If another person is responsible for the death of another, whether accidentally or intentionally, the surviving members of the deceased loved one’s family should speak to a wrongful death attorney Glendale. An attorney will advise you of the remedies available to you through a wrongful death claim so that you can be financially compensated for the untimely passing of your beloved family member.
Wrongful Death Claims in California
Accidents happen every day here in Los Angeles County, but sometimes a bad decision made by another or a poorly designed or manufactured product can take the life of a person. According to the National Safety Council, there are 12 accidental deaths in our country every single hour, and the CDC found that there were a total of 135,928 accidental deaths in 2014.
In California, our legal system has a specific area of law called “Wrongful Death Law”. This area of the law is designed to help assist families who have lost a loved one because of the negligence of another person.
Wrongful death claims are handled in our civil court system, although it is possible for a negligent party to be brought before both the civil and criminal court for causing the death of your family member. In order to win a civil lawsuit, surviving family members must prove why the defendant is responsible for the death of their loved one in front of a jury.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim
Not everyone can file a wrongful death claim. If you are interested in filing a wrongful death claim, you must be:
- The husband or the wife of the deceased
- The offspring of the deceased
- A dependent stepchild
- A minor who has been in the same household of the deceased for half a year or longer
- The deceased party’s parents (if they are dependent)
In the event that no one fits into these categories, the right to file a claim then moves to the surviving parents of the deceased individual, regardless of whether or not they were dependents. Brothers and sisters are the next eligible party, then grandparents, and then the children of a spouse who has passed away. If no one falls into any one of the above requirements, the next of kin may file a wrongful death claim.
The Potential Damages Awarded in a Wrongful Death Claim
When you meet with a wrongful death attorney, he or she will start exploring the potential economic and non-economic damages which may be available to you based on your specific situation.
When a loved one dies in an accident, surviving members are often faced with substantial financial losses because they are losing out on the income the deceased contributed towards the household. You may be eligible for the income the deceased would have contributed throughout his or her lifespan, or the lifespan of the person bringing the claim (whichever is shortest), you may be awarded for the loss of any gifts or benefits the deceased would have contributed, and you could be awarded for funeral home and burial costs.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify, but a skilled wrongful death attorney Glendale from Binder & Associates will be able to demonstrate to the jury the monetary losses you will endure because of the death of a loved one.
One type of non-economic loss is the loss of care the deceased provided. This can include assistance, advice, protection, training, and love that a family member would have otherwise received. For the spouse, this can also include the loss of closeness and sexual relations. Your attorney may also be able to demonstrate that you suffered emotional distress, particularly if you witnessed the accident or the death of your loved one.
How to Choose an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney Glendale
A wrongful death claim can be a high-value case. Because this area of the law is so complicated and involves many complex areas of the law, it is critical that you choose an experienced wrongful death attorney to handle your case.
Experience in Preparing Wrongful Death Cases
Maximize your chances of having a successful wrongful death claim by selecting a firm which focuses on wrongful death claims specifically and which has years of practice in this area of the law. The law firm you choose should also have experience handling cases very similar to your own.
Experience in Calculating Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Your wrongful death attorney should have the experience and resources available to assess the health, occupation, life expectancy and other factors (such as activities and hobbies) as part of the damages you should be compensated for. He or she must be able to properly calculate the amount of money a family is owed to compensate for their loss by examining the work history, salary, employment and future loss income.
Prioritize Your Case
Not only should you feel at ease with your attorney, but you should feel as if he or she is making your case a top priority. Your wrongful death attorney should actively listen to you, be thoughtful and thorough in his or her responses, and be patient when addressing your questions.
What to Expect from Binder & Associates, PLC
Binder & Associates is a Los Angeles County-based wrongful death law firm which specializes in wrongful death claims. Our team of accomplished Pasadena personal injury attorneys have helped a number of families in Southern California through their tragic losses by providing compassionate care and by delivering exceptional results.