A sudden death of a loved one can cause immeasurable grief and pain. The loss of companionship, household and childrearing support, parental guidance, and financial support can be overwhelming and cause emotional distress. If the death was due to gross negligence of another person or entity, a civil action can be taken against the careless party to seek damages. A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit against a person, or defendant, who can be held liable for another person’s demise. Although taking legal action may be an emotionally difficult process, it can have benefits for the survivors of the deceased. First, proper compensation for damages can relieve family members and loved ones of economic stress. Second, a successful lawsuit can hold individuals and manufacturers accountable for their negligence, which can potentially deter future misconduct.
Unintentional Injury and Death Facts and Statistics
According the 2016 National Vital Statistics Report published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)*:
- Accidents and unintentional injuries is the fourth leading cause of all deaths in the United States
- The total number of unintentional injury deaths was over 135,000
- The total number of deaths due to motor vehicle and traffic accidents was 30,000
*Data is from 2014
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Unfortunately, an untimely death due to the negligence of another individual is not uncommon. Some common causes of wrongful deaths include:
- Medical malpractice, errors, and mistakes
- Automobile and motorcycle accidents
- Boating or recreational accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Work-related accidents
- Defective, unsafe or malfunctioning products
- Exposure to toxic substances
Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim
According to the California wrongful death statute, only certain parties can pursue a wrongful death claim. California law specifies that the spouse, domestic partner, and children of the deceased can file a lawsuit. If there is no living person in the line of descent, anybody “who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession” can file a lawsuit. This would include parents and siblings. In California, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the death of the individual. If you have suffered the loss of a family member or loved one due to reckless negligence and are considering filing a lawsuit, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney.
Why Choose Us
At California Personal Injury Attorneys in LA, we are dedicated advocates for the rights of our clients. We have extensive experience representing individuals with personal injury and wrongful death claims and we work diligently to obtain justice in every case. Although a monetary settlement cannot bring back a loved one, it can help lighten the financial burden that can result from the loss of income.
If you would like a consultation, please contact our offices, conveniently located in Encino and Los Angeles.