Wrongful Death Damages
In civil cases like a wrongful death claim, the person at fault did not always look to harm the victim. However, they did choose to make poor, reckless decisions and actions that ultimately took a life away.
Wrongful death cases can range from an apparent DUI fatal accident to a doctor’s medical malpractice causing a patient’s death. Both the doctor and drunk driver were negligent in their behavior and must now pay for their consequences.
It’s cold-hearted even to consider putting a price tag on someone’s life, but a wrongful death claim serves for justice. Not only does it help to punish the person committing the negligent act but also relieves the victim’s loved ones of newly found economic loss and stress. It’s advised you contact a wrongful death attorney if you plan to file a lawsuit in California.
Wrongful Death Attorney in Los Angeles
The last thing you want to deal with after losing a loved one is having to worry about filing a lawsuit. But the person who caused your loved one’s death should be held accountable. Yarian & Associates, APC has recovered millions for clients, and they want to do the same for you.
You can call (844) 291-1911 to schedule a case consultation with Levik Yarian. He will speak to you about your case and go over every step of the process. Yarian & Associates, APC represent clients in areas across Los Angeles County and Tulare County.
Wrongful Death Damages Overview
- Claiming a Wrongful Death
- Who Can File a Wrongful Death?
- What can be recovered?
- Additional Resources
Claiming a Wrongful Death
A wrongful death claim appears under a civil court. Most cases will involve the idea of negligence as a way to accuse the party at fault. Under California law, negligence is the failure to show reasonable care to prevent harm. Some examples include:
- Doing something a reasonable person would not have done in the same situation; or
- Failing to do something a reasonable person would have done in the same case
- Not following regulatory standards in a specific setting or location (prescribing the wrong medication, failing to place a wet floor sign)
To prove the defendant is liable, you will have to prove their negligence was the cause of your loved one’s death. Hiring a wrongful death lawyer to file a wrongful death claim on your behalf is much easier than filing a case on your own. A wrongful death attorney specializes in recovering damages from an unlawful act or negligence.
Who Can file a Wrongful Death in California?
California only grants specific individuals the right to file a wrongful death suit. Just because you were close friends, or in a romantic relationship with the deceased, doesn’t grant you the right to file a lawsuit in a civil court. According to the California Civil Procedures, the following parties can submit a wrongful death claim:
- The deceased’s surviving spouse
- The deceased’s domestic partner
- The deceased’s surviving children
- The deceased’s representative
Sometimes, the deceased will not have a surviving spouse or children. When this is the case, the state allows for a wrongful death suit to be submitted by anyone legally entitled to the deceased’s property through a will. Additionally, someone with legal representation typically includes the deceased’s parents or siblings.
Certain financially dependent relatives may also file a wrongful death suit. Keep in mind sufficient evidence must be presented to prove the eligible relative is economically dependent. If successful, the following relatives can file a wrongful death suit:
- Common law spouse of the deceased
- Common law children of the deceased
- Stepchildren of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased
Like a personal injury, a wrongful death claim must be filed within a particular time, posed under the statute of limitations of the California legislature. California law requires filing a wrongful death claim within two years from the date of the deceased’s death. You will lose the right to file a claim if you fail to file within this time.
What Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death?
Damages in a wrongful death case fall into two categories. The first is economic damages, which are physical damages with monetary value. This type of compensation is used to cover damages experienced by the deceased from the moment of the negligent act causing death, until the time of their death. For example, in the case of a motorcycle accident, economic damages would cover the cost from the time of the crash until the victim died from the crash.
Wrongful death is not always instant. The death could happen within a few hours or take place weeks after a negligent incident. Economic damages granted in wrongful death cases include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- Benefits from the deceased (health insurance, pension plan)
- Potential earnings the deceased would have earned had they survived
- Service provided to family members (maintenance, support, care)
Family members of wrongful death victims can suffer severe mental anguish, loss of companionship, and moral support. Emotional distress is one of the most significant injuries caused by a wrongful death. To compensate for this, the court will grant non-economic damages, which are not tangible, and without monetary value.
Common examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and sufferings
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
It’s advised you contact a wrongful death attorney if you plan to file a wrongful death suit. The amount of compensation granted varies from case to case and is hard to determine without a thorough evaluation.
California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB) – This organization helps cover the funeral and burial costs of victims of personal injury resulting in death amongst other causes. They can also offer financial loss help for people financially dependent on the victim as well as mental health help. The victim must have been a resident of the state of California.
Funeral Consumer Alliance – This page details an organization that helps others with organizing a funeral and burial. The page talks about helpful tips regarding finding the right burial type and limiting costs associated with funerals.
Wrongful Death Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you lost a loved one who was a victim of wrongful death, you might think criminal punishment will be enough. However, filing for a wrongful death claim can relieve the financial burden associated with the loss. The attorneys at Yarian & Associates, APC will aggressively advocate on your behalf to ensure maximum compensation is received.
Call (844) 291-1911 to schedule a free case evaluation. Yarian & Associates, APC represents clients with wrongful death claims in areas such as Los Angeles, Glendale, Visalia, Riverside, Fresno, Irvine, and San Bernardino.