawyer Los Angeles courts have experience with.
Benefits of Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer
A wrongful death attorney works with the plaintiffs in the case to understand the scope and magnitude of their loss. In these types of cases, there are two types of damages: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages that economically affect the family, such as through financial support and continued family contributions, loss of benefits or gifts that would have been received by the deceased, and funeral and other expenses related to the burial.
Non-economic damages are other impacts that occur, such as a loss of intimacy with a spouse, moral support, affection, and protection.
There is a two-year time limit from the time of death in which a family can file. A wrongful death attorney provides guidance throughout the process. Although the life of the deceased can never be fully quantified, the lawyer provides expertise in obtaining damages relative to the loss.
Do you have a wrongful death lawsuit and seek a wrongful death lawyer California residents recommend? For more information on how we may provide assistance, contact the team at David Gray Law Group for a consultation today.