What Information Do I Need After a Wrongful Death?
To file a wrongful death lawsuit after the loss of a family member, you need evidence that another party’s negligence caused your loved one’s demise. Information proving that claim is what you need after a loved one’s wrongful death.
You must also show that your relative’s death did not occur due to their own actions. Such information may include police reports, surveillance video, eyewitness reports, vehicle-stored data, autopsy results, and an accident reconstruction report.
Those filing a wrongful death claim must prove that they sustained damages because of the loss of their loved one. These damages consist of physical and emotional, along with financial, losses. Proof may consist of financial and medical records.
Money cannot bring a loved one back. It can pay for some of the services formerly provided by the late person and ease some of the financial burden resulting from the loss. A compassionate Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer at Ellis Injury Law can help you and your family receive the maximum compensation so you can avoid the financial hardship caused by your loved one’s untimely end.
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While the majority of wrongful deaths involve motor vehicle accidents, there are other frequent causes. These include:
- Animal attack
- Defective products
- Slip & falls
- Manslaughter or homicide
- Medical malpractice
- Work accidents
Deaths resulting from violence will usually end in a criminal case. A wrongful death case is a civil action and a separate matter from the criminal proceedings.
Wrongful death lawyers will ensure the claim is filed before the California statute of limitations expires. In California, family members must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the death date, or the claim cannot go forward.
Proving negligence in wrongful death
To prove negligence in a wrongful death case, you must supply evidence that the defendant owed your late relative a duty of care. For example, all drivers must follow the rules of the road. If the defendant failed to follow those rules, such as by driving drunk, they breached their duty of care.
You must also prove that the defendant’s actions or inactions caused the person’s death. This is not always straightforward, depending on the individual situation. If someone dies because a building collapsed, the entities liable for the tragedy may range from the property owner to contractors to local governments. A thorough investigation is necessary.
Wrongful death damages
Compensation, or damages, in a California wrongful death case may include:
- Medical costs for the decedent’s final injury or illness
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of future income
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of love and affection
- Loss of household services
- Loss of gifts or benefits
Keep in mind that pain and suffering caused by the loved one’s death is not part of the consideration regarding wrongful death damages.
Determining a fair amount for various damages is not easy. A wrongful death attorney knows what needs including based on the late person’s circumstances. For example, calculating the loss of future income involves taking into account the person’s age, education, employment history, the standard career path for the position, and more.
Contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer
If you lost a loved one due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law as soon as possible. Even though you are reeling from the death of your family member, it is critical to begin evidence collection right away.
We offer a free consultation and understand the issues you face after losing your loved one. Call or text us 24/7 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment.
In California, the surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children of the decedent may file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the decedent did not have these family members, other relatives may file a wrongful death lawsuit as per the state’s intestacy laws.
We fight hard for our clients. Over the past 25 years, our dedicated attorneys have recovered more than $350 million in settlements and verdicts. Our dedicated attorneys work on a contingency basis, so you pay no fee unless you receive compensation.