Nothing can hurt more than the loss of a loved one. Losing a family member is never easy, regardless of the circumstances. However, when the death of your loved one is sudden and preventable, you may be confused, angry, and overwhelmed. It is especially frustrating and infuriating when the person or party responsible for the death of your family member is not held responsible for a wrongful death in California. You may feel hopeless because the negligent and reckless acts that led to your loved one’s death go unpunished.
You can do something about the injustice that your loved one and your family member have suffered. You can fight to hold the party responsible for wrongdoing that caused the death of a family member. You do have legal options to ensure that the courts do not ignore the death of your loved one.
At Thompson Law Office, we work with families who have experienced the tragic loss of a loved one because of the wrongful acts of another person or party. Our California wrongful death lawyers want to help you and your family fight to force the party responsible for the death to acknowledge responsibility. We want to help you hold the party liable for the damage caused by negligence and recklessness with a wrongful death lawsuit.
Call 1-650-513-6111 for a free consultation with one of our lawyers. Learn more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit or action in California from a trusted, experienced victim’s advocate.
What is Considered a Wrongful Death?
When the negligent or reckless acts of a person or legal entity (i.e. corporation, government agency, etc.) lead to an individual’s death, we refer to the death as a “wrongful” death. Had it not been for the direct acts of another party, the individual would not have died.
The legal theory of wrongful death states that when a party is responsible for causing a death, that party should be held legally liable for paying financial compensation to the family members for damages resulting from the death of their loved one. California’s wrongful death laws provide for compensation for a variety of damages, including financial losses and emotional losses.
Incidents that might give rise to a wrongful death claim include:
- Auto Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- DUI Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents and other Premises Liability Claims
- Defective Product Claims, including Defective Medical Devices and Dangerous Drug Claims
- Birth Injuries
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Commercial Truck Accidents and Large Vehicle Accidents
- Dog Bites and Animal Attacks
- Sports and Recreational Injuries
- Acts of Violence and Abuse
Any act that results in the death of another person can give rise to a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil matter. A party does not need to be found guilty of a criminal offense to be held liable in a wrongful death action.
The California wrongful death attorneys of The Thompson Law Office handle all types of wrongful death claims. We encourage you to call our office for a free consultation with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in California. Call 1-650-513-6111 now to speak with an experienced, compassionate legal advocate about your wrongful death lawsuit.
How Do You Prove That a Person is Liable for a Wrongful Death?
The elements of a wrongful death suit are set forth in California’s Wrongful Death Statute. You have the burden of proving each of the legal elements required to hold another party liable for damages resulting from your loved one’s death. The requirements for proving a death meets the legal definition of a wrongful death can be complex. However, the basic elements that you must prove in every wrongful death action are:
- The death of a human being:
- Was caused by the willful, intentional, or negligent misbehavior of another person or party; and,
- The death resulted in losses for the surviving dependents or family members of the individual.
The cause of the death is also a factor in determining the elements you must prove in a wrongful death lawsuit. For instance, if the death was caused through negligence, the elements of duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages are involved in proving your claim for wrongful death. However, if the death involved a defective product, your claim involves additional legal elements that you must prove.
An experienced wrongful death attorney in California investigates the circumstances of your loved one’s death. The purpose of the investigation is to determine the cause of death, identify the liable party or parties, and gather evidence to prove the required legal elements of a wrongful death claim. This type of investigation and the legal analysis required for a wrongful death action requires the assistance of an experienced California wrongful death attorney.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?
California’s Wrongful Death Statute specifies who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In most cases, the following individuals are entitled to file a wrongful death claim in California:
- The surviving spouse or domestic partner;
- Children and children of any deceased child;
- Dependents of the decedent;
- Other family members; and,
- The personal representative for the decedent’s estate.
Determining whether you have the right to file a wrongful death claim can be complicated. Unique situations may give a person the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact The Thompson Law Office if you believe you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of a loved one.
How Much is My Wrongful Death Lawsuit Worth?
The value of a wrongful death claim can be difficult to determine. Many factors are used to calculate what your wrongful death lawsuit is worth. Each case is unique. The specific facts and circumstances in your case are significant factors in the value of your claim for wrongful death.
