Randolph & Associates
Call us today for a free consultation
(800) RANDOLPH800-726-3657 Se Habla Español
Over 40 years of disciplined legal experience.

Do you have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Have you lost a loved one in a vehicle accident, medical malpractice or a workplace accident? If it was another party's reckless, negligent or deliberate actions that led to the fatality, your natural response might be to want to hold that person responsible for your damages -- even though no monetary award can undo your loss. You might have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

If successful, such a civil lawsuit could lead to compensation for the damages suffered by the surviving family members. Recovery could include both economic and non-economic losses.

State laws determine who may file a claim

If you are the surviving spouse or a child of the deceased loved one, you can pursue financial relief by filing a claim in a civil court. Legal counsel can answer questions about eligibility for grandparents, siblings and other extended family members under California laws. The court may order the appointment of a guardian to protect the best interests of minor children when applicable.

What makes a wrongful death lawsuit viable?

You must have a legal reason, or grounds, to file such a lawsuit. For this, you must show that the accused party's negligence caused your loved one's death. Furthermore, you must prove that it had a direct emotional and financial impact on the surviving family members. The following aspects can establish negligence:

  • Fault: You must prove that your loved one's death was not his or her own fault but brought about by the deliberate, reckless or negligent actions of the other party.
  • Damages: You must establish that the wrongful death caused quantifiable damages to you and other surviving family members.

What are the compensatory damages you can claim?

California laws allow the civil justice system to help surviving family members cope with untimely, unanticipated deaths of loved ones due to negligent acts by other parties. The damages you may claim could include the following:

  • Financial losses: You may claim the costs of any medical care in the time leading up to your loved one's death -- if it was not instant. Furthermore, any expenses related to the end-of-life arrangements may form part of your documented claims along with lost wages and potential future earnings. Children may even claim loss of potential inheritances.
  • Emotional damages: Along with the loss of your loved one's care, nurturing and guidance, you can claim loss of love, consortium and companionship. The mental anguish, pain and suffering that surviving family members suffer as the result of the defendant's negligence are typically also compensable.
  • Punitive damages: While civil lawsuits focus on recovery of damages rather than punishment, these damages aim to discourage future reckless or negligent actions by the defendant. However, awards of punitive damages are rare and not allowed in all states.

Statute of limitations

If you delay filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you may exceed the California statute of limitations and forego the chance of recovering damages. Others in similar situations in California seek the support and guidance of an experienced wrongful death attorney to assess their claims for viability, answer questions and navigate ensuing legal proceedings.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Begin A FREE CONSULTATION

Need Help? Have a Legal Question? Contact us now for a free consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Awards & Associations

  • State Bar of California - California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Distinguished AV - LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell - Peer Review Rated for ethical standards and legal ability - Donald C. Randolph 2004-2016
  • Super Lawyers Donald C. Randolph 2004-2016
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers Donald C. Randolph 2004-2016
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Low Angeles
  • The national trial lawyers | Top 100 trial lawyers

Santa Monica Office
1717 Fourth Street, 3rd Floor
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Phone: 800-726-3657
Santa Monica Personal Injury Office

Rancho Cucamonga Office
9431 Haven Avenue, Suite 100
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

Phone: 800-726-3657
Rancho Cucamonga Personal Injury Office

Palm Desert Office
77711 Flora Road, Suite 101
Palm Desert, CA 92211

Phone: 800-726-3657
Palm Desert Office Location

Connect with our firm online: