Losing a loved one is undoubtedly devastating; losing them unexpectedly is shockingly devastating; losing them unexpectedly due to another person's reckless or negligent actions? That pain is unquantifiable.
When you lose a loved one due to the recklessness or negligence of another party, you may be able to file a wrongful death case. This article tells you all you need to know about wrongful death cases, including scenarios where they apply and how our California wrongful death attorneys can help you.
Legally, we define wrongful death as the taking of a person's life due to another party's intentional or negligent actions. A wrongful death case would then be filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party by the decedent's survivors. An aggrieved party can file a wrongful death action in both civil and criminal cases.
If a party was accused of murder or manslaughter, that party may also be charged with wrongful death, and both cases would proceed independently of one another. Even if the defendant were, by chance, acquitted of the criminal charges, they would still be liable in the civil wrongful death suit.
Additionally, a wrongful death suit does not depend on whether or not there was a crime or criminal conviction. As long as the at-fault party behaved recklessly or negligently and their actions resulted in a person’s death, there are sufficient grounds for a lawsuit.
One more thing to note about wrongful death cases is that if the defendant is found liable in the lawsuit, they are not convicted nor receive criminal sentences. Instead, the court orders them to pay damages to the aggrieved party, also called the prosecuting party.
The damages typically compensate the aggrieved party for tangible and intangible losses, such as medical bills, funeral costs, lost income, emotional support, companionship, and more.
Auto accidents – When a person dies in an auto accident where the other party behaved recklessly or negligently, there are grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Drowning accidents – If a pool owner neglects to cover their pool and a child is attracted to it, falls into it and drowns, the pool owner may be held liable for the child’s wrongful death.
Slip and fall accidents – If a premises owner fails to keep their property reasonably safe for visitors and a person slips, falls and dies, the owner of the premises or landlord is liable for the person’s wrongful death.
This is not an exhaustive list of scenarios where a wrongful death suit may apply. So if you believe that your loved one's loss was avoidable and the other party's actions contributed to their death, don't hesitate to get in touch with our California wrongful death attorneys.
We understand the overwhelming pain you are experiencing. We understand the bone-deep sense of loss, confusion and hoping you are in a bad dream from which you will soon wake. We also understand that nothing can bring your loved one back, but we can help you find some sense of closure and justice for their death.
We do this in the following ways:
Gathering evidence – When you come to us with your case, we will work with you to gather every piece of evidence that can lend weight to the case, including “minor” things you thought were irrelevant.
Filing the lawsuit – When we have fulfilled all requirements and build a credible case, we will file the suit on your behalf and inform the other party of the action.
Engaging expert witnesses – Some cases require the testimonies of expert witnesses who will testify to the credibility of the claim. Should your case require it, we have an extensive network of expert witnesses that we can call on to testify that the other party’s actions did contribute to your loved one’s death.
Challenging the other party’s defenses – We expect the other party to defend themselves against the claim, and we have several skills and resources to challenge their defenses and win.
Negotiating a favorable settlement for you – Most wrongful death cases settle out of court. With that being said, we will ensure that you get the best settlement offer possible. If the settlement is not satisfactory, we are ready and able to obtain a full verdict for your losses by going to trial.
Going to trial – If we cannot reach an acceptable agreement with the other party, we will not hesitate to go to trial and fight it out in the courtroom for you.
Don't hesitate to contact us for a free non-obligatory consultation today.