No one wants to experience the death of someone they know or love. When you have, you might find some respite through the legal system recognizing who is at fault if that person’s death was preventable. We expect that when carelessness, negligence, or the misdeeds of another cause something as horrific as a preventable death, that the person(s) responsible will be held responsible and those who are forced to live on with that grief and suffering are adequately compensated. However, it is important to speak to a skilled attorney if you think someone you know suffered what you think might have been a wrongful death- as the laws can be quite complicated in California.
While losing someone close to you is always painful, for it to be categorized as “wrongful” in the state of California it must meet several requirements. The first is that there must be evidence that another party caused a person to die by either wrongful acts or negligence. An example might be a driver not stopping at a stop light and hitting someone, or an un-cautious person dropping something off a balcony that hits a pedestrian below. In any instance, there must be a direct correlation between the person’s actions and the victim’s death.
Second, the victim’s death must have been caused by this previously identified incident. In the examples above, the death resulted from either the car hitting the person or the object falling on the pedestrian. Examples of common incidents causing death that frequently result in wrongful death claims are: traffic accidents, boat accidents, construction site accidents, intentional violence, dog attacks, work-place related accidents, DUI’s, medical malpractice, fires, premises liability claims, and recreational sports/activities.
Third, there must be damages/losses resulting from the death. This can (and often does) include funeral expenses, loss of affection and love, loss of support (financial and/or physical), and future earnings of the deceased. It is in proving to the court that the negligence/wrongdoing of the other party was directly responsible for the victim’s death, where the biggest challenge to a successful verdict lies. It is for this reason that it is so important to talk to a qualified attorney who knows wrongful death law as soon as possible to preserve evidence and any case you might have.
For over 30 years Slatter Law Firm has been that qualified attorney. We know the steps to take, and will be there to look after you when someone you know has died, and you think there may be a legal case for wrongful death. As a boutique firm, when you call Slatter Law you can speak to real attorneys (not just their secretaries) and even a founding partner -giving you real access to real legal advice when you need it. If someone you know or loved may have been the victim of a wrongful death, please call us today for your free consultation at (310) 405-0964 or toll-free at (888) 293-0404.