The untimely death of a loved one is emotionally devastating to the entire family, especially when the it could have been avoided. When the death of a family member was the result of negligence or intentional wrong doing, The Law Offices of Brent A. Duque can help you through the difficult process of collecting damages from the responsible party. Whether the death resulted from a distracted or drunk driver, dangerously defective product, construction/workplace accident, physician’s error, unsafe home or business premises or even an intentional act, California law allows children, spouses, parents and sometimes other relatives to seek legal action.
We know that no amount of money will ever replace your loved one, but it can alleviate the financial burden after a loss and will help the family to feel more at peace when the responsible party is held accountable for their actions.
If your loved one was killed in an accident or as a result of someone else’s negligence, including (but not limited to) medical malpractice, work-related accident, robberies or other criminal activity, you will need the advice of an experienced wrongful death attorney to guide you through your specific case. A time of mourning can be confusing on its own and the process involved in filing a civil action can add to stress and feeling of loss.
A wrongful death lawsuit is always filed as a civil action as opposed to a criminal case, meaning that the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence as opposed to beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case. A preponderance of evidence simply means that the claim is more likely true than not true. This type of burden of proof is not as strict as in a criminal case. If found guilty in a civil case, the defendant in the case will be held responsible through monetary punishment as opposed to prison or jail time.
Only the survivors of a deceased person are allowed to bring a lawful death lawsuit, but not all family members qualify. If the deceased is an adult, proper parties are restricted to a surviving spouse or domestic partner. If there is no surviving spouse, the lawsuit can be filed by the surviving children or other dependents, including step-children. If the deceased is a child, the lawsuit can be brought by the surviving parents or grandparents if the parents did not survive the child. Special circumstances may allow for other relatives or beneficiaries to file the lawsuit. A wrongful death attorney can help you determine who should file the lawsuit.
When a life has been unexpectedly cut short, many financial burdens are inevitably attached. When negligence or intentional wrongdoing leads to the death of a loved one, certain heirs can recover damages that have or will occur as a result of the untimely death. These damages are not part of the decedent’s estate and come in the form of economic and non-economic payments.
Economic damages have a set amount that can be figured out. These might include loss of financial support to be received during the decedent’s lifetime along with funeral and burial expenses. Non-economic damages are harder to put a specific figure to. These might include the reasonable value of household services the decedent would have provided as well as the loss of spousal companionship, suffering and grief experienced by immediate family members or even loss of parental guidance for children. Other damages may also be awarded under special circumstances and your attorney can review your case to determine if you qualify for these.
Each action of a wrongful death lawsuit involves a different statute of limitations. The general rule under California law requires a lawsuit to be filed within two years of the death. Hiring an experienced attorney is better done sooner than later to ensure proper filing of paperwork in a timely manner.
The insurance companies generally have a very voracious team of attorneys on their side of the table. Complex litigation should not be attempted on your own. The attorneys at Duque Law are experienced, aggressive and successful in wrongful death law. We have offices in Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange County. We’re compassionate, and sensitive to the fact that our clients have suffered a tragic and permanent loss.
At the Los Angeles County Law Offices of Brent A. Duque, we maintain a staff of a highly professional, knowledgeable, aggressive and successful wrongful death attorneys who represent injured people through our offices that stretch across Southern California. Time limitations apply to any injury claim you might have, so for purposes of investigating a possible case and possibly preserving evidence, it’s best for you to contact us immediately after a wrongful death. Contact the Los Angeles County law office of Brent A. Duque at 877-241-9554 for a free consultation and case evaluation. You can even use our online contact form, and we’ll reply to you quickly.
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