Did You Lose A Loved One To Wrongful Death in Laguna Hills?
If you have lost a loved one in Laguna Hills and you are unsure of what to do next, look no further. Speaking with our Laguna Hills wrongful death lawyer can help guide you in the right direction and inform you of your legal rights and possibilities for compensation.
Our award-winning injury attorneys and professional staff are available to help you in your time of need and are here to discuss your case at your convenience. We are available to help you 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Table of Contents
2. Filing A Wrongful Death Claim in Laguna Hills
3. What Are the Main Causes of Laguna Hills Wrongful Death Claims?
4. Getting Compensation For A Laguna Hills Wrongful Death Claim
5. Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Laguna Hills?
6. What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
7. Why Hire A Laguna Hills Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me
8. Speak With A Laguna Hills Wrongful Death Attorney Today
When the hands of death snatch a loved one, the grief is immeasurable. The emotional pain almost cripples you and is unbearable. Coping with the loss is more difficult, especially when you lose a loved one due to another person’s negligence. While no amount of money can bring them back, the negligent party should be held responsible for their actions, which is why you should hire a Laguna Hills wrongful death attorney.
We understand how painful the grieving period is, but your loved one deserves justice, and you can only get it if you file a wrongful death claim. If you’re going through financial and emotional hardship caused by the premature death of a family member due to another person’s negligence, here’s everything you need to know about wrongful death claims in Laguna Hills.
Wrongful Death in Laguna Hills Explained
Wrongful death occurs when the loss of a loved one is caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another person. The death could be accidental or intentional, but when it’s preceded by negligent actions, you should file for a wrongful death lawsuit.
For instance, if your loved one was crossing a pedestrian crossing and was hit by a driver who was texting while driving or overspeeding, this qualifies as wrongful death. The actions of the driver, in this case, were reckless, and you can sue for compensation.
Filing A Wrongful Death Claim in Laguna Hills
Going through the legal processes of a wrongful death case can be overwhelming, which is why you should seek the assistance of an experienced Laguna Hills attorney. Based on California Wrongful Death Statute, section 377.60, there are 3 main aspects that you must prove in a California law court so that you can obtain compensation in a wrongful death claim;
- That the person in question is dead. This may seem like a straightforward element, but the law has to be specific. It’s also there to make sure people don’t seek compensation for the death of an animal or a pet.
- That the death was caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another party. It’s important to note that this element excludes death by natural causes. However, it allows for intentional death. This means that even if the party at fault only wanted to harm the deceased and not kill them, it would also count as wrongful death. For instance, think of a scenario where 2 people are having an intense argument. Person A gets really angry, and they hit B so bad that they bang their head against the wall. Unfortunately, person B suffers a traumatic brain injury and ends up dying. In this scenario, Person A had no intention of killing B, but you can still file a wrongful death claim.
- That the wrongful death is causing you monetary and emotional strain. For instance, if the deceased individual was the family’s sole breadwinner, their death could be financially draining to the surviving members, who now have to find ways to fend for themselves. The spouse could also suffer loss of companionship and loss of consortium.
You also have to prove;
- Duty of care: for instance, if the wrongful death was due to an accident caused by DUI, the duty of care could be that the driver was obligated to obey the traffic rules and avoid driving while drunk.
- Breach of duty of care: in the above scenario, you have to prove that the driver was drunk at the time of the accident.
- Causation: you have to prove that the drunk driver’s actions directly resulted in the death of your loved one.
You also need to appoint a family representative.
What Are the Main Causes of Laguna Hills Wrongful Death Claims?
There are several causes of wrongful death cases in Laguna Hills, but the most common ones include;
- Car accidents: These are mostly caused by the recklessness of the driver, e.g., driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, distracted driving, overspeeding, etc. In most cases, if there’s enough evidence collected against the driver, the insurance company may opt to settle out of court.
