A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim in many ways. However, while a personal injury claim seeks compensation for damages the victim suffered because of the defendant’s actions, a wrongful death claim seeks compensation for the family’s losses. The damages available in most California wrongful death claims include:
- Funeral expenses and the cost of burial for the deceased
- Lost value of the household services the deceased provided to their family
- Lost financial support the deceased provided, including the future income they could have earned had they survived
- The family’s pain and suffering, including the loss of affection, care, companionship, and guidance provided by the deceased
You might also be able to include the legal fees and the costs associated with bringing the wrongful death claim included in your compensation. Your attorney could help you hold the defendant accountable for your legal fees, essentially meaning it would cost you nothing but time to bring your wrongful death suit against the defendant.
Your Laguna Beach wrongful death attorney is an invaluable asset when it comes to calculating the full scope of damages you can seek from the defendant. However, you may have grounds for further legal action depending on the details of your loved one’s death.
Success with your claim requires identifying the defendant and proving their actions directly resulted in your loved one’s death. Plaintiffs in California wrongful death claims must also be prepared to provide a full explanation of the financial effects of their loved ones’ unexpected deaths to ensure the defendants in their claims are held appropriately accountable.
While many people assume a wrongful death claim simply seeks compensation that the victim could have claimed had they survived, this is not exactly true. A personal injury suit seeks compensation for the victim’s damages, but a wrongful death claim seeks compensation for the surviving family’s loss. When the deceased’s estate incurred damages similar to those found in personal injury claims, such as medical expenses for treatment of their final injury and the pain and suffering they endured prior to the death, these damages can be included in a survival action filed in conjunction with a wrongful death claim.
A successful survival action can help your family hold the defendant accountable for the suffering the deceased experienced as a result of their actions and the economic impact of their final injury. Easton & Easton can help you determine whether your family has grounds to pursue a survival action with your wrongful death claim and assess whether doing so would suit your family’s needs and interests.
Facing a wrongful death can be incredibly difficult. Maintaining an objective focus on your family’s practical needs during this time can be challenging when you do not have legal representation you can trust. Easton & Easton has successfully represented clients throughout the Laguna Beach, CA area in a wide range of complex civil cases, including those pertaining to wrongful deaths. We understand the emotional weight of your situation and want to help you navigate the civil court system as efficiently as possible.
Our firm can help you gather any evidence needed to prove liability for the death in question. This may include physical evidence, eyewitness accounts, or even testimony from relevant expert witnesses. If your case involves criminal actions taken by a defendant, we can help you understand how a criminal case from the state could impact your family’s wrongful death case.
Ultimately, a wrongful death is something that no one wants to experience. However, when these incidents occur, affected families need to know their options for legal recourse and the value of legal representation in navigating these cases. The sooner you reach out to a Laguna Beach wrongful death attorney you can trust, the more likely you are to maximize your family’s recovery.
Q: How Do I Know If I Have Grounds for a Wrongful Death Claim?
A: To succeed with a wrongful death suit, you must identify the party who caused the death in question and prove they were negligent or intentionally harmful in some way that led directly to the death. If any party recently caused the death of your loved one due to a failure to exercise reasonable care or due to their decision to willfully engage in harmful misconduct, you likely have grounds to pursue a wrongful death action against them.
Q: How Much Is My Wrongful Death Suit Worth?
A: Money cannot replace your lost relative, but it can make adjusting to your new circumstances easier for you and your family. If you are concerned about the potential value of your civil action, your attorney can help you uncover every available avenue of compensation to maximize your recovery and provide an estimate of the total potential value of your case.
Q: What Happens If the Defendant Caused the Wrongful Death Intentionally?
A: Many wrongful death claims pertain to acts of negligence or recklessness, but some manifest from acts of intentional violence and willful misconduct. In the event a defendant intentionally causes a wrongful death, or if the defendant intentionally harmed the victim fatally, the defendant is likely to face severe criminal penalties. They may face many years in prison, restitution to the victim’s family, and other substantial penalties based on the severity of their actions.
Q: How Long Does a Wrongful Death Case Take to Resolve?
A: When a defendant is clearly responsible for a wrongful death, they typically prefer to settle the case as quickly as possible. However, any additional legal matters outside of the wrongful death claim could influence the time required to complete the case. For example, if the defendant faces criminal prosecution for their actions, their criminal court proceedings may influence the timetable of your wrongful death claim. Your attorney can provide an estimate of your case’s most likely timeline.
Q: Is It Worth Hiring a Laguna Beach Wrongful Death Attorney?
A: Legal counsel is an invaluable asset when you are facing any type of civil claim for damages, especially one as complex and emotionally charged as a wrongful death claim. Your attorney’s advice can help you make informed decisions throughout your case, significantly improve your chances of holding the defendant accountable for their actions, and improve the overall quality of your case award. Even when you take the cost of hiring your attorney into account, their representation can make a tremendous difference in the final value of your claim.
Easton & Easton is a team of experienced attorneys ready to provide the compassionate and responsive legal counsel you need for your wrongful death claim in Laguna Beach. We understand the emotional weight of your situation and want to provide the guidance and support you need to approach your civil court proceedings with clarity and confidence. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with a Laguna Beach wrongful death attorney you can trust with your case.