California Lawyers Group has the experience, empathy, insight and skill to establish and prove recoverable wrongful death damages. California Lawyers Group attorneys have the connections to the right experts who can evaluate losses and know how to document those losses for a judge or jury. We are large enough to advance the costs for this sometimes very expensive litigation. We have the determination to commit our resources to obtain a fair recovery for our clients.
Under California law, we present all the facts necessary for a jury to determine:
- That the death was caused by the negligence or unlawful conduct of a defendant
- The extent of the monetary damages caused by the death
Individuals claiming a right to monetary damages caused by a death do so jointly and share a single claim for wrongful death damages. The primary individuals entitled to seek wrongful death damages are the people who would be the decedent’s heirs. These include:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving issue of a deceased child of the decedent
- Domestic partner
If none of the above individuals exist, the next level of heirs, including parents of the deceased and siblings of the deceased, can become claimants for wrongful death damages.
In addition to heirs of the decedent, the law in California also provides that certain other people may claim wrongful death damages if they were dependent upon the decedent. These include:
- Putative spouse
- Children of a punitive spouse
A “putative” spouse is a surviving spouse of a void or voidable marriage who believed in good faith that the marriage to the decedent was valid.
Finally, whether or not qualified as a child, a child of a putative spouse or stepchild, any minor who resided in the decedent’s household for at least 180 days prior to the death of the decedent and was dependent for one-half or more of his/her support from the decedent is entitled to be a claimant for wrongful death damages.
Those claiming wrongful death damages have not suffered a Wrongful Death. Therefore, pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages or other damages that are commonly recovered in a Wrongful Death cause of action cannot be recovered as wrongful death damages. Additionally, monetary damages for the grief and sorrow caused by the death of the decedent cannot be recovered. Our attorneys are able to recover wrongful death damages that include:
- Lost financial support
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Costs to obtain substitute domestic services
- Benefits that each heir reasonably expected to receive if the decedent had lived
- Reasonable compensation for the loss of love, companionship, comfort, society, solace and moral support of the decedent
Wrongful death cases can arise from many factual settings. Often, they arise from accidents or mishaps involving:
- Use of automobiles, farming implements, industrial machinery, recreational equipment or construction tools
- Exposure to toxic substances such as chemical spills, pollutants and mold
- Unexpected consequences from defective products or drugs
- Medical malpractice
- Violent crimes such as shootings, assaults and robberies
Often, an “accident” that causes death is really the result of someone else’s conduct. A wrongful death lawsuit can be complex, contentious and very emotional. California Lawyers Group has successfully handled thousands of wrongful death cases. We aggressively litigate these cases for our clients. Call us today at 1-800-4-INJURED or Contact Us Online.