- Medical malpractice: if the death of your loved one is caused by the carelessness or incompetence of a medical professional, you can file a suit. For instance, if they are undergoing a low-risk surgery and the surgeon made a mistake. It could even be that they were misdiagnosed or given the wrong prescription and ended dying as a result.
- Manslaughter or murder: contrary to popular belief, murder and manslaughter cases aren’t restricted to the district attorneys cases or criminal court. As a descendant of the deceased, you can also sue the guilty party.
- Nursing home abuse: if your loved one dies due to the neglect they suffer in a nursing home, you can file for a wrongful death suit.
- Slips and falls: property owners are required by law to take care of their premises. If your loved one slips and falls in another person or business property due to negligence, you should claim compensation. For instance, if they fell down the stairs due to missing handrails or uneven stairs.
- Product liability: this applies when the death is caused by harmful ingredients in a product. For instance, if your loved one bought a product that contains toxins that resulted in kidney failure and ultimately their death, you’re entitled to compensation.
- Battery/ assault: this is where the death is caused by injuries inflicted by another party, whether intentional or accidental.
Other causes include child or elder abuse and workplace injuries.
Getting Compensation For A Lahuna Hills Wrongful Death Claim
Compensation from a wrongful death claim is awarded to the heirs who depended on the deceased. This is usually the value they could have received from the deceased had they served and can either be given as a lump sum or as structured payments.
The settlement is usually awarded based on the life expectancy of the deceased individual and the plaintiff. While it’s difficult to determine how long the person would have lived, life expectancy is calculated based on factors such as age, occupation, and lifestyle.
In a wrongful death claim in Laguna Hills, you can recover;
- Economic damages: this includes the funeral and burial expenses, the financial support that the deceased used to provide when they were alive, loss of gifts, benefits that the deceased used to provide their dependants before the death, etc.
- Non-economic damages: this is compensation for the deceased oral support, companionship, affection, sexual relations, guidance, training, etc. There is no exact amount that should be awarded for non-economic damages, so the jury determines this based on the case details.
It’s important to note that punitive damages are not awarded to heirs in wrongful death cases.
What Are Survival Actions For A Wrongful Death Case?
Based on the California Code of Civil Procedure 377.30. Survival actions are often combined with wrongful death suits. For this law to be applicable, the deceased must have survived for a while, e.g., after an accident before dying. In this scenario, the damages are not awarded to the descendants of the victim but to the deceased estate for the losses or expenses incurred before the person died. This includes medical expenses incurred between the time of the accident and the time of death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Laguna Hills?
There are several people allowed to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of a loved one. They include;
- Surviving spouse
- Grandchildren, but only if the children of the deceased are also dead.
- Domestic partners
- Minors that depended on the deceased for at least 50% of their survival, e.g., stepchildren.
- Those entitled to the deceased property under the intestate succession laws in California.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under California laws, you have two years from the day your loved one dies to file a wrongful death claim. For survival actions, you can file 6 months from the time of death or 2 years from the time of injury, whichever comes later. If you fail to file a lawsuit within these timeframes, your case will be dismissed.
This is why you should hire a Laguna Hills wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. Losing a loved one is never easy but seeking legal help makes the entire process smoother.
Why Hire A Laguna Hills Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me
Sometimes, when dealing with wrongful death claims, there is more than one negligent party. Dealing with all of them can be overwhelming, more so because you’re still grieving for your loved one. Hiring a Laguna Hills wrongful death attorney takes all the stress of navigating the legal world, allowing you to focus on your emotional well-being if you’re in such a situation. The lawyers are also highly experienced and will negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you get a fair settlement.
Speak With A Laguna Hills Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If you’ve lost a loved one due to the negligent action of another party, you don’t have to go through this alone. At Chris and Frank Accident Attorneys, we are committed to helping you get through the complex legal process. We adopt a collaborative approach and examine the unique details of your case to ensure that justice is served. Let us help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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