Unfortunately, losing a loved one can result in a financial crisis for the family, especially when the family member was the primary wage earner for the family. Many of the financial losses experienced by the family can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Some of the expenses and damages that family members may receive compensation for in a wrongful death action include:
- Burial Expenses — You may receive reimbursement for the cremation, funeral, and burial expenses for your loved one.
- Loss of Income — Dependents and family members may be entitled to compensation for the loss of future income that their loved one would have earned if not for his or her untimely death.
- Pension and Retirement Benefits — Compensation may be awarded for the loss of pension and retirement benefits because of the premature death of a family member.
- Loss of Gifts or Benefits — You may receive compensation for the loss of benefits or gifts that you could have expected as an heir of the decedent.
- Loss of Companionship — Compensation may also be awarded because of the loss of love, support, guidance, and companionship that you would have received from your loved one had he or she not died because of the wrongdoing of another party.
- Punitive Damages — Punitive damages are intended to “punish” a person or party for gross negligence or intentional acts. These damages are not awarded in every wrongful death action. However, if you can prove that the party’s acts were intentional or grossly negligent, you may receive compensation for punitive damages. An example might be a death caused by a drunk driver.
The value of your wrongful death lawsuit depends on many factors. Our California wrongful death lawyers and our team of legal professionals work closely with you to maximize the value of your claim. We believe your family should receive maximum compensation for the loss of your loved one at the hands of a negligent or reckless person.
Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?
As with other causes of action, there is a time limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in California. If you fail to file your lawsuit before the deadline in the Statute of Limitations, you lose your right to hold the party responsible for your loved one’s death liable for his or her actions.
Calculating the wrongful death lawsuit Statute of Limitations deadline for filing a wrongful death claim can be difficult. The circumstances of the case could impact the deadline. In some cases, you may be required to file a notice of claim within a few months of the date of death.
In most cases, you have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California. However, as stated above, that deadline does not apply in every case. For instance, if a government entity is involved, you must file a notice of claim within a few months after the death to protect your legal rights.
It is in your best interest to contact our office as soon as possible to discuss your case. We do not want you to lose your right to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of your family member. Your chances of winning a wrongful death suit will diminish if you miss these deadlines. We offer a free consultation so that you can learn about your legal rights without worrying about the payment of retainer wrongful death attorney fees. We review your case at no charge and prove the legal advice you need to decide what is the best way to proceed for you and your family.
Why Should I Hire a California Wrongful Death Lawyer?
Money will never ease your pain from the loss you have suffered. It will not undo the horrific wrong that has been done to your family. However, the legal system has only one way to compensate a family for the wrongful death of a loved one — a monetary judgment against the negligent party who caused your loved one’s death. To recover compensation for the loss of a family member, you must file a wrongful death lawsuit.
California wrongful death laws are complex. Navigating through the process of filing a wrongful death claim can be difficult for a layperson who is unfamiliar with the law and court rules. An attorney with experience handling claims pursuant to California’s wrongful death statute handles the legal aspects of the claim while guiding you through the stressful and emotional experience of fighting to hold the party responsible for the death accountable for his or her actions.
In addition to holding the party responsible for the death of your loved one liable for monetary damages, a California wrongful death lawyer can also help you obtain justice for your family and your loved one through a wrongful death lawsuit.
At Thompson Law Office, we provide support, guidance, and trusted legal counsel to families who are grieving over the loss of a beloved family member. We understand that this is a difficult time in your life and the decision to pursue a wrongful death claim may be difficult. Our entire legal staff is here to provide you with the wrongful death help you need as you take the necessary steps to pursue a wrongful death claim in California.
The Lawyers of The Thompson Law Office Are Here for You and Your Family
We understand how difficult it can be for someone to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. You have been through so much already, and the thought of going through an emotional trial may seem overwhelming. On the other hand, you may be longing to tell your story in court so that the party responsible for your loved one’s death has to face the consequences of the negligent and wrongful acts that lead to the death of your family member.
Regardless of your approach to filing a wrongful death claim, our legal team is dedicated to making the process as painless and simple as possible. We handle all matters related to the wrongful death lawsuit so that you can continue to focus on your family and the healing process.
We encourage you to contact our office for your free consultation. Call 1-650-513-6111 to speak with the best wrongful death lawyers in California to discuss the details of your case.