Wrongful Death and Liability Policies
No one can bring your departed loved one back. However, it is possible to hold people accountable for their death. If you have recently suffered the loss of a spouse, parent, or child due to recklessness or negligence of someone else, then you have the right to make a claim against them. It may take you some time to get to the bottom of how the incident that led to the death unfolded. But if it becomes clear that it could have been prevented, then you should hire a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles who specializes in wrongful death suits.
A wrongful death is a claim for monetary damages from someone whose negligent actions have led to the death of another. Here are some of the most common examples of wrongful death claims:
- Medical Malpractice
Medical professionals are meant to heal people, not harm them further. If your loved one died as a result of an operation that went bad, you may be able to sue the physician who carried out the surgery. The wrongful death suit will be predicated on the doctor’s failure to provide an adequate standard of care. The same kind of suit can be launched in cases of diagnostic and prescription error.
- Product malfunction
A company that has put an unsafe product on the market can be held liable if it malfunctions and leads to the death of a user. Consumer manufacturers are required to put new products through an extensive series of tests to ensure they are safe to use. However, some companies take short cuts, which can cost lives. If your loved one perished in the name of corporate greed, you have a right to sue for wrongful death. Death suit attorneys know how to get you the money you deserve.
If your loved one was murdered, then you expect the state to do its duty in prosecuting the person who did it. However, the murderer’s liability does not end with the criminal trial. Once the latter is over, they can still be sued in civil court. No matter the outcome of the criminal case, the evidence used in it can be submitted in the civil suit. These are much easier to win as the standard of proof is lower: preponderance of the evidence rather than reasonable doubt.
- Gun violence
Given the surge in violent gun fire rampages in America, survivors and victim families have taken to suing gun manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. As a result, attorneys for wrongful negligence are taking up such cases at a rapid rate.
- Car accident
You can also file a wrongful death suit if your loved one died in a car accident. If the recklessness, inattention, or insobriety of the other driver led to the accident that caused the death, then you have a strong case against them. In such cases, it is usually the driver’s insurance company that will be responsible for paying you compensation.
However, there are instances in which another corporation can be held liable. It may be possible for you to sue multiple parties if the car that crashed into your loved one’s vehicle was owned by a corporation.
If your loved one was hit and killed by someone driving a company car, you will need the expertise of a legal professional. Accidental death lawyers in Los Angeles know how to sift through the policy documents of the company and determine whether they have any liability for the accident.
Company cars tend to be insured by the corporation itself. However, some policies are written in a way that shield the company itself from liability. In other instances, it may be possible to file a wrongful death claim against the company for failure to exercise discretion over who gets to drive such a car.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Most states allow surviving spouses, parents, and children to file a wrongful death claim. The further away from this familial and spousal nucleus one gets, the harder it is to attain standing. However, lawyers take on many cases in which long-term partners and family members who were exceptionally close to the deceased and depended on them financially are given standing by the court to file suit.
The purpose of a wrongful death suit is to get justice by holding reckless, careless, negligent, and malevolent people accountable. Wrongful death settlements are used to help survivors cope financially. These are some of the damages you can expect to be awarded:
- Medical expenses
Wrongful death settlements are used to help pay bills. If your loved one was undergoing serious and extensive treatment before their death, you can expect compensation that will help you pay the medical expenses.
- Loss of financial support
If you and your family were dependent on your loved one’s wages and benefits, you can get a sum of money that amounts to what they would have earned over their remaining working life.
- Compensation for other expenses
You will have to bury your loved one, which will cost money. Their premature death may also make it impossible for them to inherit, which is another financial blow to your family. You can receive compensation for all such expenses.
- Pain and suffering
You can receive compensation for the pain and suffering that you will experience for some time to come.