Garden Grove Wrongful Death Lawyer

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Garden Grove Wrongful Death Attorney

Losing a family member unexpectedly is always tragic, but knowing the death resulted from another party’s negligence or intentional misconduct makes the situation even more difficult to bear. When you have lost a loved one due to any other party’s negligence or misconduct, you need legal counsel you can trust from an experienced Garden Grove wrongful death attorney. Depending on how the death occurred and who is responsible, you could have several options for legal recourse. A good attorney will assist you in taking full advantage of them.

Representing Wrongful Death Claims in Garden Grove, CA

Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys has a team of experienced California personal injury attorneys with years of experience representing clients in the Garden Grove area. We know how devastating an unexpected death can be for any family. These incidents cause tremendous emotional suffering to the surviving family and often entail significant economic repercussions the family must address. When another party is responsible for causing the death of a family member, we can assist you in holding them accountable for their actions.

Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Garden Grove Wrongful Death Attorney

When you are facing any kind of civil claim for damages in California, the right attorney can have a tremendous positive impact on the outcome of your recovery efforts. Depending on how, where, and why your loved one’s death occurred, you may have more options for legal recourse than you initially realize. The sooner you meet with an experienced Garden Grove wrongful death attorney, the better equipped you will be to address the unique challenges your case presents.

Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys can carefully review the details of the recent death of your loved one. We’ll help you identify the party or parties bearing fault for the incident and help you build your civil case against them. When it comes to the compensation you could secure from a successful wrongful death claim, money cannot return your lost loved one but can make adjusting to your new circumstances much easier. When you hire Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys as your Garden Grove wrongful death attorneys, we strive for maximum compensation from the defendant.

Ultimately, you are not only more likely to win a wrongful death suit but also more likely to maximize the recovery you obtain when you have legal counsel you can trust. The defendant in your wrongful death claim may also face criminal charges for their actions leading to your loved one’s death, and your attorney will help you understand how this may influence your civil case proceedings. Whatever unique challenges or opportunities your wrongful death claim may present, experienced legal representation ensures you are ready to address them as effectively as possible.

Wrongful Death Attorneys

Common Causes of Wrongful Death Claims in California

Wrongful death claims emerge from many of the same situations that lead to personal injury claims in Garden Grove. When the victim of a personal injury does not survive their experience, their surviving family has the right to pursue a wrongful death claim. While this may seem as though a wrongful death claim effectively replaces the personal injury claim the deceased could have filed if they survived, this isn’t entirely true. A wrongful death claim seeks compensation for the family’s losses, not the damages sustained by the deceased’s estate. However, securing compensation for such damages is possible depending on the details of the death in question and whether the victim died immediately from their final injury.

Some of the most commonly cited causes of wrongful death claims in the Garden Grove, CA, area include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents. These incidents are a leading cause of accidental injuries and deaths across the United States each year. Unfortunately, if a negligent motorist causes a fatal accident with your loved one, their auto insurance might only cover a portion of your total losses.
  • Premises liability. If your loved one died on another person’s property due to the property owner’s failure to maintain a reasonably safe premises, you could hold the property owner accountable for wrongful death under California’s premises liability laws.
  • Defective products. If a defective or unreasonably dangerous consumer product caused the death of a family member, you might have grounds for a wrongful death suit under California’s product liability statutes.
  • Interpersonal violence. California, unfortunately, has a high statewide rate of violent crime, and some victims of intentional criminal acts do not survive these experiences. A defendant who intentionally caused the death of your loved one is likely to face homicide charges and severe criminal penalties in addition to civil liability for your family’s wrongful death claim.
  • Workplace injuries. Every day, thousands of people working in California suffer injuries at work, and workers’ compensation benefits can be invaluable to their recoveries. It’s possible for the family of a worker who did not survive a fatal workplace injury to recover death benefits through the workers’ compensation system. However, they may need to take further legal action if a specific party bears fault for the death in question.

