How Do I Prove Wrongful Death in California?

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If you have lost a loved one due to the careless or negligent actions of someone else, you may be entitled to compensation. Losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult experience for anyone, and you should not have to do this alone. Proving a wrongful death case in California can be difficult, but an experienced and compassionate attorney will be able to guide you through the process.

What is a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim arises when someone’s death is the result of the negligence of another person or persons. When this occurs, the surviving family members are typically entitled to sue the at-fault party for damages.

How will your attorney prove wrongful death in California?

It is important to understand the elements of a wrongful death case. Please keep in mind that most individuals do not have the resources or legal experience to handle these cases on their own. Your best chance of successfully recovering maximum compensation for your loss is to speak to a skilled wrongful death attorney.

The elements of a wrongful death case include:

  • Proving that the liable party had a certain duty of care owed to the victim.
  • Showing that the liable party breached that duty of care in some way.
  • Proving that the breach led to the accident and injuries that caused the death.
  • Showing that the death resulted in losses to the plaintiffs in the case.

Duties of care in a wrongful death case vary depending on what type of accident has occurred. The following are just a few examples of duties of care and how they may be breached:

  • A medical professional is expected to provide a certain standard of care to their patients. The standard of care is typically judged by how other similarly trained medical professionals would react in the same type of situation.
  • Companies and manufacturers have a duty to sell products that are safe for their intended use. They have a duty to warn consumers about the potential risks of their products. Companies that sell products that are unreasonably safe or defective may have breached their duty to the consumer.
  • Drivers have a duty to operate in a reasonably safe manner based on road conditions and weather. There are various ways that a driver can breach their duty to others on the roadway, including distracted driving, violating traffic laws, drunk driving, aggressive driving behavior, and more.

These are certainly not all of the examples of how a breach of duty can cause wrongful death. You should speak to a qualified personal injury attorney in Long Beach about the specifics of your case in order to determine your steps moving forward.

How much compensation is available in these cases?

There are various types of compensation available in wrongful death cases. While the total amount awarded to plaintiffs will vary based on the particulars of each case, it is not uncommon to see the following types of compensation awarded:

  • Costs associated with the funeral and burial of the decedent
  • Loss of future income and benefits of the deceased
  • Loss of financial support to the deceased’s loved ones
  • Loss of household services
  • The loss of the decedent’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support
  • Court costs and legal fees to the plaintiffs
  • Possible punitive damages in cases of gross negligence or intentional actions

If you are here because you have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, do not hesitate to seek assistance from a compassionate and experienced attorney in California. Contact Harting Simkins & Ryan, LLP today to schedule a free consultation.