Unexpected deaths from the negligent behavior of others can be highly traumatic for the families who are left behind. These incidents also can result in unanticipated and extensive expenses for these families, from funeral costs to a loss of regular household income.
By consulting a compassionate injury attorney, you can explore your options for compensation and choose the path that is best for your family. A Moreno Valley wrongful death lawyer can analyze the circumstances that led to the death of your loved one and determine the viability of any wrongful death claims that you may have.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
Generally, for wrongful death to occur, someone must have acted with negligence or wrongfully in some way that directly led to the death. The survivors of the decedent must also suffer some damages as a result of the death, such as funeral costs, burial expenses, and lost earnings.
Wrongful death actions can arise in various situations. For instance, family members may be able to bring a wrongful death action against individuals who:
- Drive while intoxicated and cause a fatal vehicle accident
- Negligently perform surgery or fail to use required precautions
- Drive recklessly and cause the death of a pedestrian or bicyclist
Family members may also have causes of action for wrongful death against companies or other entities that are responsible for the negligent behavior that led to the death. For example, pharmaceutical companies may be liable for wrongful death if they fail to adequately warn consumers about the side effects of a dangerous drug. Likewise, nursing homes may be responsible for the death of a loved one whom staff members neglect or abuse.
Eligibility for Filing Wrongful Death Suits
Ca. Code of Civil Procedure § 377.60 provides that only specific family members, or the personal representative of the decedent, can bring a wrongful death suit following the death of a loved one. In most cases, the individuals who file wrongful death suits are surviving spouses or domestic partners, or surviving children or the grandchildren of children who are deceased. If no immediate relatives exists, more distant relatives who would inherit property from the deceased as a result of intestate succession, or situations in which the deceased has no will.
Additionally, any persons who are dependent on the decedent, such as putative spouses, children of the putative spouse, stepchildren, or parents, can bring a claim under this section. Minors who had resided with the decedent for the previous 180 days and were dependent on the decedent for one-half or more of their support also may file claims under this section. A wrongful death lawyer in Moreno Valley can examine the circumstances of each death and determine whether this type of relief is available.
Recoverable Damages in Untimely Death Cases
Individuals filing wrongful death claims can seek various damages. These damages may include:
- Financial support that individuals would have received from the deceased
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Value of household services that the decedents would have provided
- Loss of affection, companionship, and moral support
Other damages may be available, as well, depending on the situation. Consulting a wrongful death attorney in Moreno Valley may be the most effective way to determine your rights to compensation following the untimely passing of a loved one
Talk to a Moreno Valley Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Although no amount of money can replace a deceased loved one, compensation can ease the transition into building a new life without your loved one. These damages may constitute one less thing that you have to worry about while you are grieving and recovering from your losses. A Moreno Valley wrongful death lawyer may be able to help you obtain the financial security that you need during this challenging time.