When you lose a loved one in a tragic Los Angeles traffic accident, the last thing you’re thinking of at the time is filing a Los Angeles wrongful death claim. You are still processing that tremendous emotional loss but you’re also expected to deal with the necessities of end-of-life care as well. These include negotiating funeral arrangements, securing life insurance payouts, and notifying friends and relatives. It’s too much to handle all at once.
Thankfully, California law allows grieving family members up to two years (less if the claim is against a governmental entity) to file a wrongful death claim. While that grace period isn’t as long as it should be, it at least allows you a little time to put your life back into some semblance of order and wrap your mind around your new reality.
However, there will come a time when filing a Los Angeles wrongful death claim becomes a necessity for you and your family. And that’s when we can help. Sally Morin and her team of personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles helps grieving accident victims with the complexities of the recovery process every day. And we’ve done so for over 20 years. The article below is designed to help you understand Los Angeles wrongful death claims, your rights, and your obligations.
What’s Can a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Claim Do for You?
A Los Angeles wrongful death claim will allow you to secure financial compensation for the death of your loved one caused by the negligence of another person, a company or governmental entity (such as The City of Los Angeles). This legal process is a seemingly cold calculation of the value that special individual’s loss stole from you. While these lawsuits don’t often aid in the grieving process, the financial award can go a long way toward easing your mind and protecting your surviving family members in their time of need.
Do You Have a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Claim?
There are two factors that must be present in order to pursue a wrongful death claim.
1) An individual closely associated with you (a spouse, parent, guardian, child, etc.) must have suffered injuries which contributed to their death.
2) Those injuries must have been caused (at least in part) by the negligence of another party.
Sometimes that party is a person. Sometimes that party is a legal entity (such as a company or government body). But negligence is always a key factor.
What qualifies as negligence?
Negligence is simply failure to take the proper care or precautions to protect yourself and other individuals from harm. In Los Angeles wrongful death claims, negligence could be something as “simple” as a driver failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk or something as complicated as a mechanic improperly repairing a brake system which later fails.
If those two conditions are met, you likely have grounds to file a Los Angeles wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
What Is the True Cost of Loss?
A Los Angeles wrongful death claim encompasses a variety of concrete and “intangible” factors associated with the loss of a loved one. While it may seem impossible to put a dollar amount on a life, the legal process does allow for compensation for a wide variety of losses including:
- Direct financial support
- Loss of love and affection (emotional support)
- Physical support (such as yard work, home repair, and chores)
Under California law, in a Los Angeles wrongful death claim you can seek financial damages associated with these losses for the entire life expectancy of the victim. Additional damages (like the decedent’s own pain and suffering) may be recovered in a California survival action, but ask your wrongful death lawyer about whether bringing a survival action makes sense in your situation.
Who Can File a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Claim?
It’s not just a husband or wife who can file Los Angeles wrongful death claims. Indeed, almost any close relative who benefited from the financial and emotional care and support provided by the accident victim can seek compensation for that loss. This includes:
- Surviving spouses
- Domestic partners
- Legal dependents
- The deceased person’s parents, siblings, or stepchildren
For example, if you’ve lost a child in a car accident in Los Angeles (whether you’re the parent, or legal guardian) you could sue at fault parties for compensation to help ease the burden of medical and funeral expenses.
We have helped elderly parents of adult children recover money for their loss, as well as well as siblings of those adults who were killed in tragic traffic accidents.
Need Help with Your Los Angeles Wrongful Death Claim?
How do you know when you need a wrongful death lawyer? Sally Morin and her team of caring legal experts can help. We’ve supported accident victims and their families for over twenty years with exert legal advice and representation in personal injury and wrongful death cases in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and elsewhere in Southern California. You don’t have to struggle thorough this tragedy alone. We can help you decide the next step in your recovery process should be and assist you if your case needs to go to court.
Get your FREE legal consultation today.