In the aftermath of your loved one’s death, it is only natural to be angry at everything and everyone, heartbroken and overwhelmed, and confused about what to do next.
These uncontrollable emotions and impulses often misguide family members of those killed in wrongful death cases. Many people sue those they believe were legally liable for the death, while others do NOT sue the responsible parties thinking there is nothing they can do.
Due to a plethora of misconceptions about wrongful death laws, we brought our wrongful death lawyer in Sherman Oaks from Mancini & Associates to explain when the estate of the deceased person should file a lawsuit and when should not.
Do not hesitate to bring a lawsuit against the party responsible for killing or causing the death of your family member as a result of negligence, recklessness or wrongful actions. Examples of wrongful death in Sherman Oaks and elsewhere in California include:
1. A person getting killed in a car accident after the at-fault driver made a wrong turn, or if the at-fault motorist is guilty of distracted driving, drunk driving, and other traffic law violations.
2. A person dies as a result of a surgical error. If the surgeon failed to provide his/her patient with a high standard of care and failed to prevent reasonably foreseeable injuries, the surgeon may be held liable under medical malpractice laws.
3. A person dies as a result of using a defective product. A car, recently purchased by the deceased, had faulty brakes, which the victim discovered when it was too late. The manufacturer of the car – as well as other parties in the distribution chain – may be held liable under product liability laws if you, as the surviving member(s) of the deceased, can prove that the product in question had a manufacturing defect, defective design, or the manufacturer failed to warn of potential hazards.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is applicable in all three examples provided above. Some people whose loved ones have been killed are not aware where that fine line between personal injury cases and wrongful death claims is drawn. That is why it is highly recommended to seek the legal advice of a Sherman Oaks wrongful death lawyer in order to find out whether or not you should sue the person responsible for the death of your family member.
When suing for wrongful death, it is essential to establish four elements of your claim:
1. The defendant owed the deceased a duty of care.
2. The defendant breached that duty of care due to his/her negligent, reckless or wrongful actions.
3. That breach of duty was a direct proximate cause of the victim’s death.
4. The death caused the damages that the estate (the family members of the deceased) seek to recover.
If you win a wrongful death case against the defendant – the person you believe is responsible for the death of your family member – you can recover the following damages:
1. The victim’s pain and suffering prior to death.
2. Medical expenses associated with the deceased’s medical treatment, hospitalization, and other expenses prior to death.
3. Funeral and burial expenses.
4. Loss of the deceased person’s income, which may have a negative effect on his immediate family, spouse, children, and other dependents.
5. Loss of any inheritance as a result of death.
6. Loss of the support, guidance, nurturing, and services that the deceased would have provided in his/her lifetime.
7. Loss of consortium.
8. Loss of love and companionship.
This is only a non-exhaustive list of damages you may be entitled to in a wrongful death case. If you want to find out what types of damages can be recovered in your particular case, seek the legal advice of a Sherman Oaks wrongful death attorney in a free consultation.
Contact Mancini & Associates to get a free case evaluation today. Call our offices at 818-783-5757 (SE HABLA ESPAÑOL) or complete this contact form.