The unexpected death of a loved one can be financially and emotionally devastating. When someone else’s negligence caused it to happen, the loss is magnified. Whether the negligent person was driving a vehicle, providing healthcare, or operating a business without taking care of their property, the loss is the same.
If your family member died because someone else was negligent, you might be facing mounting medical bills, funeral expenses, and loss of income from your loved one’s death. Moreover, you have lost your loved one’s emotional support, affection, and companionship. While nothing will bring that person back, you may be entitled to recover damages caused by someone else’s failure to exercise the duty of care they owe to others.
At Benner Law Firm, we represent clients in San Diego and throughout California who have suffered the emotional and financial devastation of losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. We believe that everyone deserves the best legal representation when pursuing a wrongful death claim, and we are dedicated to providing it.
There are two key reasons to file a wrongful death claim after a loved one dies as the result of someone else’s negligence. First, a successful civil claim might save other families from going through the trauma of loss in the future. Second, death can be expensive, and financial recovery for expenses such as funeral and burial costs and loss of income can help ease the financial burden of your loss. A wrongful death claim is not about profiting from the death of a loved one. It is about holding someone accountable for their negligence and helping to ease your financial and emotional burden.
Wrongful death in California is “a cause of action for the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.” If the injured person dies as the result of another person’s actions, their family and estate are allowed to hold the negligent person accountable. In other words, whether the wronged person is injured or killed, the negligent person is liable for the damages they caused.
A wrongful death claim can be filed by the surviving spouse or domestic partner, or by surviving children.
If there is no spouse, domestic partner, or children, anyone who would inherit from the decedent’s estate according to the law of intestate succession would be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. This would include surviving parents or siblings.
In addition, anyone who can prove they were financially dependent upon the decedent may assert a claim. For example, someone generally considered to be a spouse or the children of that relationship, or the stepchildren of the decedent.
In California, there is a two-year statute of limitations from the date of death in which to file a wrongful death claim, so filing a claim promptly is important.
There are two types of recoverable damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. The first type includes damages to the decedent’s estate, such as medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and the income the decedent would likely have earned over the course of their lifetime.
The second includes damages suffered by those left behind, such as the value of services the decedent would have contributed to the household, loss of financial support, as well as the loss of love, companionship, affection, moral support, and guidance.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of someone else, you can hold that person liable for your losses and damages. You do not need to pursue a wrongful death claim on your own. You need an experienced wrongful death attorney who has proven they can challenge those responsible for your loved one’s death and stand up to their insurers.
At Benner Law Firm, we are proud to help clients in San Diego, Chula Vista, Escondido, El Cajon, Oceanside, and throughout the state of California recover damages after losing a loved one due to the negligence of someone else. We can’t bring your loved one back, but we can help you seek some compensation. Call to schedule a free consultation.