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The Basic Elements of Wrongful Death Litigation

This content about wrongful death lawyers was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.

Wrongful death litigation is settled in a court of law over the death of a person as a result of another’s negligent or intentional act. The main goal of this type of litigation is to award damages to those close to the deceased or their estate for being affected by the death.

You probably are looking for answers on this topic if you or someone you know has suffered the loss of someone dear at the hands of another’s imprudent actions, such as medical malpractice, an accident fatality, or even intentional harm. Here is what you need to know about wrongful death litigation. 

The People Involved in Wrongful Death Litigation in California

The process of wrongful death litigation changes according to the state. However, in general, it’s a representative of the deceased person’s estate or family that files for a lawsuit on behalf of the remaining family members or of anyone directly affected by the death. It’s also worth mentioning that the defendant (the person accused of wrongful death) can also be a company or a governmental institution. 

In California, the spouse, the dependent parent(s) or the children of the deceased person are the first eligible plaintiffs. In case there’s no living spouse or children, parents are eligible whether they were dependent on the deceased person or not. If the previous relatives do not exist, other relatives such as siblings and grandparents can file for wrongful death in the state of California.  

The Causes for Wrongful Death Litigation  

Wrongful death lawsuits are applicable when someone suffers a personal injury that results in death. In other words, had the deceased person not passed away, the case would have been a valid personal injury claim instead.

As previously stated, the most common situations that end up in wrongful death claims are intentional killing, medical malpractice, and accident fatalities that include negligence.

Work injuries resulting in death usually don’t apply as wrongful death litigation since they should be handled directly through the worker’s compensation system, considering its variations according to state. 

What the Plaintiff Can Obtain from the Litigation in California

To succeed in wrongful death litigation, as a plaintiff, you should meet the burden of proof that the deceased would have needed to meet in court. As an example from an accidental death situation, the plaintiff would have to prove that the defendant had a duty of care which was neglected and resulted in death, causing the damages that the plaintiff wants to be awarded. 

The plaintiff can be awarded damages on account of pre-death pain and suffering, medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of income, inheritance, care, guidance, nurturing, companionship, and loss of consortium. 

How to get help

Act quickly and obtain expert legal advice if you are planning on starting wrongful death litigation in California. It’s essential that you count on the knowledge of attorneys with experience in this kind of case to get a successful outcome.

Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California.  Call or email us for a free consultation.

This content about wrongful death lawyers was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.