Losing your loved one in a wrongful death accident is devastating, especially when your loved one’s death was caused by the negligent or intentional actions of other people or companies. If your loved one’s death was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to recover damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.
The unexpected loss of your loved one may cause substantial financial losses. Getting help from the experienced wrongful death lawyers at L.A. Personal Injury Attorneys might allow you to recover compensation for the losses that you have suffered because of a Los Angeles wrongful death accident. Our attorneys understand the devastation that people experience when they lose their loved ones, and we know that money can never replace them. However, a wrongful death lawsuit might allow you to hold the defendant accountable for his or her actions and provide you with some justice.
Types of accidents that result in wrongful death
A wrongful death occurs when someone acts or fails to act in a negligent or intentional manner that causes the death of the victim. Many different incidents cause death. When a person’s negligence or intentional acts directly or proximately caused the victim’s death, his or her close family members may have grounds to file a claim. There are some types of accidents that commonly form the basis of wrongful death lawsuits, including the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Defective products
- Workplace accidents
People who can file wrongful death claims
The people who are allowed to file wrongful death lawsuits are governed by California’s wrongful death law in order of priority. In the state, the following people are allowed to file wrongful death actions:
- Surviving spouse and children
- Domestic partner
To prove a wrongful death claim, you will be required to show that the victim’s death was caused by the negligence or wrongful acts of the defendant. Your attorney will help you to gather the types of evidence that will be needed to prevail in a Los Angeles wrongful death accident claim.
Damages in a wrongful death claim
Several types of damages may be available in a wrongful death claim. While the awards will depend on the individual circumstances of each case, the damages will be divided between the decedent’s estate for its losses and the surviving family members for their losses.
Losses that are recovered by the decedent’s estate will be for the benefit of his or her heirs and might include the following:
- Medical expenses for treating the decedent’s injuries until he or she died
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Income losses
Losses that the surviving family members might recover include the following:
- Loss of the income that the victim would have contributed to the family in the future
- Value of the contributions that the decedent made to the household
- Lost inheritance rights
- Loss of consortium and guidance
Insurance company tactics
Insurance companies are in business to make profits. This means that they often take steps to minimize or avoid liability in wrongful death accidents. The companies do not want people to hire lawyers after fatal accidents.
If you receive an early settlement offer from the insurance company, you should not accept it without talking to an experienced wrongful death lawyer. Insurance companies often extend unreasonably low settlement offers to try to settle claims for inadequate amounts. If you agree to a low settlement, you will not be able to recover more money later. An experienced attorney will thoroughly investigate your claim and the evidence to properly value your claim. An attorney at L.A. Personal Injury Attorneys might help to ensure that you will be fairly compensated. Your lawyer will also negotiate for you with the insurance company and handle all of the aspects of your claim so that you are able to work through your grief.
Attorneys investigate what happened when someone is killed in Los Angeles. They gather evidence and interview witnesses, and they might work with experts to build strong cases of liability. For example, if your loved one was killed in a car accident that was caused by another driver, your lawyer might work with an accident reconstruction expert to show what happened in the minutes before the crash. He or she might work with economic experts to show how much money your loved one would likely have earned over his or her life expectancy for your family.
There is a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in California. This limitation period starts to run at the time of your loved one’s death. However, it is much better to get help from an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after your loved one’s death so that he or she will have the necessary time to investigate your claim.
Contact L.A. Personal Injury Attorneys
To lose a close loved one is overwhelming and results in substantial losses. If you have lost your loved one because of the actions or inactions of another person, contact the experienced lawyers at L.A. Personal Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation today.