Costa Mesa Wrongful Death Lawyers
Seeking Justice For Your Deceased Loved One
A wrongful death claim arises when a person dies as a result of the wrongful act or negligence of another person or entity. It is a civil lawsuit, brought by the survivors of the deceased person, or by the personal representative of the estate. A wrongful death claim can only be filed if the deceased person would have had a personal injury claim against the responsible party had they survived.
We at Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie know how difficult it is to lose someone you love. Receiving compensation and filing a claim are properly the last things on your mind. But a death in the family doesn’t just hurt you emotionally, it can also hurt financially. A wrongful death can turn an entire family’s life upside down and leave them with debt, a restricted budget, and seemingly no place to turn for help. Contact us today to find out how we can aid you in getting you the compensation and justice you deserve.
Why File a Wrongful Death After the Loss of a Loved One?
If you have lost a loved one through someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence, no amount of money can ever compensate you for the tragic loss. A wrongful death claim is a legal means to seek justice for your loved one and hold responsible parties accountable. It allows you to pursue compensation to help secure your family’s future.
How Does Wrongful Death Occur?
Wrongful death can occur in many different accident or injury situations caused by someone’s negligence or wrongdoing. Examples include:
- A pedestrian hit and killed in a crosswalk by a distracted driver
- A passenger vehicle driver died in a collision with an overloaded tractor-trailer when the driver lost control of the truck
- A motorcyclist killed by a left-turning driver who failed to yield the right-of-way
- A bicyclist died in a rear-end collision caused by a drunk driver
- A husband and wife died in a head-on collision with a driver who fell asleep at the wheel
- A mother and father killed in a tour bus crash caused by poor vehicle maintenance
- A woman who died from a brain injury sustained in a slip and fall accident caused by a grease spill on a restaurant floor that that was not cleaned promptly
What Damages Can Be Sought In a Wrongful Death Claim?
Damages you are entitled to seek in a wrongful death claim will depend on your family’s particular circumstances. The damages pursued commonly pursued in a wrongful death claim include economic costs, such as funeral and burial expenses, medical bills related to the injury or illness of the deceased, loss of future income, and loss of future benefits such as insurance and retirement. You can also claim damages for nonhegemonic losses like the pain and suffering that accompanies the death of a loved one, the loss of love, affection or guidance that loved one provided, as well as the psychological trauma from the death of a family member.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim In California?
Certain surviving family members or the personal representative of the estate of the deceased have the right to bring a wrongful death claim in California. Survivors entitled to file for wrongful death include:
- Domestic partner
- Children of any deceased children
- Stepchildren or other minor children who were dependent on the deceased for at least 50% of their financial support
- Any person who would be entitled to the property of the deceased under California intestate (without a will) succession laws
What Must You Prove to Win a Wrongful Death Claim?
The hold responsible parties accountable for your loved one’s death, you must meet the same burden of proof your loved one would have had to meet had they lived. If, for example, your wrongful death claim is based on negligence, you must show that:
- The responsible party (defendant) owed your loved one a duty of care.
- The defendant breached that duty.
- The defendant’s breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of death.
- The death of your loved one caused the damages you are seeking to recover.
Why You Need an Attorney
Strict procedures must be followed, and legal burdens of proof must be met to prevail in a wrongful death claim in California. You must have facts to establish certain legal elements and evidence to meet the required burden of proof – a preponderance of the evidence.
Our Orange County personal injury lawyers at Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie have more than 40 years of experience. Our firm was established in 1974 and has a reputation for legal excellence. We will keep you informed of the status of your case in real time, with communication specific to your needs, not ours. If someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing caused the death of your loved one, contact us at (949) 752-7474 to schedule a free consultation with no time limits or restrictions. We can tell you if you have a wrongful death case, and what damages you may have the right to pursue in civil court.
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