Wrongful Death Claim Qualifiers in California - Adamson Ahdoot

What Qualifies As A Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful Death Claim Qualifiers

Discover What Elements Are Key to Winning Your California Wrongful Death Claim

Dealing with the death of a loved one is undoubtedly a complex and painful experience. However, when the loss is the result of negligence or carelessness, every aspect is magnified. The already devastating tragedy is compounded by additional challenges and suffering. The family must contend with multiple obstacles, including feelings of injustice, guilt, financial implications, and, most importantly, tedious litigation. This is where the expertise of a California wrongful death lawyer becomes invaluable.

At Adamson Ahdoot, we have the knowledge and skills you need. With more than a century of combined legal experience handling wrongful death cases, our unwavering dedication to pursuing justice for the victim’s family has enabled us to amass a comprehensive understanding of personal injury and wrongful death matters. As a result, countless California families have obtained beneficial settlements.

If you want to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions, contact our attorneys. Our team, fluent in both English and Spanish, is available to assist you 24/7. Rest assured, we won’t charge you any fees until we successfully secure the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (800) 310-1606 or request a consultation online.

An attorney explains the requirements for suing a client for wrongful death.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

Several components are required to qualify a California wrongful death claim. In the past, a plaintiff’s ability to file a claim died when they died. However, the law was updated when the legislature realized that some damages associated with death should be remedied.

Sometimes wrongful death cases are filed in conjunction with a case that is being tried on criminal charges. However, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal case. Simply put, a wrongful death lawsuit is a claim filed by the survivors of a decedent whose death was due to negligence or a wrongful act.

If you are concerned that a loved one’s death was caused by negligence, speaking with a qualified wrongful death attorney as soon as possible is critical because the statute of limitations is short and strictly enforced. Within Los Angeles and throughout California, three elements are necessary for eligible wrongful death cases.

The three elements of wrongful death cases are:

  • Death of a person.
  • The cause of death was the negligence or intentional harm of a third party. This is a critical component, as natural causes do not qualify.
  • The surviving family suffers an economic loss as a result of the death of a loved one.

Element #1: What Kinds of Accidents or Intentional Acts Cause a Wrongful Death?

When you begin to consider what types of accidents can cause wrongful death, it is important to consider the fact that these types of cases are often the most serious types of personal injury cases. As a result, it is imperative to look for someone who has a high level of knowledge and skill regarding both personal injury law and wrongful death law. Do not underestimate the complexity of wrongful death cases.

Many types of accidents are commonly associated with wrongful deaths that can result in wrongful death claims.

Here are some of them:

  • Automobile accidents – Automobile accidents can prove fatal. Sometimes an automobile is involved in a pedestrian accident, which is more commonly fatal. These sorts of accidents require expert consultants who can help demonstrate that the fault lies with the defendant. 
  • Motorcycle accidents – Although motorcyclists are not the majority of drivers on the road, they comprise a larger percentage of fatalities. 
  • Medical malpractice – Death at the hands of someone whose purpose is to heal is particularly traumatizing. 
  • Nursing home negligence – The death of someone whose care has been entrusted to others, such as those in elder care or the care of those with disabilities, is frequently a concern for their loved ones. 

Other incidents resulting in wrongful death include:

  • Drowning.
  • Animal bites 
  • Premises liability 
  • Fire liability  
  • Defective products 
  • Workplace incidents

Element #2: Was the Death Caused by Negligent or Intentional Conduct?

Determining causation in a wrongful death claim is critical to its success. Was your loved one’s death caused by negligence? Proving negligence requires the ability to determine that the decedent died because the defendant breached their duty of care. It is not enough to show that the defendant’s lack of care was incidental to your loved one’s death. There are several ways to do this.

An example would be a loved one who died in a nursing home. If your parent or spouse was ill and had comorbidities that presented a complex medical case, their death would have to have been caused by a lack of care, such as a failure to administer appropriate medication or to monitor necessary vital signs promptly, to be eligible for a wrongful death claim. If her death was due to natural causes, it would not qualify as a wrongful death claim.

In Los Angeles, and wrongful death lawsuits throughout California, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. Your wrongful death lawyer must be able to prove that the victim would have lived but for the defendant’s involvement. Three components must be proven in this element: having a duty, breaching the duty, and directly causing the death.

Element #3: Have Survivors Suffered a Loss?

The third and final element necessary to qualify the death of your loved one as a wrongful death is that you and your family must suffer a loss as a result of the decedent’s death.

It seems abrasive to even approach this question. Of course, you have suffered a loss. And yet, you are being asked whether there are direct financial and emotional losses associated with your loved one’s death. However, addressing this element is critical to determining your eligibility for a wrongful death claim.

Several factors are considered when determining wrongful death damages in California. The simplest to examine is the financial factor.

What kind of financial support would your loved one have provided had they not died? What were the medical and funeral expenses associated with their death? If the death was not immediate, medical expenses related to the person’s care after the incident may qualify in this area. However, if the medical expenses were already incurred, they most likely will not be.

The final component of examining whether the survivors have suffered a loss examines the emotional costs associated with a tragic death. Is there a loss of companionship? Is there a loss of emotional support? This must be proven and qualified to the best of one’s ability to obtain a successful wrongful death verdict or settlement.

Adamson Ahdoot Can Help

Let our bilingual team of experienced attorneys handle your case. As one of the most reputable personal injury firms in California, we know what it takes to win every case.

Trust your case to an experienced wrongful death attorney and focus on recovering from the emotional impact of losing your loved one. Call us today at (800) 310-1606 to schedule your free consultation.

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