What is Death by Negligence?
Ellis Injury Law knows that losing a loved one unexpectedly can be one of the most traumatizing and devastating events you will ever experience. If this tragedy was caused by another party’s carelessness – otherwise known as death by negligence – then the victim’s surviving relatives may have grounds for a wrongful death claim to recover financial compensation for their loss.
Common death by negligence accidents
An experienced Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer knows that there is an unlimited supply of accidents that could give rise to death by negligence, or wrongful death, lawsuit. Some of the more common examples are listed below:
- An unattended small child is walking alongside a backyard swimming pool that is not blocked or fenced off, and the child falls into the pool and drowns
- Bus, truck, car, or motorcycle accidents
- Airplane and helicopter crashes
- Construction accidents
- Attacks by animals
- Medical malpractice
- Slip or trip and fall cases
- Large fires
- Defective products
- Premises liability
- School shootings
How can I prove that the defendant was negligent?
In order to be successful in death by negligence lawsuit, wrongful death lawyers must help the plaintiff prove the following four elements:
- The defendant owed the victim a legal duty of care. This generally requires the defendant to act as a reasonable person of similar standing would in similar circumstances. In other words, a world-renowned surgeon is not let off the hook for an operating error just because the average person would have made the same error; he or she is instead compared to other surgeons in that field. In general, unless the victim was trespassing on the defendant’s property at the time the accident occurred, there will usually be a legal duty owed in these cases.
- The defendant breached that duty by not acting like a reasonable person would have in that situation. Drivers of a motor vehicle are reasonably expected to pay attention and obey all traffic laws at all times. A store owner is reasonably expected to keep the store safe for patrons, so having wet floors without either drying them off, blocking them off or posting warning signs would constitute a breach.
- This breach caused the victim’s death. In other words, the defendant’s action or inaction directly led to the injury and death of the deceased. If a defendant negligently causes a car accident where the victim breaks his leg, and then the victim unexpectedly dies while he is in the hospital for surgery when the building catches on fire, the link of causation would be broken because the defendant’s careless driving had nothing to do with the fire that actually killed the deceased.
- The defendant’s wrongful actions or inactions caused damages to the victim. In wrongful death cases, the damages would be death.
What damages will be available to me?
In order to recover financially for the victim’s death, you must be a close relative and your wrongful death attorney must prove that you have suffered economic and/or non-economic damages. Some examples of these damages include the following:
- All medical expenses that the victim incurred between the time of the accident and time of death
- Costs of funeral and burial
- The victim’s lost wages and future income
- Loss of gifts that the victim would have bestowed
- Loss of benefits such as health insurance
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of support
- Loss of consortium
A consistent and established law firm
At Ellis Injury Law, we have been a staple in the Los Angeles legal community for over 25 years, and we produce results. Not only have we earned over $350 Million on behalf of our valued clients, but we are proud of our 99 percent client success rate.
We can get you on the schedule right now
If you have questions about death by negligence, call Ellis Injury Law at any time of day or night to schedule your free consultation with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, as our phone lines are always on. We will not bill you anything unless you prevail.