Long Beach Wrongful Death Attorney
Personal injury lawsuits happen when someone suffers an injury or other damages due to someone else’s negligence. If the injured victim dies from the other party’s actions, the deceased’s surviving loved ones must file a wrongful death claim to secure compensation. Although similar to personal injury lawsuits, wrongful death claims function a bit differently and Southern California residents should understand the state laws surrounding wrongful death claims by speaking with a knowledgeable Long Beach wrongful death attorney. In some cases, a family may file a civil action against the person who caused their loved one’s death while the defendant also faces criminal charges from the state. Wrongful death claims are entirely separate from criminal cases.
You have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim. California also places restrictions on who may file wrongful death claims. Typically, the person filing the claim must be the deceased person’s spouse, partner, or child. If no such kin exists, anyone who has any claim to the deceased’s property may file a wrongful death claim, such as a parent, sibling, or another relative. Finally, anyone who was demonstrably financially dependent on the deceased may file a wrongful death claim.
Damages in California Wrongful Death Claims
Just like in personal injury lawsuits, the plaintiffs in wrongful death claims can recoup all of the expenses they incurred from their loved one’s death. There are also several other forms of compensation that could apply. Typical damages in wrongful death claims include:
- Funeral and burial expenses. An average funeral can cost several thousands of dollars.
- Medical expenses from the final injury or illness. Some wrongful death claims evolve from personal injury suits when the injured victims succumb to their wounds. The surviving family can recover their medical expenses like hospital bills, treatment costs, prescription costs, and any other health care expenses resulting from the defendant’s actions.
- Pain and suffering. If the deceased’s final illness or injury entailed significant pain and distress, the plaintiffs may consult with medical expert witnesses who will testify to this in court, and the judge will award an appropriate amount.
- Lost income. The family can sue for the income their deceased loved one could have been reasonably expected to earn had he or she survived. This may sound difficult to measure, but a court will generally assess the deceased’s financial situation prior to his or her death and consult with financial experts to determine an appropriate figure.
- Loss of consortium. Surviving families may also receive compensation for the emotional toll the unexpected death takes on the survivors. “Loss of consortium” generally refers to the loss of the deceased’s positive influences on the family, such as moral support, attention, affection, guidance, and love.
Succeeding in Your Wrongful Death Claim
One of the best choices bereaved families can make after an unexpected death in the family is to retain the services of a qualified Long Beach personal injury lawyer experienced in wrongful death claims to help navigate the case. Wrongful death claims are fairly straightforward, but still require careful attention to detail and meeting various deadlines. An attorney can help shoulder the burden of the legal entanglements, offering you and your family time to mourn. Winning a wrongful death claim comes down to proving the defendant is liable for the death. Just like in personal injury cases, this means establishing to the court that the defendant had a duty to act with reasonable care, breached this duty, and this failure directly caused the death.
Harting Simkins & Ryan, LLP | Wrongful Death Lawyers in Long Beach, CA
Our team of attorneys at Harting Simkins & Ryan, LLP understands how traumatic unexpected deaths are for families, which is why we want to help our clients recover the compensation they deserve after wrongfully losing loved ones. If you have questions about wrongful death laws in California or wish to set up a consultation with our team, contact us and let us know how a Long Beach wrongful death attorney at our firm can help.