Few things can compare to the emotional impact of losing a loved one. What can make it harder for surviving family members to carry on, however, is when another’s negligence or misconduct leads to the loss. Apart from the emotional trauma you may experience, it can be stressful dealing with other pressing issues such as expenses related to the death and sudden loss of income.
If you are planning to pursue legal action, reach out to Ben Crump Law, PLLC, by calling 800-593-3443 to see how a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawyer can help. During these trying times, you need the support of someone who can guide you through the legal system and discuss a possible resolution.
Overview of Wrongful Death Claims in Los Angeles
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If a negligent act caused your family member’s death, you might be entitled to file a lawsuit in Los Angeles. It is essential to understand that a civil suit is different from criminal prosecution. During a wrongful death case, compensation for the loss of a loved one is the priority. Family members can recover certain damages depending on the circumstances of the case.
On the other hand, a criminal case seeks to penalize the offender. The focus is more on the guilty party’s misconduct and not on paying money damages. Punishment can include prison time and payment of government fines.
Several Types of Accidents Lead to Wrongful Deaths
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Another party’s negligence or misconduct can potentially lead to a loss of life. Even when the intention was not to bring about harm, anyone who acts recklessly, carelessly, or negligently can cause wrongful death. However, the following are the kinds of accidents that commonly give rise to wrongful death claims:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Defective products
- Workplace accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Medical malpractice
- Truck accidents
A Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer can help investigate and evaluate incidents of wrongdoing. If you want to build a claim, your attorney can lend a hand and discuss how you could ease your financial burden.
You May Be Qualified to File for Wrongful Death
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California Code of Civil Procedure section 377.60 identifies the close family members of the deceased that may file a wrongful death suit. They include spouses, putative spouses, domestic partners, parents, and children of the decedent. Putative spouses are those who are not legally married but live together and believe in good faith that they were married. Both putative spouses and domestic partners have the right to recover the same damages as a surviving spouse. Qualified children include adopted ones, as well as stepchildren and any child of the putative spouse.
Keep in mind that some circumstances make family relationships complicated. Other individuals not previously mentioned may also be qualified to file wrongful death lawsuits.
Wrongful Death Laws in California
Wrongful death claims are distinct from personal injury. You are qualified under California law to file a suit if another person’s neglect or wrongful act caused the loss of life. The law also limits who may file the suit.
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It is critical to be aware that under California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, you need to file your wrongful death claim within two years of your loved one’s date of death. You risk losing your right to file the claim beyond this period. Understand that cases based on medical malpractice will have different deadlines laid out in California Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help interpret the laws that apply to your case. You must follow the rules to increase your chances of successfully filing your claim.
Kinds of Damages You Can Recover in Wrongful Death
While the exact types of compensation will be different for each wrongful death case, they typically fall under economic and non-economic damages. Under economic damages, you may be able to recover the following:
- Medical or hospital expenses related to your loved one’s injury or illness.
- Funeral and other burial expenses.
- Lost income, inclusive of future wages that the deceased would have earned if he or she were still alive.
On the other hand, non-economic damages can include the following:
- Loss of affection
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of services, such as child care and housework
- Loss of guidance in the case of a child
Generally, surviving spouses have the right to recover damages that the deceased would have provided, like future earnings, aid, comfort, protection, and advice. Minor children can also receive compensation for loss of future financial support, in addition to the loss of parental companionship and guidance.
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney
After a family tragedy, it can be challenging to focus on legal matters as you try to heal emotionally. Having the support of a lawyer gives you more time to cope with your situation, and lets you gain objective advice so you can make better decisions. Moreover, complications can arise with wrongful death cases, and a lawyer will work towards protecting your rights. When it comes to compensation, you can depend on your attorney to assess damages, conduct investigations, negotiate with insurance companies, and file your claim before the deadline.
We are Here to Help
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we understand that taking legal action may be the furthest thing from your mind. However, issues of negligence and compensation should be dealt with as soon as possible to minimize financial difficulties. A Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer will be your legal voice during this unfortunate time and help you to submit your claim quickly so you can move forward with your life as soon as possible.
Let us help you get the closure you need by calling our team today at 800-593-3443. We are available to assist you, and you do not pay unless you win.
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