Wrongful death is the death of one person because of another’s negligence. A fatal car accident, workplace accident, shooting, or another incident can cause wrongful death, leaving surviving family members to deal with expensive medical bills and lost income, on top of emotional turmoil. California civil laws enable families to seek financial restitution in these situations.
If you lost a loved one in an El Cajon wrongful death accident, contact our El Cajon wrongful death lawyers to discuss your case. We are available 24 hours a day, every day of the week, to answer client calls. Your family may be eligible for compensation. Why choose us as your representatives?
- We have years of experience exclusively handling personal injury and wrongful death claims, giving us in-depth knowledge of the subject.
- We have won millions of dollars for clients in settlements and jury verdicts over the years, with help from our aggressive trial attorneys.
- We care about client well-being and only charge for our legal services if we secure financial compensation on behalf of the client.
Questions To Ask Yourself When Considering Representation
All states have some form of a wrongful death claim law that they use. When considering representation and suit as to a client’s losses arising from wrongful death in California, there are several initial issues to explore:
- Is your client’s relationship to the decedent such that your client has a claim at all;
- Who else has a claim;
- What damages can be sought by whom; and
- What are the causes of action to be pleaded in the complaint?
The plaintiffs in any wrongful death case are the heirs of the decedent. In the case of the death of a child, the heirs are the parents. If the deceased person was married, then the heirs are the spouse and any children. If the deceased person was not married, then the heirs would be the children, if any, followed by the parents, if any survive, followed by siblings. In some cases, the determination of the proper heirs may be quite complicated, but it is essential that the proper heirs all be involved in any wrongful death claim since the law requires all heirs to be named as either plaintiffs or defendants in any wrongful death claim.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death cases often involve accidents that would have given the victim the right to file a personal injury claim, had the incident not been fatal. Families may be able to ascertain if they have grounds for a claim if the deceased person would have had the elements of a personal injury claim. The most common causes of wrongful death and personal injuries are the same.
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Accidental poisoning
- Acts of violence
- Swimming pool accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Fires and explosions
Grounds for a claim include establishing that someone else owed your loved one duty of care, breached this duty, and caused the accident in question. Fatal accidents at work, on the road, or on someone else’s property could all lead to wrongful death claims. A lawsuit could be the only way in which a family can recover financial losses after an unexpected death.
Do You Need an El Cajon Wrongful Death Attorney?
A lawyer can help you navigate California’s complex wrongful death laws. Instead of listening to the biased advice from insurance companies, you can receive honest counsel from a wrongful death lawyer. An insurance company will try to minimize your family’s financial recovery, while an attorney will work hard to maximize it. If you suspect someone else negligently contributed to your family member’s death, hiring a lawyer can immediately begin the legal process. Your lawyer will take care of your claim while you focus on emotional healing.
In California, a wrongful death claim is a civil suit that seeks damages from the defendant for such things as medical and funeral expenses, future earnings, loss of companionship, pain, and suffering, and other types of physical, emotional, and financial damages. The claim must be filed within two years of the death.
California Wrongful Death Laws
Only certain family members will have the right to pursue wrongful death damages in California. The law states that a deceased person’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children have the power to file a wrongful death claim. If these parties do not exist, anyone with an interest in the deceased person’s property by intestate succession may bring the wrongful death claim. This may include the decedent’s parents or siblings.
The decedent’s surviving spouse, children, dependent stepchildren (and dependent minors residing in the household for at least six months), and dependent parents can always state a claim for wrongful death. Code Civ. Proc. § 377.60 permits recovery for these categories of relationship in all circumstances, notwithstanding any intestacy laws. If there are none of these heirs, the law of intestate succession governs. Code Civ. Proc. § 377.60(a); and Probate Code § 6402.
Claimants in California only have two years from the date of death to file their wrongful death lawsuits. The two-year statute of limitations is strict. Missing the deadline generally means losing the right to request compensation. The damages available in a wrongful death claim include funeral and burial compensation, medical bill payment, and recovery for mental anguish
Recovering & Compensation From Wrongful Death
Recovering from the loss of a family member is one of life’s most difficult challenges. Following your loss, the weight of the new responsibilities that rest upon your shoulders may seem to difficult to bear. The San Diego wrongful death attorneys at the law offices of Howard A. Kitay have in-depth knowledge of wrongful death and personal injury law. Our litigators will aggressively pursue your interests. If your loved one has been killed as a result of the fault of another, consider contacting our office today for additional information about a wrongful death claim. Our experienced attorneys can answer questions specific to your case.
Wrongful death cases require experienced El Cajon attorneys to maximize the recovery for the family of a person killed by another’s negligence or fault. With over 20 years of experience and a reputation as a firm with formidable litigators, we will aggressively pursue your interests. San Diego Wrongful Death Lawyer Howard Kitay will provide you with unsurpassed legal representation. The initial case analysis is always free, and you will owe no legal fees or expenses until you receive an award.
Contact Us Today
The El Cajon wrongful death attorney at the Law Offices of Howard Kitay cares about the families of those wrongfully killed in El Cajon. No matter what caused your loved one’s recent death, if you suspect negligence played a role, we can help. Our lawyers can investigate your case, file a claim within the two-year deadline, and negotiate a settlement on your family’s behalf. We are not afraid to take a case to trial if we believe it is in the client’s best interests. Learn more about your case today, during a free consultation.
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