Los Angeles Wrongful Death Attorney
The death of a loved one brings devastating personal and emotional loss. Even as you and your family are dealing with the unimaginable struggle of going forward, you may be facing unexpected financial and other problems. While we can’t eliminate the pain of your loss, we can fight for you to obtain the only justice the civil justice system allows – compensation for the loss of your loved one.
An experienced lawyer from the Law Offices of Scott Glovsky can help guide you through this challenging time. Our wrongful death lawyers and investigators will work with you to understand and document the steps that led to your loved one’s fatal injuries. We will help determine who is responsible. We will secure evidence that demonstrates fault. We will help you assess your legal losses and seek compensation for both the estate of your loved one and the people legally dependent on your loved one. Our goal is to establish a winnable case that we can present to a jury.
Your Rights When You Have Lost A Loved One to a Wrongful Death
In California, you can file a wrongful death claim when a person dies as the result of the wrongful act or negligence of another person or entity. A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit brought by survivors of the deceased person. The survivors bringing the suit are called claimants.
The wrongful conduct can stem from any number of situations including: car accidents, truck accidents, bicycle or pedestrian accidents, falls, nursing home abuse, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, fires, workplace accidents, medication errors, boating accidents and drowning.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Suit In California, Los Angeles or Pasadena
In a personal injury case, the injured person is the plaintiff. In a wrongful death lawsuit, it is generally family members who are the plaintiffs (also called claimants) that bring the lawsuit. California law has specific statutes detailing who qualifies to bring a wrongful death suit. In general it includes: the deceased person’s surviving spouse and children; including a putative (good faith marriages even if legally invalid) spouse and children; the deceased person’s domestic partner; the deceased person’s parents, surviving siblings, or children of deceased siblings; grandparents or lineal descendants; and/or individuals who were financially dependent on the deceased person at the time of his or her death. Each of these persons can become a claimant (a person making a claim) and ask for compensation based on their losses because of the wrongful death.
Causation in Wrongful Death Claims in California
We can help to determine the cause and document the evidence showing fault in the death of your loved one. A successful suit requires that the victim’s death be caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another. The responsible party must be a substantial factor or probable cause of the death. In some cases this can be difficult to show. In cases involving medical procedures, if the patient’s chances of surviving the procedure were low, it may not be possible to show that a medical error was the “substantial factor.” Experienced wrongful death attorneys can explain to you the law and help you evaluate the facts of your case.
Statute of Limitation (Time to Bring Suit) to Wrongful Death Suit In California
It is critical that you consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney on statute of limitation issues (the time you have to file the suit). There are a number of these statutes covering wrongful death claims in California. Calif. Code of Civil Procedure, Sect. 335.1 covers most situations and provides a two year window to file a suit from injury or death. Wrongful death claims based on health care provider negligence (medical malpractice) often provide a one year time frame from date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers or should have discovered the injury, whichever occurs first. Certain types of claims against government entities (e.g., auto accidents) often have shorter windows (six months, etc.).
What Damages Can Be Recovered In a Wrongful Death Claim
Our California, Los Angeles and Pasadena wrongful death attorneys will fight to obtain the compensation that you deserve. In California, each claimant is entitled to money damages as is the deceased person’s estate. There are damages that the estate can recover and damages that persons can recover. Losses that are typically attributed to the estate include: mortuary and cemetery expenses (funeral expenses); hospital and medical bills for the deceased person’s final illness or injury; and lost income, including potential income the deceased person would reasonably have been expected to earn in the future had he or she lived. Losses that are typically attributed to the surviving family members include: the value of household services, loss of anticipated financial support, and loss of love, community, care, comfort, attention, affection, moral support, and guidance.
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