Accidents are something that all cities in California have to deal with on regular basis. However, some accidents are considered to be catastrophic especially when there is loss of life involved. Such cases cause emotional anguish and pain to the survivors, especially if the accident was a result of someone else’s carelessness.
If you live in Coachella, California, the law allows you to file a wrongful death claim if someone close to you losses his or her life in an accident caused by another party’s recklessness. However, you need an experienced Coachella wrongful death lawyer to handle such a complex case. That is why you should contact the Crockett Law Group to help you get justice for your loss. Call (800) 900-9393 for a free initial consultation with a personal injury attorney.
How Is Wrongful Death Defined in California?
In California, the law allows close family members to file for a wrongful death claim against the defendant. However, this is not as easy as it might sound since there are strict legal procedures that should be followed. Furthermore, those who are entitled to compensation must provide proof of negligence or malicious action that led to the death of the deceased.
Wrongful death is known to occur because of different circumstances and reasons. Below are some of the legal grounds for filing a wrongful death claim in Coachella, California:
- Criminal actions such as intentional homicide.
- Medical malpractice including medication errors, medical injuries, misdiagnosis, and surgical errors.
- The use of defective products such as packaged foods, medical devices, electronics, default vehicle parts, appliances, and even machinery can cause wrongful death.
- Premise liabilities and workplace accidents.
- Faulty engineering and construction designs as well as related malpractice.
- DUI accidents.
- Nursing home abuse.
Who Is Qualified to File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
Many states do allow any family member to file for a wrongful death claim in the event of a wrongful death incident. However, the same case does not apply in California. Instead, the law allows the following people to file a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Domestic partners
- Grandchildren (if the deceased’s children are also deceased)
- Stepchildren or parents if they were financially dependent on the decedent
- Any minor who resided in the decedent’s household for the last 180 days and was dependent on the decedent for at least 50% of their financial support
- Anyone else who would be entitled to the deceased’s property by intestate succession (“intestate succession” refers to California laws governing the inheritance of property from someone who dies without a will).
What Type of Damages Are Recoverable?
California law allows the family of the deceased to recover both economic and non-economic damages. This can include:
- Loss of financial support that the deceased would have contributed had they lived.
- Funeral & burial expenses.
- Value of household services the deceased provided.
- Gifts/benefits survivors would have expected to receive from the deceased.
- Loss of love, support, and companionship.
- Loss of sexual relations with a spouse.
- Loss of training and guidance.
Can the Surviving Family File for Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are not available in a wrongful death lawsuit in California, except for in certain cases where the responsible party was found guilty of felony homicide. Punitive damages may be available, however, through a survivorship claim made on behalf of the decedent’s estate.
How Is Negligence Proved in a Wrongful Death Case in Coachella, California?
To prove negligence in a wrongful death case, your Coachella wrongful death lawyer will be required to provide enough evidence that can be used to support your case. Your legal representative will be required to prove the following:
- Duty of care – your legal representative must prove to the court that the defendant owed the deceased duty of care to guarantee his or her safety.
- Breach of duty – The plaintiff and his or her legal representative will be required to demonstrate how duty of care was violated by the defendant, and as a result led to the death of the deceased.
- Causation – Your attorney must show the deceased lost his or her life as a result of duty of care being violated by the defendant
- Damages – Your attorney needs to prove that due to the injuries and subsequent death of your loved one, you and the family suffered certain losses and damages. Examples are loss of companionship and funeral expenses.
How Do You Start a Wrongful Death Claim in Coachella, California?
The process of starting a wrongful death claim in California is not easy. That is why you need the help of an experienced Coachella wrongful death lawyer. With the help of a legal representative, you can be sure of fulfilling all the legal requirements that are demanded by the state. At Crockett Law Group, we are equipped with resources that are used to protect your interests and help win your case. All you have to do is contact our office today and talk to one of our experienced lawyers.
Moreover, we also consider other factors such as whether the victim had a will or not. If the victim did not have a will, we can help you draft one so that it can be easy to distribute the estate of the deceased. After protecting the interest of the victim, our firm proceeds to investigate the victim’s case in order to discover more evidence that can be used in court.
That is why we usually advise clients to get in touch with us sooner so that we can help them determine when they have a case or not. Moreover, it is also vital that the victim files his or her claim as required by the state’s statute of limitation. If such a requirement is not fulfilled, then the victim may lose his or her legal right to pursue a wrongful death claim.
According to California’s statute of limitations, you must file a wrongful death claim within two years. If a wrongful death claim is not filed within this period, the family of the deceased will no longer have the legal right to proceed on with filing a wrongful death claim. That is why you should consider taking legal action before it is too late.
By contacting the Crockett Law group, we can help you with your wrongful death claim by making sure that your claim is filed on time and that your interests are protected as well. Another reason why you should contact us as soon as possible is to investigate more on your case before any of the evidence is lost or tampered with.
What Is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and a Survival Action?
When someone close to you loses his or her life as a result of another party’s negligence, the law allows you to seek justice by taking legal action against the defendant. There are two legal mechanisms you can use to do this. The first legal option is through a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death claims are filed by the family of the deceased. They are based on the fact that the surviving members have incurred loss and suffering and should therefore be compensated. As earlier mentioned, there are several damages that can be awarded.
A survival action is brought by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. It’s only possible to file a survival action if the deceased lived for a time before dying of their injuries. The estate can recover the damages the deceased would have been owed had they lived, such as medical expenses. You can seek punitive damages in a survival action, but not damages for pain and suffering.
Contact an Experienced Coachella Wrongful Death Lawyer
Losing someone can be a traumatic experience, especially if the deceased lost his or her life as a result of someone else’s negligence. At the Crockett Law Group, we understand how painful and difficult such times can be. That is why we are always prepared and willing to help clients take legal action against the party responsible for the wrongful death.
We operate on a contingency basis, meaning you only pay us if we win your case. There is no cost for an initial consultation. Get in touch with our team today by calling (800) 900-9393.