Irvine Wrongful Death Attorney
Every day, thousands of serious injuries occur across the country. When one party bears responsibility for an injury to another party, this constitutes grounds for a personal injury claim under California law. The victim would have the right to seek full compensation for any losses the defendant caused through a civil action. However, if the victim does not survive their personal injury, their surviving loved ones would need to pursue a wrongful death claim instead.
Representing Irvine, CA, Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim, in many ways, replaces a personal injury claim the victim could have filed had they survived. However, while a personal injury claim seeks compensation for the victim’s damages, a wrongful death claim seeks compensation for the surviving family’s loss. If you believe your loved one recently died because of the negligence or intentional misconduct of another party, an Irvine wrongful death attorney is the best resource to consult to determine your legal options. A successful wrongful death claim cannot bring back your loved one, but it can yield compensation that will make things easier for you and your family as you adjust to your new reality.
Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys has a team of experienced attorneys offering wrongful death representation to clients in Irvine, CA, and surrounding areas. We understand that losing a loved one unexpectedly is never easy, especially when you know the death occurred because of another party’s actions. Do not let the stress and frustration of this situation distract you from your family’s legal rights. Securing compensation with a wrongful death claim ensures accountability for the defendant, and they could face criminal charges for causing the death, depending on how it happened. Ultimately, a wrongful death claim can involve many complex variables, and it is crucial to have legal counsel you can trust during this process.
Why You Need an Irvine Wrongful Death Attorney
Attempting to handle any kind of civil case by yourself would be very difficult and risky. Even if you manage to succeed, you could overlook crucial aspects of your case or unintentionally settle for much less than you and your family deserve. In addition, handling case proceedings while managing the aftermath of the death for your family all at once would be extremely challenging during an emotionally stressful time. Instead of trying to shoulder all these matters alone, an Irvine wrongful death lawyer can handle case proceedings for you so you and your family can have peace of mind during this very difficult time.
Your Irvine wrongful death attorney will provide ongoing support and advice as your case unfolds. You can rely on your legal team to help you gather any evidence you need to prove liability for the death in question. Many wrongful death claimants hold misconceptions about the damages in these civil cases. Your attorney can clarify the types of compensation you can seek with your wrongful death action.
Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys strives to maximize our client’s compensation in every case we accept. We’ll help you identify all channels of recovery available to you and your family as we work toward ensuring accountability for the defendant who caused your loved one’s death. Our team understands that the emotional distress a wrongful death can cause the surviving family can make it difficult to make objective and practical decisions regarding a civil case. We can help you understand the legal mechanisms your case involves and help you make informed decisions regarding your case’s direction.
Ultimately, you are not only more likely to succeed with a civil suit when you have legal representation you can trust but are also more likely to maximize your final recovery from a successful case with the help of an attorney. Therefore, once you determine that another party bears responsibility for causing your loved one’s recent death, you must consult an Irvine wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to start reviewing your family’s legal options.
Common Causes of a Wrongful Death Claim in California
It’s possible for an unexpected death to happen without warning at no fault of any one party in particular. However, when a death occurs directly due to another party’s actions, the victim’s family has the right to name the at-fault party as a defendant in their wrongful death action. Some of the most commonly reported causes of wrongful death claims in the Irvine, CA, area are:
- Motor vehicle accidents, which are a leading cause of accidental injuries and deaths throughout the United States each year. The at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy may offer some compensation to the victim’s family. Still, the damages from a wrongful death can easily exceed the scope of any insurance coverage after a fatal car accident.
- Premises liability. Property owners have a legal duty to ensure their properties are safe for lawful guests and visitors. If a visitor suffers a fatal injury due to a foreseeable safety issue on the property, the property owner could face a premises liability claim for wrongful death from the victim’s family.
- Dog attacks. In California, a dog’s owner is strictly liable for all damages their pet inflicts on others. In addition, if a dog causes a fatal injury, its owner faces liability for wrongful death under state law.
- Pedestrian accidents. Any motor vehicle accident can be damaging, but when a vehicle hits a pedestrian, the victim will likely sustain life-threatening or outright fatal injuries.
- Work-related accidents. Many people work in inherently dangerous fields like construction and manufacturing. When injuries occur in the workplace, victims can typically file workers’ compensation claims to seek compensation for medical expenses and lost income during recovery. However, if a work injury proves fatal, the victim’s family may need to file a claim for workers’ compensation death benefits before proceeding with a wrongful death claim if a specific party bears fault for the death.
Success with your wrongful death claim will require identifying the party responsible for causing the death in question, proving the full scope of the economic damages resulting from the death, and presenting a complete list of all damages sought in the claim. Your Irvine wrongful death attorney will be invaluable during these processes, ensuring your claim can proceed unimpeded and that you have the best chance of success with your case.
Proving fault for a wrongful death typically requires careful leveraging of physical evidence, witness testimony, and input from relevant expert witnesses who can clarify unique details of the case. Your Irvine wrongful death attorney can help you construct a compelling civil suit that identifies the party or parties responsible for your loved one’s death and includes all losses resulting from the defendant’s actions.
