The difference between a death and a wrongful death is if the death was caused by either negligence or a wrongful act. A wrongful act means a person caused the death with the immoral nature of their actions that led to the death.
Often in the event of a death that was caused by malicious intent or negligence the party that caused the death is being prosecuted by the justice system for the crime. A wrongful death suit happens completely independent of any criminal cases and can happen at the same time the criminal case is proceeding. The wrongful death case is also filed by the family members of the deceased party while in a criminal case the case is being filed by the state.
How Long After the Death Do You Need to File
In California there are statute of limitations that require you to file your complaint within two years. Unlike other types of personal injury laws, the statute of limitations is often quite strict as the date of death is a very definitive date to mark when the suit should be filed.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
Wrongful death claims are most often filed by an immediate family member, this includes a spouse, domestic partner, or children. A claim can also be made by a secondary group that includes parents, siblings, or stepchildren if they can prove that the death had financial consequences in their life.
What Are the Damages in a Wrongful Death Case?
The immediate considerations for damages in a wrongful death suit concern the costs involved in burial and medical expense. These are costs directly associated with the act that took the person’s life.
But often the larger monetary damages can be for the loss of income from the deceased, the loss of their responsibilities to the affairs of the family, and most importantly the loss of that person being in their life.
When to Consult a Lawyer
Whether you have lost a loved one in El Segundo or anywhere in California and you believe there to be some sort of negligence or malicious intent involved in the death you need to consult an attorney. A law firm like The Ryan Law Group works completely on a contingency basis and does not collect any fees unless a favorable monetary outcome results from your case.
A law firm like The Ryan Law Group has seasoned trial lawyers and expert paralegals to help you navigate your situation to find the largest settlement for you.
Below are some examples of wrongful death related cases in California.
Wrongful Death Cases
KYLIE ASAM vs. BHANDI BROTHERS TRUCKING AND RUDOLPH ORTIZ
The family of the plaintiff was driving from Riverside when their vehicle collided with a tractor trailer truck that had been illegally parked on the shoulder of the highway. The plaintiff was able to escape the car but her family members died in the crash. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff including $112 million in damages for pain and suffering.
Lee vs. Sheehan
The decedent of the plaintiffs was driving in the early morning when a horse ran onto the road and collided with his vehicle killing both him and the horse. It was discovered that a tiger had recently escaped from the property of the second defendant and possibly spooked the horse. Both the owner of the horse and the owner of the property the tiger escaped from settled for $1 million each.
Tomlinson vs. City of Long Beach
The plaintiffs’ decedent suffered traumatic brain injuries when her vehicle was struck by a car being pursued by the Long Beach Police Department. After 18 years in a vegetative state the decedent died and the plaintiffs sued for wrongful death.