When a loved one dies we experience a range of emotions and grieving is a long, difficult process. If the death was caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another person, the burden can become even harder to bear. By pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, it may be possible to find justice.
Deldar Legal provides families who have lost loved ones with compassion and objective insights while fighting for their right to meaningful compensation. Although no amount of money can ever replace another person, we believe negligent parties must be held accountable for their actions.
What is wrongful death in California?
There are a number of elements involved in a wrongful death claim. First, it is necessary to demonstrate that the defendant owed the decedent what is known as a duty of care. Motor vehicle drivers, for example, legally owe other drivers an obligation to operate their vehicles safely and avoid causing injuries. Further, there must be proof that the duty of care was breached. A person who drives under the influence and kills another person has breached the duty care. Finally, it must be shown that the breach of duty was directly responsible for the wrongful death.
Who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit?
In California, the following parties can bring a wrongful death lawsuit:
- The surviving spouse of the deceased person
- The deceased person’s domestic partner
- Surviving children of the deceased person
- Parents or siblings of the deceased person (if there are no direct survivors)
- Others who were financially dependent on the deceased person
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Although a variety of circumstances can be the basis for a wrongful death claim, some of the most common include:
- Automobile Accidents – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that as many as 35,000 people are killed in automobile accidents throughout the U.S. each year, whether due to distracted driving, speeding, driving under the influence and mechanical defects.
- Commercial Truck Accidents – Because of the size and weight of commercial trucks, collisions with passenger vehicles are often deadly. The average automobile, for example, weighs about 4,000 pounds, while a tractor-trailer can weigh more than 80,000 pounds – a collision can easily lead to fatalities of the smaller vehicle’s occupants. Both negligent trucking companies and truck drivers can be held liable for wrongful death.
- Medical Malpractice – Doctors and other medical professionals have a duty to provide the appropriate standard of care. A doctor who breaches this duty and causes a patient’s death can be held liable for wrongful death. Medical malpractice lawsuits can arise from surgical errors, prescription errors, anesthesia errors, misdiagnosis, defective medical equipment and devices, and even nursing home abuse and neglect.
- Product Liability – Manufacturers have an obligation to ensure that the products they provide to consumers are safe. If manufacturers, distributors, retailers and product designers provide defective products or fail to warn the public of the risks associated with a product, then they can be held accountable for wrongful death.
- Workplace Accidents – Construction sites, manufacturing plants and other dangerous work environments expose workers to hazards such as falls, burns, explosions, harmful chemicals and other dangerous substances. On the job fatalities that are the result of negligence can lead to a wrongful death claim.
What types of damages are available in a wrongful death lawsuit?
While each case is unique, damages can be awarded to the estate for losses related to the death such as past and future lost wages and benefits, reasonable medical expenses related to the decedent’s final injury or illness, and funeral expenses. Additionally, surviving family members can recover damages for the value of financial support and household services the decedent provided to the family as well as for the loss of love, companionship, and guidance.
Serving Families with Dignity and Compassion
At Deldar Legal, we offer dignity and compassion to families who are coping with grief and anger, and help them find justice. We have the necessary skills and resources for pursuing successful wrongful death claims. By collaborating with a respected network of investigators, medical and financial experts, we will demonstrate how the defendant’s negligence caused or contributed to the death and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Deldar Legal serves clients throughout California including Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and West Covina. If your loved one’s death was caused by another’s negligence, don’t suffer in silence. Call our office today for a free consultation or fill out the contact form on our website.