A sudden death of a loved one can be a devastating and trying time for the whole family. In addition to the pain, grief, and emotional loss, the family members must deal with moving into the future without their loved one.
The grieving process intensifies, especially when the death of your loved one was a result of another person’s negligence, malpractice, and / or carelessness. Nothing you do can bring your loved one back into this world, but holding the responsible person or party accountable for their actions can provide some measure of solace.
Whether you have lost a spouse, parent, child, or even a domestic partner, we at the Peck Law Group can help you and your family gets through this most difficult time in your life. Our experienced team of lawyers help the residents of Los Angeles as well as Sacramento, San Bernardino, Alameda, and the Antelope Valley in filing wrongful death lawsuits to receive financial compensation from the responsible party to which you and your family are entitled.
What is a wrongful death and how do I know if I need a wrongful death attorney?
A wrongful death is when a person is killed due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person or party. Wrongful deaths can result from various events or accidents. The most common causes of wrongful deaths are:
Wrongful Death Auto Accidents
California has been ranked the most unsafe state for motorists, with “State Route 138” being among the most dangerous roads in the world. According to 2009 statistics, 3071 fatalities occurred as a result of 2816 accidents in the United States alone. There are various things that can cause car collisions – a driver can be distracted by his cell phone, radio, or passenger, the driver can be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or the driver may lose control of his vehicle due to hazardous road and / or weather conditions. Drivers of United States have an obligation to adhere to traffic laws, and failure to do so may result in severe consequences.
Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death
If a person dies as a result of negligence by any member of the medical team, the family member of the deceased can file a wrongful death case against the doctor, nurse or even the hospital. Our attorneys specialize in handling medical malpractice cases that include:
- Birth injuries
- Failure to diagnose a condition such as breast, colon, and prostate cancer, strokes, and heart attacks.
- Negligence in the emergency room resulting in the death of the person.
- Errors during surgeries
- Nursing mistakes
- Medicine overdose
- Pathology and radiology errors
- Nursing home negligence
- Defective medical products such as replacement knees, hips, etc.
Wrongful Death Product Liability
Product manufacturers must ensure that their products are safe from any defects that can cause injury and/or death. Customers may be exposed to an injury or death if a company fails to perform their duty and adhere to safety standards. If a person dies from an item that was improperly packed, designed or manufactured, the family members of the deceased can seek compensation for the death. A wrongful death due to a defect in any of the following products qualifies for a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Defective parts in vehicles including tires, brakes and other components
- Sporting gear
- Medical devices
- Machinery used for industrial and commercial purpose
- Children’s products including high chairs, cribs, walkers, clothing, toys, formulas, etc.
- Consumer products such as electrical appliances, kitchen appliances, and other tools
Wrongful Death Workplace Accidents
Many workers die as a result of workplace accidents each year. A workplace accident that results in the death of an employee can be caused by the negligence or intentional wrongdoing of someone else (either employer or colleague), or by utilizing faulty and defective equipment at workplace. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the top cause of workplace accidents occur due to falls, electrocutions, being hit by an object or getting caught between or in an object or space. The occupations that have a high risk of workplace accidents that lead to death are:
- The construction industry
- Metal workers
- Truck drivers
Who is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
To file for a wrongful death lawsuit, you must:
- Be an immediate family member of the deceased such as spouse, parent, or child. Many states also allow grandparents and extended family members to file a lawsuit.
- Have a death certificate of your loved one’s death signed by the coroner.
- Prove that you have suffered emotional and financial damages due to the death of your family member.
Wrongful Death Compensation:
The wrongful death damages one can receive include:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of services
- Loss of future income
- Loss of consortium
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Physical disability
- Property damage
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Some common questions that come in a person’s mind before filing a lawsuit include:
Q: What if my family member died but he was also partially at fault?
- If the deceased person was partially at fault but not more than the other party, the compensation will be limited by the percentage of the descendant’s fault. For example, if you are entitled to receive $100,000 in compensation and the deceased person is found to be 50% at fault, then the recovery will be limited to $50,000.
Q: What if the deceased person lived for a long time after the injury and then died? Am I still eligible to file a lawsuit?
- Yes, you are! The family member of the deceased soul can bring a survival action suit to recover the damages for the personal injury sustained before the death. The wrongful death claim cannot arise until the victim’s death and can compensate the loved one for the deceased injuries as well as for the loss of companionship, past and future grief, loss of support, financial burden, etc.
Q: What if there are multiple heirs of the descendant?
- After the damages are awarded, the judge will decide how to divide the amount to be received by each family member. The determination is based upon the closeness of the family members with the deceased person. The heirs can also agree as to how the damages will be split.
Q: Is there any statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit?
- Different states apply different time limits for bringing a wrongful death claim. The state of California requires the wrongful death claim to be filed within one year against a Health Care Provider (CC0 340.5), two years against a Non- Health Care Provider (CCP(335.1), of the date of the decedent’s death. If the case is not filed within the given time frame, the family may lose the right to file.
Take Legal Action!
When an unexpected death occurs in the family, taking legal help is the last thing on anyone’s mind. Most members of the family also don’t want the stress of dealing with the faulty party’s insurance company or any other entity. But remember there is a certain time limit for the wrongful death cases to be filed. This is why it is important for you to consult with a qualified Peck Law Group wrongful death attorney who can guide you through the process and help you receive the monetary damages that you are eligible for.
How Can The Peck Law Group Wrongful Death Attorneys Help?
We are a group of reputable, experienced and qualified lawyers who are committed to help you and your family in these difficult times. We have over 40 years of experience representing the family members of the deceased and taking legal action against those responsible for the wrongful deaths of your loved ones.
We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients by bringing claims against negligent drivers, insurance companies, corporations, government entities, doctors, nurses, employers, and other wrongdoers. If your family has suffered the loss of a loved one as a result of another person’s wrongdoing, contact us today. You can count on us to take some of burden off your shoulders so that you can focus on the grieving process.
For more information contact us today toll free at (866) 999-9085 or visit our office at one of the addresses below for a free consultation. You can also fill out the form for a no-cost, no-obligation case review.
We at The Peck Law Group handle wrongful death cases throughout Los Angeles and surrounding areas including Sacramento, San Bernardino, Alameda, and the Antelope Valley. We will help you pursue justice for the death of your loved one!
Van Nuys / Los Angeles Office: 6454 Van Nuys Boulevard Suite 150, Los Angeles, CA 91401
Pleasant Hill / Oakland office: 3478 Buskirk Avenue, Suite 1000, Pleasant Hill, California 94523
Ontario Office: 3281 Guasti Road, Ontario,CA 91761
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.