July 31, 2022 Posted In Wrongful Death
When an individual is killed in a preventable accident due to the negligence of another party, it is generally considered a wrongful death. A wrongful death lawsuit allows surviving family members to recover compensation and hold the at-fault party accountable. However, not all deaths qualify as wrongful.
The following elements determine whether a death qualifies as a wrongful death:
Wrongful death occurs when an at-fault party fails to provide the expected level of care to prevent harm to another. Many situations can give rise to a wrongful death claim, such as car accidents, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, criminal acts of violence, etc.
To claim compensation in a California wrongful death lawsuit, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate or surviving family members must prove the following:
If successful, loved ones can be compensated for medical expenses incurred due to the accident that caused the victim’s death, funeral and burial expenses, loss of the deceased’s income, loss of care, guidance, love, companionship, and more. In some cases, the family may also be able to claim compensation for the deceased’s conscious pain and suffering.
Holding a party accountable for a wrongful death will require solid evidence and documentation to support the allegation. Success often hinges on hiring a San Bernardino Wrongful Death Attorney due to the resources they have to investigate and help you build a strong case. That includes:
California courts apply the rule of pure comparative negligence in wrongful death cases. This law reduces a surviving family’s compensation depending on whether their deceased loved one contributed to the accident which caused their death. For example, if the deceased’s estate is awarded $500,000, but the victim was 30% responsible for their accident, the surviving family will only receive 70% of the award, or $350,000.