A wrongful death attorney helps surviving family members seek compensation for the death of a person resulting from a wrongful act. This could be due to an oversight, carelessness, negligence, and or even a deliberate act.
Nearly anyone experiencing the death of a loved one needs support and aid. It’s hard to think clearly and perform basic tasks, much less sue the person responsible. A call to one of our wrongful death lawyers in Los Angeles can take the burden of pursuing justice off your back.
Why Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
People hire a wrongful death lawyer because they are entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering associated with a loss of life. Sometimes, the deceased person may have been a family’s financial provider.
If someone’s negligence (a person or a business) contributed to an accident that resulted in the death of a family member, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim and receive a hefty settlement.
In some cases, a defendant is tried in a criminal court of law and is found innocent of criminal charges. However, a wrongful death lawyer could help the plaintiff prove the defendant is guilty of wrongful death charges.
While no amount of money will ever make up for the death of a loved one, receiving the maximum settlement and winning a judgement can grant a sense of justice and offer some peace of mind.
Examples of Wrongful Death Lawsuits Handled by Jacoby and Meyers
Some of the most common wrongful death claims that Jacoby and Meyers have represented their clients in, include the following situations:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice (patient death or death of unborn child)
- Criminal acts
- Contracting a disease or illness
- Public transportation (airplane, train, bus, boat, etc)
- Tourism / activities (scuba diving, rock climbing, skydiving, etc)
- Violence in the workplace or public area
- Excessive force by police or security professionals
- Unsafe conditions at fairs or amusement parks
- Occupational exposure to toxic substances or dangerous conditions
- Lack of care in supervised activities
- Dangerous conditions on public or private property
- Dangerous roads or defective construction
- Poorly performed maintenance or repairs
- Defective products
As long as a death is involved and you believe that someone else caused it, you may have a case. Speaking with a wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles will let you know if you have a case, and also if you have standing to sue.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
To file a lawsuit, you need to have what’s known as standing. For wrongful death cases, you usually have to be a family member to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The more immediate of a family member you are, the more likely the court will hear your case.
This is because a family member is the most likely to be damaged by a loved one’s death, both emotionally and financially. If you lose a spouse, you don’t just suffer a loss of companionship. You also lose an income supporting your household.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in California?
The statute of limitations is the deadline you have to file a case after the injury or death happened. In California, the usual deadline is to file within two years of the date of death. However, there are exceptions.
In a medical malpractice case, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of injury or one year after the individual discovered or should have reasonably discovered the injury. This is evaluated legally according to the “reasonable person” standard.
If the claim is being filed against the government, the time is shortened and must be filed within six months of the injury or death. In all cases, it’s better to file sooner rather than later so you don’t lose your opportunity for compensation.
What if the Cause of Death Was Indirect?
It’s also important to know that the cause doesn’t have to be immediate. For instance, if your loved one develops cancer and dies years after working with chemical hazards or toxic substances, and we can prove the chemical caused the cancer, then a case is possible.
Even in case of suicide, you may have a case. For example, if someone was abused in the workplace, and as a result suffered from extreme depression that lead to suicide, the company or the abusive employee could be held liable and found guilty in a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Is a Survival Action Lawsuit?
While a wrongful death lawsuit is something a surviving family member can file, a survival action lawsuit is one the deceased person could file if he or she had lived. Here, survival damages would go to the deceased’s person’s estate as opposed to the surviving family.
In a survival action, the deceased person’s estate could recover damages directly related to the victim’s pain and suffering, as well as their lost earnings and medical bills. This is mirrored on what the deceased person could have recovered if they were living.
When possible, our Los Angeles wrongful death lawyers work with families to combine a survival action and a wrongful death lawsuit. This is done to assure that the family can recover the full damages owed due to their loved one’s death.
Contact a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
Losing a loved one is among the most painful experiences we’ll undergo in our lives. It’s even worse when someone else was responsible for the death. Don’t let your chance for justice slip away. Contact Jacoby & Meyers for a wrongful death claim consultation.