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Learning the Basics about Wrongful Death

This content about wrongful death claims 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.

If a loved one lost their life by the direct or indirect responsibility of another, there might be ground for you as a close relative to file for a wrongful death claim. You will have to demonstrate the liability of a person, company, or institution in the death of your relative, for which the assistance of an experienced attorney can be of great value. Here is what you should know.

There Are Common Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death by accident fatality, product liability, and medical malpractice is most common. In all cases, the death might be caused either intentionally or out of negligence.

For instance, in a car accident case, another driver on account of recklessness or even the car’s manufacturer can be held liable for the death.

In a product liability case, it’s the manufacturing company for selling a faulty product. In a medical malpractice case, it’s a doctor or nurse failing to diagnose correctly or provide the standard of care who would be accused.

Only Close Relatives Can File for a Wrongful Death Claim

Only direct relatives, namely the spouse, parents, or children of the deceased person can file for wrongful death in California. If the aforementioned relatives are absent, other close relatives down the line might be able to start the lawsuit. This can allow a putative spouse, grandparent, or sibling, for instance. Regulation on this changes according to the state.

You Should Prove the Breaching of Duty of Care

This means proving that the individual or company you’re accusing somehow failed at providing care for the deceased person’s life or integrity when they should have. Proving the breaching of duty of care means meeting a burden of proof just like the deceased person would have, and all evidence you can gather, such as records, eyewitness testimony, media footage, among others.

You Have a Statute of Limitations

Like with every other claim, there is a filing deadline. It’s two years for wrongful death caused by accident fatality or product liability, and three years for medical malpractice (one year since realizing that negligence was the cause of the death).

You Can Obtain Economic and Non-Economic Damages

The death of a loved one can cause economic and emotional losses that you will seek compensation for with a wrongful death claim. Economic damages that can be awarded include loss of benefits, household services, and financial support from the deceased person, as well as funeral and burial expenses.

The non-economic damages include loss of companionship, moral support, guidance, affection, and consortium. The amount of the damages can cover the plaintiff’s life expectancy or the deceased person’s life expectancy from the moment they passed away., and will be up to the judge’s appreciation of all the evidence presented.

Get Expert Legal Assistance on Wrongful Death

A professional attorney can give you all the details to make your case for wrongful death in California a successful one. Don’t hesitate to find the correct help to get compensation for the loss of a loved one.

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 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.