California Wrongful Death Attorneys
Few accident claims are as stressful or catastrophic as a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death is any death caused by the careless conduct of another person, corporate entity or government agency. It can arise from any kind of personal injury case including medical malpractice, auto accidents, construction accidents, airplane disasters and others.
Each state has its own rules and procedures regarding how wrongful death actions are brought including who is eligible to bring the claim, who may recover compensation, if there are limits on damages and what types of damages may be awarded. For these reasons alone, a California wrongful death attorney is essential if you want to protect your rights to possible compensation.
The death of a loved one produces a wide range of emotions including anger, resentment, extreme grief, remorse, and often a desire for revenge on the responsible party. Attorneys from The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian are keenly aware and experienced in dealing with families who are trying to cope with such tragedies. We realize how essential it is to provide our clients assistance with all the legal issues involved in a wrongful death claim and how important it is that wrongful death actions be tenaciously prosecuted so that full financial recovery can be obtained.
Our firm retains expert economists and financial analysts because each wrongful death case has its own unique set of associated losses including lost wages, benefits, and the value of the loss of the love, care and companionship once provided by the decedent. Our experts assess these costs and lost future benefits and present them in present dollar value to derive the best possible resolution for our clients.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
The compensation awarded to those people who sue for wrongful death is intended to compensate them for the financial losses associated with the death of a spouse, child, sibling or parent. The types of damages available include the following:
- Income the decedent would have earned during his or her working life
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of love and companionship
- Medical expenses, if applicable
- Pain and suffering, if applicable
- Punitive or exemplary damages, if applicable
Medical expenses and pain and suffering may only be awarded if the decedent survived for a time before succumbing. Medical malpractice cases associated with wrongful death typically limit non-economic losses. Punitive damages are awarded only if the responsible party’s conduct was especially egregious or malicious and if the jurisdiction where the action is brought allows these types of damages.
Because the type of damages and the amount of compensation a person is entitled to in a wrongful death suit as well as who can recover compensation depends on the state and court jurisdiction where the death occurred and where the suit is filed, it is crucial that you consult with experienced legal counsel to learn more about your legal rights. The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian can help answer your questions about your potential wrongful death case.
Burden of Proof in Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death case is a civil matter, meaning that the burden of proof is that of preponderance of the evidence; or, for example, that it is more likely than not that a defendant was liable. Criminal cases require proof beyond a reasonable doubt, a much higher standard to meet.
Civil cases, unlike criminal matters, involve the award of monetary damages and not the loss of liberty. In most injury cases, the defendant is covered for monetary damages by his or her automobile, homeowners, general public liability or malpractice insurance.
Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death can occur in a variety of ways. Some of these causes include the following:
- Automobile accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle collisions
- Trucking accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Exposure to harmful chemicals
- Defective products
- Tainted drugs
- Negligent medical care
These are just some of the more common accidents that can result in a wrongful death action. If a loved one has been killed because of the careless or negligent actions of another party, you may be entitled to compensation.
Call The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We have the necessary experience and the resources to properly handle a wrongful death case.