Orange County Wrongful Death Attorney
When a family member dies in an accident, or as a result of the injuries he or she sustained in an accident, his or her loved ones may file a wrongful death claim to seek monetary compensation for the damages experienced because of the victim’s death. Wrongful death claims are most often filed by the estate of the victim, or the surviving and/or impacted family or survivors.
Fatal accidents are not all that uncommon. However, the circumstances of a person’s death can be unsettling to family members, especially if it involves negligence from another party. The most common causes of wrongful death include: Car accidents; Truck accidents; Pedestrian and bicycle accidents; Acts of medical malpractice; and Slip and falls.
Who can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
In California, the following parties may file wrongful death claims after losing loved ones in accidents:
- The victim’s spouse or domestic partner;
- The victim’s children;
- If the victim had no spouse or children, an individual who would be entitled to receive the victim’s assets through intestate succession may file a wrongful death claim. This can be the victim’s parents, siblings, or any other relative who can demonstrate that he or she would be entitled to inherit assets from the victim through intestate succession; and
- If they can demonstrate that they were financially dependent on the victim, the victim’s stepchildren, parents, and putative spouse can file a wrongful death claim. A putative spouse is an individual who lived with the victim and in good faith believed he or she was married to the victim, but were not actually married.
What Damages can be Compensated through a Wrongful Death Claim? Wrongful death damages fall into two categories. 1. Damages awarded to the victim’s estate, which include:
- The victim’s funeral and burial expenses;
- The victim’s medical bills if he or she received medical care between his or her accident and death; and
- The victim’s lost income. This is not just the victim’s immediate lost income, but the projected amount of compensation he or she would have earned over the course of his or her remaining career had he or she not died in an accident.
The victim’s loved ones may also recover compensation directly for the following damages:
- Their own emotional trauma;
- The loss of the victim’s financial support; and
- The loss of the victim’s companionship, guidance, and love.
Pursuing Your Wrongful Death Claim
Like a personal injury claim, a wrongful death claim requires evidence that demonstrates how the victim’s death was caused by another party’s negligence. This can include a copy of the official accident report, copies of the victim’s medical expenses and funeral bills, and documentation of his or her pay rate and projected career earnings. Shield Litigation, LLP is an experienced wrongful death law firm in Santa Ana who has helped the families of victims pursue maximum compensation that can help get their lives back on track.
In California, the statue of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the victim’s death. Once two years pass, the family typically cannot recover compensation for their damages.
Work with an Experienced Santa Ana Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation for the damages you suffered as well as the damages his or her estate experienced because of the death. Shield Litigation is a group of experienced Santa Ana wrongful death lawyers who work with families in Anaheim, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove and throughout Orange County. Contact our team of experienced wrongful death attorneys today at 714-728-3385 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation with us today.