These are only a few examples of how wrongful deaths may occur. Unfortunately, some do not realize they have grounds to pursue wrongful death claims, and others are unsure how to file their claims. Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys can provide the comprehensive and compassionate legal counsel you need in this challenging situation. In addition, we will help you understand the legal mechanisms in play in your case.

California Wrongful Death Statutes You Should Know

California’s wrongful death statutes hinge on the state’s intestate succession law. This means that the family members first in line to inherit property from the deceased are also first in line with the right to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased. The deceased’s surviving spouse and children have the primary right to file a wrongful death claim, followed by other immediate family members such as parents or siblings.

If the deceased did not have any close family but had an estate plan, the personal representative/executor/trustee they named in their estate would have the right to file a wrongful death claim instead of family. If the deceased did not have any family or a specific personal representative, anyone who could prove they were financially dependent on the deceased or who could prove a valid legal claim on the contents of the deceased’s estate would be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.

In California, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the death in question. However, this statute of limitations or time limit may “toll” or pause if the defendant took steps to conceal their liability or if the cause of death was not immediately discernible. Your attorney can advise you on the statute of limitations that applies to your impending wrongful death claim.

Damages in Wrongful Death Claims and Survival Actions

State law also imposes further restrictions on wrongful death claims regarding the damages available to the plaintiff. A wrongful death claim seeks recovery from the damages the family experiences due to the death in question. Therefore, your wrongful death claim damages are likely to include:

  • Loss of financial support from the deceased. If your family relied heavily on the income the deceased earned, the defendant is responsible for the income they would have reasonably expected to provide their family in the future had they survived.
  • Lost value of household services. The deceased likely assisted with maintaining their home and providing childcare for their children. Their death can easily impose significant challenges to the surviving members of their household.
  • Funeral and burial expenses that align with the deceased’s beliefs and preferences.
  • The emotional pain and suffering of the family. Your Garden Grove wrongful death attorney can assist you in holding the defendant accountable for the loss of love, affection, companionship, guidance, and the consortium that the deceased provided you and your family.

If the defendant’s actions did not result in the immediate death of the victim, the victim’s estate likely incurred significant damages that aren’t recoverable through a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death action seeks compensation for the surviving family’s damages, but a survival action can enable them to obtain compensation for the damages sustained by the deceased’s estate. In other words, a survival action effectively replaces the personal injury claim the deceased could have filed if they survived their injury.

A survival action in California can yield compensation for the final medical expenses incurred by the deceased before their death, lost income between the injury and their death, and property damage caused by the defendant. In addition, a recent change to California wrongful death statutes now enables a plaintiff to seek compensation for the pain and suffering their loved one experienced before their death.

Your Garden Grove wrongful death attorney will be invaluable in holding the defendant fully accountable through a wrongful death suit and/or survival action. You may not only need to gather extensive documentation and other physical evidence to establish the full scope of your damages but also consult with relevant experts who can provide valuable insights into the unique details of your case. For example, if your loved one died in a fatal car accident, an accident reconstruction expert could prove exactly how the crash occurred and identify who is responsible. In addition, medical professionals can help the court understand the severity of the plaintiff’s condition or the non-economic damages a defendant’s actions directly caused when you claim compensation for pain and suffering.

Settlement Versus Litigation

Most wrongful death claims filed in California end in a private settlement. Once a complaint is filed, the parties involved in a wrongful death claim have the option of attempting to privately resolve the claim without a protracted litigation process. Your Garden Grove wrongful death attorney will be invaluable to ensuring you receive a fair settlement offer if settlement is an option for your case.

When settlement isn’t feasible or if the parties involved in the dispute cannot reach a mutually agreeable resolution, the wrongful death suit may need to be resolved in court. When your wrongful death claim must unfold through litigation, it is imperative to have legal representation you can trust to guide you through your courtroom proceedings. Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys will help you settle your claim decisively if possible, but if litigation is necessary to ensure your family’s recovery, we are prepared to represent you in court.

What to Expect From a Garden Grove Wrongful Death Attorney

Hiring the right legal team to represent you in a wrongful death claim can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of your case. No wrongful death claim will be easy to navigate, but you can approach the emotionally charged civil court proceedings you face more confidently with Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys representing you.

