What Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Mean?
Losing a close loved one is one of the most difficult things that a family can endure – especially if that loss was preventable. A deceased accident victim’s surviving family members might be in a position to file a California wrongful death lawsuit under certain circumstances. First, surviving family members typically file a wrongful death claim for various damages. If the insurance company is unwilling to offer them the full and fair amount of compensation that they deserve to recover, the surviving family members could file a lawsuit for wrongful death in the California court system.
In a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, the surviving family members have the sole legal burden of proof. In fact, the at-fault person or entity who caused the occurrence does not even need to testify in court or prove anything. Rather, the surviving family members must satisfy every element of proof in order to recover damages in the case. A skilled Orange County wrongful death lawyer in your area could file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf to maximize your chances of recovering fair compensation in your case.
Filing a Claim with the Insurance Company
Surviving family members in a wrongful death case must prove various legal elements. First of all, they must demonstrate that the accident occurred because of another person or entity’s carelessness, recklessness, or negligence. For example, in the context of a motor vehicle accident, the at-fault driver might have been speeding or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.
Surviving family members typically file a wrongful death claim with the insurance company for the at-fault party. Once the insurance company adjuster handling the case receives all of the necessary documentation, including a copy of the police report, medical information, and wage documentation, they might make an offer to resolve the wrongful death case through settlement. After negotiating with the insurance company adjuster, if they do not come off significantly, the surviving family members’ lawyer could file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf in court.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in the California Court System
In a wrongful death case, filing a lawsuit in court ushers in the litigation process. Even after filing a lawsuit, the parties could still negotiate and settle the wrongful death claim. However, if the parties cannot resolve their claim after filing a lawsuit, they may need to take their case to a jury trial. When the case goes to trial, a jury will decide the outcome of all disputed issues, including the issue of wrongful death damages.
As part of a wrongful death lawsuit, surviving family members can seek various damages. Available damages may include compensation for the loss of future income if the surviving family members depended on the decedent’s income. Moreover, surviving family members could seek to recover the funeral and burial costs, and they might pursue monetary compensation for their loss of the deceased individual’s care and companionship. A knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer in your area can file a lawsuit on your behalf and litigate it to a conclusion, pursuing the closure, compensation, and justice that you and your family deserve to recover.