Los Angeles Wrongful Death Settlements

Wrongful Death Lawyers in Los Angeles: Proving a Wrongful Death

Wrongful death is a term in the legal community used to describe the death of a person caused by negligence or reckless behavior. While pursuing legal action may not always be of great concern for those who have lost a loved one, it is very important for surviving family members to consider retaining the services of a lawyer as soon as possible.

Aside from funeral costs, families may also face considerable financial challenges. The compensation provided by a wrongful death settlement or verdict can go a long way in delivering closure or easing the financial burden families may have been forced to bear.

Track Record of Success – The Law Offices of Oscar H Gutierrez, APC

For over 40 years, families have called upon The Law Offices of Oscar H Gutierrez, APC after the tragic loss of a loved one. When their death could have been prevented or was due to third-party negligence, it furthers the need for justice. It takes an attorney with a long and impressive track record of recovering financial compensation for wrongful death victims.

Several of the most common causes of wrongful death accidents that we’ve helped clients litigate include:

You don’t have to pursue a lawsuit alone. It can be time-consuming and complicated without an untrained eye. Our seasoned personal injury attorneys possess the knowledge and experience to litigate cases for maximum compensation. We will ensure the basis of any wrongful death claim demonstrates the following:

  • The defendant acted with malicious intent or recklessly
  • The defendant’s death was directly because of negligence
  • There are surviving family members (spouse, kids, beneficiary)
  • Survivors suffered financial damages because of their loss

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?

Normally in a wrongful death lawsuit a family member can file a claim against the negligent party. You must be within a certain degree of relation to the deceased person to have standing in court. Qualifications vary per state.

The California statute Code of Civil Procedure 377.60 states the surviving spouse and children of the departed are able to sue for damages when a person dies from a wrongful act. If you were not married but shared a home with children, then it may be possible for you to receive a settlement as well.

In other states, only a personal representative can file a wrongful death suit. A personal representative is a person or entity that is responsible for managing the estate of the deceased. We would recommend having Los Angeles personal injury lawyers file a wrongful death suit on your behalf. If the lawsuit is successful and damages are awarded, they will be distributed between the surviving family members.

Related Articles About Wrongful Death

Damages Available in Wrongful Death Settlements
As your lawyers plan how to best represent you, they will determine how much your case is worth. When a wrongful death occurs, the family is expected to pay for emergency treatments and ambulance costs before the victim’s passing. Additionally, funeral and burial expenses can be an unexpected hardship. There are two types of damages a family member can file for.

Special damages: injuries, ambulance bills, property repair, funeral costs, and medical costs

General damages: pain and suffering, future long-term injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and related emotions

It is crucial to remember wrongful death cases have a statute of limitations for filing and winning your case. Plaintiffs have only two years following the death of a loved one to pursue legal action.

Wrongful Death and Liability Policies

Wrongful death is brought on when someone dies due to the negligence of the defendant. The most common examples of wrongful death claims are:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Product liability
  • Murder
  • Gun Violence
  • Car Accident

A loved one typically files the lawsuit to recover damages lost. There is no standard amount for settlements – some may negotiate thousands; others may aggressively fight for more.

Proving Wrongful Death in A Civil Case

Proving that the defendant caused the death of your loved one is the core of a wrongful death civil case. We provide a few examples to explain how accidental death is determined in court.

Motor Vehicle Accidents
If your loved one was killed in an auto accident, a lawyer must investigate a few conditions, including the weather, road hazards, and time of day. Reckless or distracted driving is never okay. Drivers must adhere to safe practices to avoid causing injuries. Cases vary depending on the type of crash. Head-on collisions and hit and run accidents are two of the most difficult to determine cause and fault.

Workplace Injuries
If your loved one died because of a workplace injury, where they should have been safe, proving liability for wrongful death varies by tort. For example, on a construction site, managers are liable for lack of safety equipment and training. Failing to ensure the crew is safe resulted in the loss of their crew member.

Your attorney will help you put together an extensive report to review in court. If a defendant is uninsured by chance, an adversarial insurance company may step in to compensate you for damages caused.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death

  1. Are wrongful death damages different for children and elderly victims?
    Wrongful death cases take the deceased’s financial contributions and future earnings into consideration. You can certainly recover financial retribution for the loss of your child or an elderly family member. But the damages awarded are typically smaller than a working adult.
  2. What is considered “wrongful death” in California?
    The legal definition of wrongful death in California is when a person dies due to the negligence of another person or entity. In such cases, family members have two years from the date of their loved one’s death to initiate a lawsuit - three for medical malpractice.
  3. What are the most common causes of wrongful death?
    • Car accidents
    • Medical negligence
    • Slip and fall accidents at work
    • Nursing home negligence or medical error
    • Deadly construction site accidents
    • Deaths from faulty or misleading products
  4. Is it possible to file a wrongful death suit if the deceased was unemployed or never held a job?
    Yes! If your loved one was unemployed or never held a job, there are other ways you can demonstrate they’ve contributed to the family. For instance, a stay-at-home parent might tend to the kids and maintain a standard level of care at home. We would consider their role as a “pecuniary loss” in a wrongful death case.
  5. What happens if the person filing a personal injury lawsuit dies from injury?
    If a plaintiff dies from injury while pursuing compensation from the negligent party, their heirs can still recover financial restitution through the lawsuit. A wrongful death lawyer can disclose the scope of damages available to surviving family members. However, if the plaintiff dies from unrelatable causes, the circumstances slightly differ.

Contact The Law Offices of Oscar H. Gutierrez, APC For Your Wrongful Death Claims:

If you are mourning the loss of a loved one and you believe they have suffered a wrongful death, you may be entitled to wrongful death compensation. We will passionately fight your cause and help you recover the compensation you deserve. If you wish to seek redress in the court of law, contact us at (323) 999 - 3500 for a free consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys.