Every year, between 250,000 and 440,000 United States citizens die from medical errors. As alarming as this statistic is, it only accounts for a small portion of the wrongful death cases that occur in the country.
A large portion of these cases happens right here in the state of California. Our legal team of Joshua Tree wrongful death lawyers is here to help the surviving family members receive the compensation they deserve from the responsible parties.
The pain caused by a wrongful death can never be undone, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid taking action. If you are a surviving spouse or child, then you are very likely owed compensation. That compensation can cover lost income, emotional suffering, and other damages caused by the wrongful death.
By taking the time to contact our personal injury lawyers at the Crockett Law Group, you can begin the process of receiving that compensation and taking the next steps forward in the recovery process.
There are no financial risks or fees involved with making a call and receiving a consultation. We represent clients in Joshua Tree California and surrounding areas. Our expert Joshua Tree wrongful death lawyers have decades of experience dealing with wrongful death claims stemming from all possible sources.
Call the Joshua Tree wrongful death lawyers immediately at (800) 900-9393 to discuss your case details free of charge.
How Is A Wrongful Death Case Defined In Joshua Tree, California?
Wrongful death claims share a lot of similarities with personal injury claims in the state of California. The primary difference is that the negligence resulted in someone’s death rather than a simple injury. There are also some variations in the types of damages that can be recovered.
California considers any death caused by the reckless behavior or negligence of a person or entity to be a wrongful death. Here are a very few clear examples of potential wrongful death claims:
This can include assault, battery, manslaughter, or murder.
Accidents caused by drunk drivers are among the most common causes of a wrongful death claim. Accidents caused by defective products, improperly maintained roadways, or reckless driving will all fall into this category as well.
Elder Neglect Or Abuse
Any professional tasked with the care of a senior citizen has a clear duty of care to provide that individual. If they die because of the neglect or abuse of that professional, then there is clear ground for a wrongful death claim.
Medical professionals also have a clear duty of care to provide for their patients. A patient who dies because of neglect or because of a doctor who does not perform their job properly will likely be part of a wrongful death case.
California is considered a strict liability state in regard to certain cases. In the case of dog bites, the owner may be found liable in a wrongful death claim even if they did not act with clear negligence.
Who Is Qualified To File A Wrongful Death Claim In California?
Any surviving spouse or domestic partner will have priority when it comes to bringing a wrongful death action to the court. If there is no surviving spouse, then the children of the deceased take priority and can file the claim.
California operates with a “one action rule”, which means that all parties involved in a wrongful death claim must file jointly in a single claim.
There are some cases where the deceased has no surviving spouse or children. In these cases, it is any person who would be entitled to the deceased’s property by intestate succession. This can lead to some confusion in case filings, but the primary point to take away is that it allows for parents of the deceased to file a claim in unique situations.
If you are unsure as to whether or not you qualify to file a wrongful death claim you can contact our Joshua Tree, CA law office for legal guidance at (800) 900-9393. Our Joshua Tree wrongful death lawyers offer free consultations and can help provide a clear legal understanding of the situation.
What Types Of Damages Are Recoverable?
Unlike traditional personal injury claims, there are only two types of damages recoverable in a wrongful death claim. First are economic damages, which cover funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and the value of household services provided.
Second or non-economic damages, which cover loss of companionship, protection, and guidance. The value of non-economic damages is determined by what a jury considers reasonable.
Can the Surviving Family File For Punitive Damages?
The third type of damages common in personal injury claims is known as punitive damages. These are awarded in those cases as a form of punishment against the defendant. Punitive damages cannot be awarded in wrongful death claims. They may; however, be included in a separate estate claim against the defendant.
How Is Negligence Proved In A Joshua Tree Wrongful Death Case?
Most of the wrongful death claims that our Joshua Tree wrongful death lawyers handle involve proving negligence. This is a fairly standard process that involves the four following pillars:
Duty Of Care
We will show that the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care. What exactly that duty of care may be will vary according to the defendant’s profession and the specifics of the accident.
In order for negligence to occur, we must show that the defendant breached or did not uphold their required duty of care.
Next, we will show that the defendant’s negligence is what caused the death listed in the claim. Simply having someone die while being negligent is not enough for a civil case.
Finally, our Joshua Tree wrongful death lawyers will show that the death listed in the claim is the source of the financial damages for which we are seeking compensation.
How Do You Start A Wrongful Death Claim with a Joshua Tree Wrongful Death Lawyer in California?
This is the easiest part of the entire process, but it all starts with you making the call. Once you contact our law office, we will walk you through the necessary steps. Our Joshua Tree wrongful death lawyers and support staff will handle the process of filing the paperwork and opening the claim, but we cannot do that if you never make the call.
What Is The Difference Between A Wrongful Death Claim And An Estate Claim?
California differentiates between a wrongful death claim and an estate claim, though the two are often filed simultaneously. One key difference between the two is the type of damages that can be recovered. A wrongful death claim covers damages related specifically to the death.
The estate claim will seek compensation for damages that occurred prior to the death, such as medical expenses and lost wages. An estate claim may also include punitive damages.
Call Our Joshua Tree Wrongful Death Lawyers Today for a No-Obligation Consultation
Far too many family members never seek legal recourse for the wrongful death of a loved one. They often fear expensive lawyer fees or the work involved with fighting a legal battle. We are here to say that there is nothing to fear. You never pay any fees unless we win your case for you.
And our job is to handle the confusing legal battle so that you can focus entirely on healing. Don’t let the wrongful death of a loved one go unpunished. Take the time to call our Joshua Tree wrongful death lawyers at Crockett Law Group at (800) 900-9393 to discuss your legal options.