Q: What Qualifies as a “Wrongful” Death?
A: A wrongful death occurs when one party’s negligence, carelessness, intentional misconduct, or reckless disregard for the safety of others results in the death of another person. If the victim would have qualified in filing a personal injury claim had they survived, their family likely has grounds to file a wrongful death claim.
Q: How Do You Determine Fault for a Wrongful Death?
A: Establishing liability for a wrongful death is similar to the process of proving fault for a personal injury. The plaintiff must identify the party or parties they believe to be responsible for the death in question, prove the defendant was negligent in some way that directly caused the death in question, and establish proof of the losses resulting from the death.
Q: Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in California?
A: California’s wrongful death law follows the state’s law of intestate succession when it comes to eligibility to file wrongful death claims. The deceased’s spouse or partner is typically first in line for the right to file a claim, followed by their children, parents, and other immediate family members. If they have no family but have named a personal representative, this party may file a wrongful death claim, followed by anyone who can prove financial dependance on the deceased or a valid legal claim to the deceased’s estate.
Q: How Long Will a Wrongful Death Case Take?
A: Wrongful death claims may take several months to resolve depending on the availability of evidence and whether the defendant accepts liability for the death. Some cases can be resolved relatively quickly with compelling evidence. Your Garden Grove wrongful death lawyer can provide a reasonable estimate of the timetable your case is likely to follow.
Easton & Easton have years of experience representing clients in wrongful death claims, and we can provide the meticulous and compassionate representation you need in this difficult situation. If you are ready to discuss your case with an experienced Garden Grove wrongful death lawyer, contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team.