Our team will carefully examine the details of your loved one’s death. Once we ascertain the cause, we can help you determine fault and identify the defendant or defendants in your case. While fault is clearer in some wrongful death cases than in others, your attorney will be invaluable in securing the evidence you need to prove a defendant’s liability.

It’s important to remember that in any civil claim for damages, California enforces a pure comparative negligence statute. Therefore, the plaintiff in a civil suit can bear partial liability for causing their claimed damages. Similarly, investigating your loved one’s death can reveal that they are partially responsible for causing it. When comparative fault comes into play in any civil suit, the plaintiff loses a percentage of their case award equal to their percentage of fault. For example, a 25% fault in a million-dollar wrongful death suit would lead to a final net award of $750,000 under the pure comparative fault standard.

Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys understand the stress and uncertainty that the legal proceedings of a wrongful death case can impose on you and your family. Our goal is to help you understand all your options for legal recourse and to make informed decisions about your recovery efforts. Various forms of insurance may provide economic relief to you and your family, but if any party bears explicit liability for causing your loved one’s death, we can help you hold them fully accountable. A successful wrongful death suit and/or survival action can provide a much more expansive recovery from your family than you could hope to receive through insurance.

Garden Grove Personal Injury Law FAQs

Q: How Do I Determine Fault for a Wrongful Death Personal Injury Case?

A: Determining liability for a wrongful death is similar to determining fault for a personal injury. You must identify the party you believe is responsible for the death in question. Then, you must prove they violated a duty of care, acted with egregious negligence, or engaged in intentional misconduct that directly caused the death in question. Your attorney can help you determine what types of evidence are best suited for you to establish liability for a wrongful death.

Q: How Long Will My Wrongful Death Claim Take to Resolve?

A: Proving liability for a wrongful death can be challenging, but the right attorney can ensure you have the support and guidance you need to reach a successful outcome as quickly as possible, potentially within a few weeks of filing your claim. However, if liability is contested, if more than one party bears fault for the death in question, or if any other complications arise and your case must proceed to litigation, it may take several months to resolve.

Q: Can the Defendant Go to Jail for Causing a Wrongful Death?

A: Many wrongful death claims pertain to unintentional negligence. While some defendants accused of causing wrongful deaths may not face criminal charges or only minor charges, any intentional illegal misconduct resulting in a death is likely to incur severe penalties. For example, a standard charge of driving under the influence (DUI) may usually qualify as a misdemeanor, but if the drunk driver killed someone, they could be upgraded to a felony DUI charge and/or a vehicular manslaughter charge.

Q: How Much Is My Wrongful Death Suit Worth?

A: It can be difficult to accurately assess the value of your impending wrongful death claim. Hiring an experienced Garden Grove wrongful death attorney means you will have easy access to legal counsel and support when you need it most. They will also help you determine a fair amount of total compensation to seek from your recovery efforts.

Q: Is It Worth Hiring a Garden Grove Wrongful Death Personal Injury Attorney?

A: Even when you think that liability for your loved one’s untimely death is clear, you should not assume that you can handle a wrongful death claim unassisted. Working with legal counsel means you will be prepared to meet your case’s unique challenges. Your legal team will help you gather the evidence needed to establish liability and assist you in proving the full scope of your claimable damages. Even after accounting for the cost of legal fees, hiring the right lawyer adds tremendous value to your case.

Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys understand that a wrongful death can have a devastating impact on any family. When you know that someone else’s negligence or misconduct directly caused your loved one’s death, the frustration can worsen your emotional stress. Our goal is to provide responsive and compassionate legal representation throughout every stage of your case. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation with a Garden Grove wrongful death attorney you can trust with your claim.

Actual Client Testimonials

This is the best firm to go to. They will fight for your rights to be compensated. I have a loved one that used them. They treat you like you are one of their own family members. I highly recommend them. To be honest I wouldn’t use any other firm.” Jeff E.

Client Review: 5/5
July 2021
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