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What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

It is very difficult for a family to go through a death of a member. Our attorneys understand that dealing with a family member’s death could be emotionally draining, and filing a lawsuit against a liable party can be the last thing on anybody’s mind. Our attorneys believe that no family member should have to endure the financial cost of losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. We hold at-fault parties responsible for deaths that have occurred due to their actions.

Family members or survivors could sue the liable party under a wrongful death claim for the injuries the survivor suffered. Examples of why many decide to pursue a wrongful death claim against the liable party include compensation for funeral expenses and loss of companionship.

Who gets the money in a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit could be filed by:

  • The representative of the decedent’s estate
  • Survivors of the decedent
  • Spouse of the deceased: In certain states, the couple does not necessarily need to be married.
  • Parents of minors (if the decedent is a child)

To determine who has the legal right to file a wrongful death claim, contact our wrongful death attorneys today for more information. It is important to note that the more distant the familial relationship is with the decedent, the less likely it is that the party could file a wrongful death claim.

Examples of a Wrongful Death Claim

There are many different instances where wrongful death claims could arise. This includes instances when:

  • A victim has been murdered
  • The victim has died from medical malpractice: medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to act within the reasonable standard of care
  • Negligence case: the most common negligence case that could be brought in a wrongful death claim includes car accidents where the defendant negligently drove their vehicle and caused the accident that killed or caused serious injury to the decedent
  • Product defects: in a product defect case, a manufacturer of a product could be held liable for any injuries sustained by the decedent
  • Premises accidents
  • Birth injuries

What happens in a wrongful death lawsuit?

In a wrongful death lawsuit, the family members must meet the burden of proof that the decedent should meet. For example, if the decedent has a claim against the defendant for negligence that caused his death, then the family member must then assert the different elements for negligence against the liable party. The family member must assert that the defendant had a duty to the decedent, that the defendant breached that duty to the decedent, that the defendant’s breach caused the decedent’s death, and the death has now caused damages, such as funeral expenses that the plaintiff is now trying to recover.

How are wrongful-death settlements paid?

If your wrongful death claim settles, that means your wrongful death attorney was able to obtain a settlement check from the at-fault party. The attorney then deducts their fees, and pays the rest directly to the plaintiff. In certain states, such as California, you do not have to pay any income or inheritance taxes on the wrongful-death settlement

How much does a wrongful death attorney cost?

Our wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not have to pay for our attorneys unless we win a settlement or judgment in your favor. We understand that dealing with a family member’s death could be financially difficult, especially after paying thousands of dollars in medical bills for the decedent.

How much can you sue for a wrongful death claim?

Not all wrongful death claims pursue the same amount of damages. It is important to note that each case is individualized, and instances such as the decedent’s future lost income could play a potential role in determining the amount of damages. This is usually calculated on a per diem calculation by the wrongful death attorney.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Statute of Limitations

It is important to note that each state has a different time limitation as to when the family member could bring a claim for wrongful death. This is considered a legal theory called statute of limitations. If you bring a wrongful death claim after the statute of limitations has passed, your claim will most likely be dismissed in court and you will not be able to recover any compensation for your injuries.

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in California is 2 years from the date of the decedent’s death. If the case is not initiated within the two years after the decedent has passed away, then the case will most likely be dismissed and the family member will lose the right to sue. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Nevada is also 2 years from the date of the decedent’s death. That is why we advise that you seek an experienced wrongful death attorney immediately to pursue any claims against the liable party. Waiting too long will essentially result in an unfavorable outcome for your case.

What are the damages you can recover in a wrongful death lawsuit?

There are several different types of damages that one could recover in a wrongful death claim. Different examples include:

  • The decedent’s pain and suffering: this required the family member to show that the decedent suffered prior to their death
  • Medical treatment the decedent needed prior to their death
  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial expenses
  • Lost wages of the decedent
  • Future lost income the decedent was going to make
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Loss of Care
  • The value of the services that the decedent could provide to the family if the decedent were alive

California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60

“A cause of action for the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another may be asserted by any of the following persons or by the decedent’s personal representative on their behalf…”

Experienced Wrongful Death Attorneys are Just a Call Away

Reach out to the team of wrongful death attorneys at Heidari Law Group to discuss the merits of your claim. We offer a free no-risk consultation to review your claim and determine who the fault party could be in your wrongful death lawsuit. We will take the financial stress out of your hands as we hold the at-fault parties accountable for their actions. We will work to make sure that your rights are represented, and to assert your legal rights in order to collect your compensation against the party that caused the death. Contact us for a no-obligation, free case evaluation today.

Our skilled wrongful death attorneys in California and Nevada have decades of experience dealing with wrongful death lawsuits. Wrongful death claims could be very complex, especially because the claims are brought by a third-party, most likely a family member.

***Disclaimer: This page is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this page, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.

Sam Heidari

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