If you have lost a family member due to someone’s negligent actions, you may be wondering if you are able to seek compensation for the loss of your loved one. This is called a “wrongful death” claim.
Before going into the particulars of wrongful death claims, let me first begin by expressing my utmost condolences for your loss. We want you to know that we have walked alongside many families, as a personal injury lawyers, who are grieving the sudden loss of a family member, just as you may be right now.
There are no words we can say that will eliminate your grief. But when we represent the grieving family members, we are always honored and thankful for the role we can play in helping you navigate your options and seek compensation from the responsible party.
The sudden and untimely death of a loved one can cause significant financial losses. It can cause the loss of a caregiver, a loss of companionship, a loss of comfort, and unbearable pain and suffering.
Did you know that you are entitled to seek compensation for the harms and losses you have had to suffer as a result? It’s true and this might be the most encouraging words we can share with you right now.
Let me explain this by answering the five questions we are most commonly asked about wrongful death lawsuits.
1. What is a “Wrongful Death” Lawsuit?
Before going into the particulars of wrongful death cases, it is essential to understand what exactly a “wrongful death” is as defined by California law. In extremely general terms, a wrongful death case is a specific type of personal injury case that is claimed when an individual dies as the result of another person or entity’s negligence or wrongdoing.
Wrongful death lawsuits are filed by a representative of the deceased victim’s estate—typically the deceased victim’s surviving family or loved ones. A wrongful death lawsuit can be initiated due to, medical malpractice, vehicle accident fatalities caused by negligence, death caused by a defective product or many other wrongful acts due to negligence.
A wrongful death lawsuit is foremost intended for justice and the securing of financial support for the victim’s surviving loved ones.
The surviving parties may file suit to recover a variety of damages, including medical costs associated with any injury preceding the wrongful death. They may also sue to recover funeral and burial costs. Additionally, they are allowed to sue for loss of the victim’s future income, value related to any services, care, and even nurturing that the victim might have provided had he/she not suffered a wrongful death. Finally, they are entitled to sue for loss of companionship, and any pain and suffering the victim endured prior to his/her death.
2. Who can sue for wrongful death in the state of California?
As mentioned above, a representative of the victim’s estate will file suit on behalf of the victim’s surviving loved ones. Those who shared a designated relationship with the deceased may pursue a wrongful death suit, including parents, spouses, domestic partners, children, and other family and loved ones. It is important to note, however, that all claimants in a wrongful death suit in California must join in one suit.
3. How long do you have to file a wrongful death suit in California?
The statute of limitations does apply when it comes to wrongful death cases in California, and the majority of wrongful death cases must be filed within two years of the causal injury or death. Medical malpractice cases can be filed within three years from the date of the precipitating injury, or within one year of the victim’s discovery of negligence—whichever occurs first. If your wrongful death case in California involves a government entity, like a city or county, your lawsuit must typically be filed within six months.
4. How much does it cost you to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California?
At Kubota & Craig, we represent wrongful death cases on a contingency basis, which means that there are no retainers or up-front costs required to secure a personal injury attorney. Instead, we work on the contingency that payment is made only when cases are successful, and then a segment of the final settlement is apportioned to your personal injury attorney.
5. How much can you sue for in a California wrongful death case?
The damages involved in a wrongful death case vary depending on a variety of factors, including the anticipated loss of income the victim would have provided to his/her surviving family and relationships, any related expenses, including those pertaining to associated medical bills, funeral and burial fees, household services the victim might have provided, among others. Each case and situation will call for careful examination of the circumstances of the wrongful death, as well as the specific damages incurred by the victim’s surviving loved ones.
The tragedy of a wrongful death is immeasurable, but there is recourse under the law so that the victim’s surviving loved ones do not have to suffer additional financial or emotional burden, as well.
If you want to learn the best routes to pursue a wrongful death case in California, or if you need any assistance or would like to learn more, feel free to contact one of our wrongful death attorneys at https://www.kubotacraig.com/wrongful-death-lawyer-orange-county, or call us at 949-218-5676 for a free consultation.
Kubota & Craig’s wrongful death attorneys are respected, experienced, and peer-referred, due to their unmatched advocacy and litigation skills, as well as their investment in raising the bar of excellence in Southern California’s legal community. Because of the superior verdicts and settlements they have obtained in the past two decades, they are among the most highly regarded personal injury attorneys in Southern California.