Losing a loved one is never easy, but it can be even more heartbreaking when your loved one is lost due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional acts of someone else. Often, families and grieving loved ones do not know where to turn to get the legal help they need in order to fully recover from these types of fatal occurrences.
While legal matters may be the last thing you want to think about after the death of a loved one, filing a wrongful death claim can help bring closure to your family, allow you to pursue financial compensation for your losses, and hold responsible parties accountable for their actions. An experienced wrongful death attorney at Shegerian & Associates is standing by ready to advocate for you.
Compensation for Surviving Family Members
Wrongful death claims are similar in nature to personal injury claims, which allow certain individuals to pursue compensation for losses against negligent parties. According to California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60, the surviving family members or estate of a deceased individual may pursue damages when the individual dies as a result of:
- Intentional acts
Wrongful death actions can be brought against a number of defendants including individuals, businesses, and manufacturers of defective products and machinery. Common causes of wrongful death claims may be when fatal injuries are sustained as a result of:
- Drunk driving accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home negligence
- Construction accidents
- Assault or battery
- Defective products
- An employer’s business actions
California’s wrongful death statutes are designed to protect bereaved families, and sometimes anyone financially affected, by the death of another due to the negligence, or legal fault, of another. The most pertinent statute, Code of Civil Procedure 377.60, allows the following family members (or their personal representatives) to bring a wrongful death claim:
- Surviving spouses
- Domestic partners
- Other minor children, such as stepchildren who were dependent on the deceased for at least 50% of their support
- Anyone else who may be entitled to the deceased’s estate under California estate laws
Parents may also be able to recover damages in a wrongful death claim if:
- The deceased was a minor
- The deceased had a surviving spouse but no surviving children
- The parents depended on the deceased for financial or other support
Damages in Wrongful Death Claims
Damages can be economic, non-economic, or pain and suffering-related in wrongful death claims. Spouses, children and parents are usually the first to receive damages recovered from a wrongful death lawsuit. In some situations, plaintiffs may also be able to recover interest on damages incurred as well as reimbursement for a wrongful death attorney’s costs and fees.
Economic damages involve compensating a survivor or group of survivors for financial losses due to the death of the victim. These include:
- Income from lost wages
- The value of household services that the deceased would have provided
- Loss of gifts benefits
- Loss of gifts that the deceased would have given
- Funeral and burial expenses
Non-economic damages are less tangible. These may include compensation for the survivor’s mental anguish and pain and suffering as it relates to the loss of the deceased individual’s:
- Society and companionship
- Moral support
- Training and guidance
- Sexual relations
Pain and Suffering
Prior to the passage of Senate Bill 447 in October 2021, California law prohibited the recovery of a deceased’s losses or damages that were incurred prior to their death. Now, survivors are able to pursue damages in the event of a wrongful death claim for pain and suffering and disfigurement that occurred while the individual was still living.
How A Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help You
Dealing with a wrongful death issue can be difficult. From deciding the best legal strategies to calculating the precise amount of damages, a wrongful death claim can be one of the most complicated causes of action to handle.
That is why only a competent lawyer for wrongful death, well-versed in personal injury and wrongful death actions should address the unique issues of a wrongful death case. Hiring a highly skilled wrongful death attorney who will devote the time and resources necessary for the successful conclusion of such claims is critical to getting the justice a bereaved family deserves.
Our attorneys can help you by:
- Reviewing your case during a free case evaluation
- Helping you secure the psychological care that you need to cope with the trauma related to your loved one’s death
- Gathering evidence to increase the strength of your case
- Filing all necessary paperwork by the mandatory deadlines
- Appointing experts to interpret the evidence of your case
- Advocating on your behalf for justice and maximum compensation
Survivors of those wrongfully killed only have a certain period of time to take legal action. In California, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the deceased individual’s passing.
Contact Our Compassionate Legal Team Today
If you or a loved one are facing a wrongful death claim and need help, we understand that no amount of compensation is enough to fully make right of the trauma you and your family have endured. However, we believe that you deserve to be properly compensated during this time, and that all responsible parties should be held accountable for their wrongdoings.
For compassionate legal assistance in your corner, contact Shegerian & Associates as soon as possible to discuss the details of your situation and potential wrongful death lawsuit. Especially if you need a wrongful death attorney in Los Angeles, our team is standing by to offer the skilled advocacy necessary to bring your claim to a successful conclusion.