File a Claim With a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Los Angeles
When you lose a loved one in an accident, you and other beneficiaries may file a wrongful death action against those responsible for the decedent’s death. This area of tort law gets governed by statute, which varies from state to state but defines who may sue for wrongful death and what, if any, limits apply to an award of damages. While state “wrongful death statutes” were drafted independently of each other and are often unique, they all follow the same general principles.
EXPERIENCED WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYERS IN LOS ANGELES
Wrongful death happens when you least expect it to. In such circumstances families call on David Grey, personal injury attorney of Grey Law, to help them determine whether they have a case. When you suspect your loved one died from someone else’s negligence, you should consult with a legal professional.
At our law firm we focus on personal injury claims, which greatly helps negotiate for full and fair settlements. Wrongful death cases can be emotionally taxing, which is why we have no upfront costs until we’ve won your claim. Because this is not a case that will get tried in civil court, we will do everything possible to settle immediately.
You deserve answers and legal justice. At our firm, we will handle the following to establish your claim:
- Investigate and collect evidence to demonstrate negligence
- Determine who is liable for the death
- Obtain medical records
- Negotiate with the defendant and insurance companies
- Prove you and your family’s loss
We always advise that our clients never handle these cases alone. Because there is so much at stake, you should entrust our professional legal services, as we can support you and save your family time and money.
WRONGFUL DEATH STATISTICS
- The U.S. Department of Justice has reported 90% of all lawsuits involving medical malpractice have involved a wrongful death or a permanent disability caused by negligence over the past several years.
- In 2008, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported that the car accident & highway wrongful death count was at 37,261 nationwide.
- The CDC reported that prescription drug deaths shot up 68% in five years. Statistics show that prescription drug deaths were the second leading cause of unintentional deaths in the United States.
WHO CAN FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?
In California, Code of Civil Procedure §377.60 identifies all of the persons who are proper parties to bring a wrongful death case. They include the decedents:
- Surviving spouse
- Domestic partner
- Children of predeceased children
If there are no surviving children of the deceased, any persons, including the surviving spouse or domestic partner, would otherwise be entitled to inherit the property if they died without a will. Again, wrongful death cases are complex. Contact our office today to speak with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney to learn more about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
HOW IS WRONGFUL DEATH CLASSIFIED?
Classifying a wrongful death is typically based on these four elements:
- It was caused, in whole or part, by the conduct of the defendant.
- The defendant was negligent or strictly liable for the victim’s death.
- There is a surviving spouse, children, beneficiaries, or dependents.
- Monetary damages have resulted from the victim’s death.
If your loved one was a victim of wrongful death, pursue legal help from a Los Angeles death lawyer with experience handling these types of cases. At Grey Law, we offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t have to pay a thing unless we settle your case.
COMMON TYPES OF WRONGFUL DEATH CASES
Wrongful death cases can arise from several types of accidents. They can occur because of carelessness, negligence, recklessness, or an intentional act. However, these types of cases are not to be confused with criminal cases.
Wrongful death cases are civil matters, and compensation gets awarded to the descendant’s family to compensate for their losses. Civil courts do not sentence the defendants to prison. Here are some of the most common types of wrongful death cases:
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WRONGFUL DEATH STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
The statute of limitations in California is two years from the date of death. Yet, in the case of a medical malpractice action, the statute of limitations may be as short as one year. For government entities, any lawsuit must first start with filing a tort claim within 180 days. Because the statute of limitations differs depending upon the case and is often quite complex, we recommend you contact an experienced wrongful death attorney to help determine the appropriate statute of limitations in your case.
HOW TO CALCULATE A WRONGFUL DEATH SETTLEMENT
If you have lost a loved one due to a wrongful death accident, you may be unsure how to determine the number of damages that you are due. While it is impossible to put a monetary value on loss, several factors get considered when determining damages. Some of the many factors that can help determine a wrongful death settlement may include but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses incurred as a result of death
- The earning capacity and income of the deceased at the time of death
- The loss of love and companionship suffered by survivors as a result of death
These are just a few of the factors that help determine a wrongful death settlement. If you require an experienced, reputable, compassionate, yet aggressive lawyer, contact our team today.
In a wrongful death claim, you can claim economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
- Economic Damages
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of benefits
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of goods and services the departed would have provided
- Non-Economic Damages
- Emotional distress and pain and suffering
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive Damages
The descendant’s family can make punitive damages part of a wrongful death claim. For such claims to be valid, you must prove that the person responsible for the death of your loved one acted with malice. For example, if your parents or grandparents died from abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you can recover punitive damages from the defendant.
HOW IS A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM SETTLEMENT DIVIDED AMONG THE FAMILY?
Most of the time, those filing these lawsuits are surviving spouses or children. Other families might want to file a claim as well. Our clients often ask how a wrongful death settlement gets divided among the family. We answer your questions in this article.
WRONGFUL DEATH FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What is wrongful death?
Wrongful death is the act or inaction that causes another person to lose their life. It can happen intentionally or negligently.
- Can an uninsured person be liable? If so, how do we get paid?
Yes, if the accused person was negligent and their actions caused the loss of your loved one, they can be held liable. Under normal circumstances, the defendant’s insurance pays for the damages. The expense might have to come out of pocket, should they be without it, and that’s a heavy bill.
- What are the two types of wrongful death recognized by law?
Intentional: When someone deliberately acts or fails to act, causing death.Negligent: When someone unintentionally causes death by not exercises a duty of care and acting carelessly.
- Are pain and suffering recoverable too?
In most personal injury cases, pain and suffering are recoverable. But, per the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.61, it is not. Pain and suffering do not get considered as one of the damages.
- <Can I settle outside of a lawsuit?
That is our goal for each client. At Grey Law, we always hope to settle with the insurance, defendant, and everyone involved before resorting to a lawsuit. It saves time and money.
- How long will a wrongful death case take?
It varies per client, but it can take months or years depending on the case itself.
LOS ANGELES WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEY
Wrongful death affects the entire family. The loss is devastating. Holding someone, a company, or an entity responsible for their carelessness can deter future acts of negligence. We will work to place a monetary value on the case to ensure fair compensation.
Our attorneys want you to be as informed as possible so that no one takes advantage of your rights. We have more than 25 years of experience handling personal injury cases of people in Los Angeles, California, and throughout the United States.