California Wrongful Death Lawsuit Statutes
Knowing the state laws that apply to your wrongful death claim is important before you begin any formal preliminary actions. First is the state’s statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. You must file your claim within two years of the date of the death in question. It’s typically best to start working on a civil case as soon as possible to ensure the freshness of evidence and reliability of witness testimony.
The second statute you must acknowledge is the state’s eligibility requirements to file a wrongful death case. Typically, the deceased’s surviving spouse is first in line for the right to file a wrongful death claim, followed by the deceased’s surviving children and other close relatives. If they have no close family, the personal representative named in the deceased’s estate may file a wrongful death claim. Alternatively, anyone who can prove they were financially dependent on the deceased or who can prove a valid legal claim on the deceased’s estate can pursue a wrongful death action.
Compensation for Wrongful Death in Orange County, California
It’s common for plaintiffs in wrongful death cases to initially undervalue their claims, not realizing the full scope of damages they can seek in their civil actions. An experienced Irvine wrongful death lawyer is the ideal resource to consult if you intend to maximize the compensation your family obtains from your wrongful death case. State law allows the plaintiff in a wrongful death action to seek compensation for:
- Funeral and burial costs.
- Lost value of the household services the deceased provided to their family.
- The family’s suffering, such as the loss of care, affection, moral support, guidance, and companionship from the deceased.
- The surviving spouse’s loss of consortium.
- Lost financial support provided by the deceased. It’s sometimes possible to claim compensation for the future income the decedent would have reasonably expected to earn until retirement had they survived.
Many people conflate the damages in a wrongful death claim with those in a personal injury suit. However, a wrongful death claim seeks compensation for the family, not losses sustained by the deceased’s estate.
If the victim of a wrongful death did not die immediately from the defendant’s actions, their estate likely incurred various damages such as medical expenses for their final treatment and lost income during time spent in the hospital. These losses are claimable through a survival action. In addition, recent changes to California law now allow plaintiffs in these claims to seek compensation for a victim’s pain and suffering before death, along with economic losses sustained from their final injuries.
An experienced Irvine wrongful death lawyer is the best resource to consult if you think you have grounds for a survival action in tandem with your wrongful death claim. Any wrongful death is likely to include particular details that demand the attention of an experienced attorney. For the best chances of maximizing the recovery you and your family obtain from your wrongful death and survival actions, it’s vital to consult an attorney you can trust as soon as possible after your loved one’s unexpected death.
FAQs About Irvine, CA Wrongful Death Law
Is There a Cap on Wrongful Death Damages in California?
For most wrongful death claims filed in California, there are no caps or limits on the damages plaintiffs may seek. Economic damages are repaid 1:1 and proven with documentation. Regarding non-economic damages, the plaintiff’s attorney can help them determine a reasonable amount based on the severity of the defendant’s actions and the person’s experience before their death. However, the state limits non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases to $250,000 for most plaintiffs. In addition, the recent signing of law AB 35 will increase the limits on non-economic damages in wrongful death cases substantially and increase further every year thereafter to account for inflation.
What Happens If My Deceased Loved One Partially Caused Their Own Death?
If an investigation reveals that your deceased relative was partially at fault for causing the fatal incident in question, California’s pure comparative negligence law comes into play and may influence the outcome of the case. This law upholds that a plaintiff partially at fault for causing their claimed damages loses a percentage of their case award that reflects their percentage of fault for causing the accident in question.
How Long Does a Wrongful Death Case Take to Resolve?
If the defendant named in your suit is responsible for the death in question and accepts responsibility, you and your family may be able to settle your wrongful death claim relatively quickly with the help of an Irvine wrongful death attorney. However, if liability is contested in any way or if the defendant disputes the damages sought by the plaintiff, the case may need to go to trial, and it will take much longer to resolve.
Is It Worth Hiring an Irvine Wrongful Death Lawyer?
The right attorney can significantly impact the outcome of any wrongful death case. When you choose Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys to represent your wrongful death claim, you can expect compassionate and responsive legal counsel through all stages of your proceedings. We’ll help you make informed decisions about the direction of your case and help you secure an appropriate settlement. It is always worth having legal counsel you can trust in a difficult case like a wrongful death action.
Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys understand that you probably have lots of legal questions after losing a loved one to negligence or intentional misconduct in the Irvine, CA, area. Our goal in every case we accept is to help our clients understand the legal mechanisms in play in their case and the recovery options available to them. To discuss your case with an Irvine wrongful death attorney, contact us today and schedule your free consultation with our team.
Irvine Practice Areas
- Irvine Personal Injury Lawyer
- Irvine Car Accident Lawyer
- Irvine Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
- Irvine Truck Accident Lawyer
- Irvine Wrongful Death Lawyer
- Irvine Dog Bite Lawyer
- Irvine Slip and Fall Lawyer
- Irvine Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Irvine Bicycle Accident Lawyer
- Irvine Rideshare Accident Lawyer
- Irvine Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
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