Common Wrongful Death Cases
A wrongful death occurs when an individual passes away due to someone else’s negligence, error, omission, or intentional act. When that happens, a surviving family member or the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim – or a lawsuit in the California court system – for various damages.
Losing a loved one is never easy, especially if the loss resulted from another individual’s error or negligence. If you recently lost a loved one under these circumstances, you should contact an experienced Orange County wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.
First, your lawyer can determine your eligibility for filing a wrongful death claim. If you are eligible, your attorney can help you negotiate a fair settlement offer from the at-fault party’s insurance company or litigate your case to a prompt resolution in the state court system.
Fatal Occurrences That Lead to Wrongful Death Claims
Several types of fatal occurrences that result from someone else’s negligence or intentional act may lead to a wrongful death claim. Those occurrences may include motor vehicle collisions, premises accidents, incidents of medical negligence, workplace accidents, and defective products.
Car and truck accidents can lead to wrongful deaths when a driver operates their vehicle in a reckless, negligent, or careless manner. The at-fault driver might violate a traffic law or engage in distracted or intoxicated vehicle operation.
At other times, fatal accidents occur when property owners fail to have adequate security systems in place on their premises or when they fail to maintain their premises in a safe manner.
Fatal accidents may also happen when medical providers deviate from the prevailing standard of care, botch a surgical procedure, misdiagnose a patient, or fail to diagnose a patient altogether.
Fatal workplace accidents may occur when contractors fail to supervise job sites adequately and when equipment manufacturers make mistakes, causing large and heavy machinery to malfunction on job sites.
Finally, when product manufacturers and distributors fail to take the necessary precautions – or fail to adequately test their products before selling them – explosions and other fatal accidents may occur.
If you lost a loved one in an accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, a knowledgeable California wrongful death attorney could determine your eligibility for filing a claim and pursuing the damages you deserve.
Who Has the Legal Burden of Proof in a California Wrongful Death Case?
In every wrongful death claim or lawsuit, the wrongful death claimant has the sole legal burden of proof. The at-fault person who caused the subject accident does not need to prove anything in the case. In fact, they do not even need to testify at a civil jury trial.
To recover damages in a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, the claimant must establish that the fatal occurrence resulted from someone else’s intentional wrongful act, negligent act, or omission. Moreover, they must demonstrate that the death directly resulted from the accident.
A knowledgeable California wrongful death attorney can help you prove the legal elements of your claim or lawsuit and pursue the maximum damages you deserve to recover for your loss.
Potential Wrongful Death Damages
Although monetary compensation can never replace a lost loved one, it can help to bring about a sense of closure and justice for surviving family members. The wrongful death damages that a claimant recovers in a claim or lawsuit will depend upon various factors, including the type of accident that occurred, the circumstances surrounding the decedent’s death, and whether the surviving family members depend upon the decedent for income.
Common types of wrongful death damages include compensation for related funeral and burial expenses, loss of the decedent’s future income, pre-death pain and suffering, and loss of the decedent’s future care, comfort, and companionship.
A knowledgeable California wrongful death lawyer will do everything possible to maximize the compensation you receive to make you whole again to the greatest extent possible.
Speak with a California Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Proving a wrongful death claim or a lawsuit is oftentimes an uphill battle when dealing with the at-fault party’s insurance company and their settlement adjuster. Insurance companies often fight claimants and try to pay out as little monetary compensation as possible.
A knowledgeable California wrongful death attorney can help you fight the insurance company by highlighting the strengths of your claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer can also represent you at all legal proceedings, including depositions, mediation hearings, civil jury trials, and binding arbitration hearings, and advocate for both you and your deceased loved one’s legal interests.