If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or wrongful act of another, you may be considering filing a wrongful death suit. While no money can replace a lost loved one, filing a successful wrongful death suit can help you obtain justice and recover damages. This article will discuss five tips to maximize your chances of winning a wrongful death suit in California.
What Is Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action brought by the survivors of a person who died due to the negligence or intentional wrongdoing of another person or entity.
To win a wrongful death lawsuit in California, the survivor must prove that another person or entity’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing caused the death. Negligence is defined as the failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Deliberate wrongdoing is defined as an act intended to harm someone.
Two types of damages may be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit: economic and non-economic damages.
- Economic damages include things like lost wages and medical expenses.
- Non-economic injuries include things like pain and suffering and loss of companionship.
If you have lost a loved one due to another person or entity’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. An experienced attorney can help you determine if you have a case and what types of damages you may be entitled to.
California Wrongful Death Laws
To maximize your chances of winning a wrongful death suit in California, there are 3 fundamental laws that you should be aware of :
- The statute of limitations is the time limit you have to file a wrongful death suit. In California, the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of death.
- The “determination of negligence” rule – For a wrongful death suit to be successful, it must be determined that the defendant was negligent in their actions (or lack thereof). This can be proven by showing that the defendant did not act as a reasonable person would have under the same circumstances.
- The “punitive damages” rule – Punitive damages are designed to punish wrongdoers and deter others from committing similar acts. In California, punitive damages may be awarded in a wrongful death suit if the defendant’s particularly egregious or reckless.
Elements Of A Wrongful Death Claim
There are four main elements to a wrongful death claim in California: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
- To win a wrongful death suit, you must first prove that the defendant had a duty to the deceased. This might be a duty to provide medical care or an obligation to maintain a safe environment.
- Next, you must show that the defendant breached their duty. For example, if they failed to provide adequate medical care or created an unsafe environment.
- Then, you must show that this breach of duty caused the deceased’s death. This is known as causation.
- Finally, you must prove that the deceased’s death resulted in damages. These might be economic damages, such as loss of income, or non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Who Can Bring A Wrongful Death Claim in California?
A wrongful death suit can be brought in California by the deceased person’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, or child. The suit must be filed within two years of the person’s death is caused by someone’s wrongdoing, and the surviving family members may be able to recover damages for their loss.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you should speak to a wrongful death attorney to find out if you have a case. An experienced attorney will be able to guide you through the legal process and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
4 Tips To Maximize Your Chances Of Winning A Wrongful Death Suit In California
- The first step in winning a wrongful death suit in California understands the state’s law. California’s law allows certain family members to file a wrongful death suit if they have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence or intentional act.
- The next step is to gather evidence to support your claim. This can include medical records, police reports, eyewitness testimony, and anything else showing that someone else’s negligence or intentional act caused the death.
- Hiring an experienced wrongful death attorney who knows how to navigate the California legal system is also essential. An experienced wrongful death attorney will be able to help you build a strong case and maximize your chances of winning a settlement or verdict in your favor.
- Finally, be prepared to deal with the insurance companies. The insurance companies will likely try to lowball you on your settlement offer, so it is essential to be ready to negotiate. If you are unsatisfied with the insurance company’s practices, you must take them to court.
How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?
There are a few ways that wrongful death settlements can be paid out in California. The first is through a lump sum payment. This means the settlement is paid out all at once, in one lump sum. The second way is through periodic payments. This means that the compensation is paid out in smaller amounts over time, typically every month.
The court will typically decide the method of payment. However, there may be some flexibility depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, if the liable party has limited assets, the court may order a lump sum payment so that the victim’s family can pay the settlement amount all at once.
Ultimately, speaking with experienced wrongful death lawyers is essential to ensure you get the best possible outcome for your case.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, you may be considering filing a wrongful death suit. While no money can bring back your loved one, it can help you hold the responsible party accountable and receive compensation for your losses. The experienced wrongful death attorneys at Garcia & Phan can help you maximize your chances of winning your case. Contact us today at 714-586-8298 for a free consultation.