Understanding Wrongful Death Claims
“Wrongful death” refers to a fatality caused by another person’s negligence, recklessness or intentional conduct. In San Diego and the rest of California, the wrongful death claim is often filed by members of the deceased person’s family who are impacted by that loss. Depending on the case, these eligible family members may include a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent or other relative of the deceased. Occasionally, the claim is filed by a personal representative of the deceased’s estate. As there are technical aspects to these claims, it’s important to consult with an experienced legal professional.
To prevail in a wrongful death claim, the following elements must be proven:
- The death was caused by another person’s negligence, recklessness or intentional conduct.
- The family member or claimant has suffered, or will suffer, financial loss or other recoverable damages as a result of the death.
If the death resulted from an accident, claimants in a wrongful death case must prove the elements of negligence in addition to the wrongful death elements specified above, the elements of negligence include the following:
- Duty of care: It must be proven that the party at fault owed the victim a legally recognized duty of care.
- Breach of that duty: It must be proven that the party at fault breached their duty of care in some way. Some examples of breaches include disobeying traffic laws, failing to utilize reasonable safety measures, and failing to provide adequate training to employees.
- Causation: It must be proven that the death resulted from the breach of the duty of care and not due to some other cause.
- Damages: It must be proven that the claimant suffered damages as a result of the wrongful death. These damages may include funeral and burial expenses; loss of future income; loss of financial support; loss of household services; and the loss of the decedent’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society and moral support.
Types Of Wrongful Death
Like injury claims, wrongful death claims arise from a wide variety of accidents and other dangerous situations. These commonly include:
- Auto accidents including bike accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents and drunk driving accidents
- Defects in a product
- Premises liability accidents including injuries inside homes or other private properties, construction sites or defective sidewalks
- Occupational hazards and exposure
- Inadequate training at workplaces
- Improper safety equipment at workplaces
- Improper supervision in nursing home facilities, day care facilities or on school field trips
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
When a wrongful death accident happens and you are not at fault, it’s critical for you to have experienced attorneys on your side. Get hold of us today at 760-670-4554 to get the process started.
We Are Here To Help
Clearly, there is no dollar figure sufficient to compensate for the loss of a loved one. But some measure of justice, and peace of mind, may be attainable by ensuring that the party at fault is held responsible for their actions. By pursuing a legal action you may also reduce some of the financial burden unfairly placed upon your shoulders due to the death of a family member.
Potential compensation may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of future income
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of household services
- Loss of the decedent’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society and moral support.