A sudden death in the family is a shocking event that many people never fully recover from, particularly when the death was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness. You may find it helpful to stay busy in the aftermath of the funeral. One of the tasks on your to-do list might be to visit an accident attorney in Riverside to determine whether you can file a wrongful death lawsuit . A legal claim won’t fix your heartache, but it can help you find closure and recover financially from your loved one’s passing.
You are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Your accident injury lawyer will ask you about your relationship with the decedent to determine if you’re eligible to bring a legal claim. California laws state that a wrongful death claim may be filed by the decedent’s:
- Surviving spouse
- Domestic partner
- Grandchildren if the children of the deceased are also deceased
- Dependent minors
You suffered economic and non-economic losses.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a means of seeking justice on behalf of the deceased family member. You might also decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit because your family has sustained financial losses from the death. If your claim is successful, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your loved one’s medical bills and related expenses, if the death did not occur immediately after the incident. You can request compensation for funeral and burial or cremation costs. You might also be entitled to seek damages for your loved one’s anticipated future earnings, and for your loss of financial support and companionship.
Your accident attorney can prove certain elements.
The lawyer reviewing your case will discuss its merits with you. The law requires wrongful death plaintiffs or their legal counsel to prove that certain elements exist. They are the following facts:
- The individual died.
- The death was directly caused by someone else’s intentional act to inflict harm, or by an act of negligence.
- The death caused financial injury to the surviving family.
- The decedent’s estate is represented by an appointed personal representative.
You are mentally prepared for the discovery and trial processes.
Assuming your lawyer does determine that your case has merit, you’ll need to decide whether you do want to move forward with an accident lawsuit. Many cases are settled out of court, but you need to be prepared for the possibility that your case will go to trial and you may give testimony. Your lawyer can help you understand what to expect and how to prepare.