Inglewood Wrongful Death Lawyers
You feel the loss of your loved one daily. Besides your grief and the deep changes your loved one’s death has had on your life, there is also the fact that the loss did not have to happen. Another party’s negligence or recklessness took your family member away from you.
The Inglewood personal injury lawyers at Ellis Injury Law protects your rights while holding those liable for your loved one’s death responsible. Over the past quarter-century, our compassionate attorneys have recovered more than $350 million in verdicts and settlements for personal injury and wrongful death clients.
Wrongful death occurs when a person dies because of an individual’s or entity’s recklessness or negligence. Examples of wrongful death include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Chemical or toxic poisoning
Manslaughter and homicides also involve wrongful death, and those cases are handled both criminally and civilly. A wrongful death lawsuit against the person or entity who killed your loved is a civil matter, separate from any criminal charges or trial.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit
Every state has its own laws regarding who may file a wrongful death lawsuit, and in California, it falls to close family members of the deceased. That includes, in order:
- The spouse
- The domestic partner
- Surviving children
If the deceased did not have a spouse, partner, or children, California’s law of intestate succession applies as to who may file a wrongful death lawsuit, based on blood ties.
Statute of limitations
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in California is two years from the death date. When any type of government agency is involved, whether municipal, county, state or federal, the statute of limitations is much shorter, usually a matter of months.
Wrongful death damages
No amount of money can bring your loved one back, but wrongful damages can ease your financial burden. Damages, or compensation, in a wrongful death lawsuit may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Income the deceased would have earned
- Loss of companionship and support
Punitive damages, meant to punish an entity who acted in a particularly egregious manner in causing the death, are not available in wrongful death lawsuits. However, the personal representative of the estate may file a survival cause of action, which does permit the awarding of punitive damages.
A survival cause of action
Under California’s Code of Civil Procedure 377.30, if the deceased was not killed instantly but survived the incident for at least a short time, the personal representative may file a separate lawsuit, the survival cause of action. Potential damages under this action may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
A wrongful death lawyer can help with both types of lawsuits and may combine them together into one lawsuit.
Contact Inglewood wrongful death lawyers
If your loved one died because of another party’s actions or inactions, you need to consult an experienced personal injury attorney at Ellis Injury Law. Call or text us 24/7, or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Initial consultations are free and we work on a contingency basis, so there is never a fee unless we win.