Los Angeles Wrongful Death Attorneys
Wrongful Death in California
When a loved one dies unexpectedly, family members are left facing immense emotional strain and a number of unanticipated financial hardships. When the death of your loved one could have—and should have—been prevented, you deserve justice. Bral & Associates
By helping you file a wrongful death claim, our attorneys can help you seek fair financial recovery to assist with the unexpected costs associated with your loss. We know that nothing could ever undo the suffering you have been through, but a successful claim can allow you the ability to manage certain financial necessities and challenges, including funeral costs and loss of income, and provide a much-needed sense of justice. Because we are selective about the cases we accept, we are able to provide each and every one of our clients with attentive, personalized service and consistent availability. We are ready to assist you at any time of day, any day of the week.
The Basics of Wrongful Death Cases
Under personal injury law
, certain surviving individuals may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one who was killed or died as a result of someone else’s negligent or wrongful actions. Essentially, when a death was preventable, this constitutes grounds for a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death cases often arise from the following:
Wrongful death cases are civil actions, distinct and separate from any criminal proceedings that may or may not occur. It is not uncommon for a family to recover wrongful death damages in a civil case even when the at-fault party is not charged with or is acquitted of a crime, such as manslaughter or murder.
It is important to note that you only have two years in the state of California to file a wrongful death claim and seek damages. This is known as the statute of limitations. The clock begins ticking, in most cases, on the date of the death and, after two years have passed, eligible individuals will not be able to file a claim or recover compensation for their losses. There are very few exceptions to this rule, so it is important that you act quickly if you believe you have grounds for a wrongful death claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
The state has laws regarding who is allowed to bring a wrongful death claim in California. Only certain surviving family members (or their representatives) may file a wrongful death action.
These surviving family members include:
Additionally, the following individuals may file a claim if they were dependent on the deceased:
- A spouse or domestic partner
- A child
- A grandchild (if the deceased’s child/children are also deceased)
- Anyone who would be entitled to inherit the deceased’s estate via interstate succession
- A putative spouse
- A child of the putative spouse
- A stepchild
- A parent
Lastly, a minor (someone under the age of 18) may file a wrongful death claim if he or she had resided in the household of the deceased for a period of 180 days preceding the death and was dependent on the deceased in at least a 50% capacity.
What Damages Are Available in Wrongful Death Claims?
If you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim, you are entitled to seek certain specific damages. In California, individuals filing wrongful death claims may seek both economic and non-economic damages.
Damages in wrongful death claims in California include:
- Medical bills for treatment/care provided to the deceased immediately preceding death
- Funeral, burial, and other related expenses
- Compensation for income the deceased would have reasonably been expected to earn
- The value of household services provided by the deceased prior to death
- Loss of financial support/income
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of love, emotional support, companionship, affection, etc.
In some cases, surviving family members may seek punitive damages. These are meant to punish at-fault parties for egregious negligence and, in addition, work to ensure that such incidents do not happen again in the future.
An attorney at our firm can meet with you during a free initial consultation to discuss your specific situation and determine what types of damages you may be entitled to receive. We invite you to get in touch with us today to learn more.
Here to Help, 24/7
At Bral & Associates, we are always available to assist our clients when they need us most. Our Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys are ready to meet with you, listen to your story, and learn how we can help you and your family. We understand what you are going through, as well as the many challenges that still lay ahead. Our goal is to do everything we can to help you move forward and overcome those challenges by fighting for the justice you deserve.