Laguna Hills Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a loved one is a tragedy. There is nothing that can replace the loss of a human life. But, the California legislature recognizes that in some cases, a death that is wrongfully caused deserves some type of recourse.

Lawmakers have created a statute to assist the deceased person’s family with dealing with their loss from a financial standpoint. While no one can bring a loved one back, the law can soften the loss by at least ensuring that the victim’s family members are compensated.

This is why it is so important to contact a Laguna Hills wrongful death lawyer as quickly as possible, so they can examine your case and discuss all your legal options. A compassionate injury lawyer can help you to decide the best steps forward.

Types of Claims Permissible in California

According to California’s Wrongful Death Statute, codified in section 377.60 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, the following four elements must be proven to obtain compensation for a wrongful death claim in a California state court:

  • First, it must be a human that died. While this element may seem straightforward, this statute is clear in its intention not to compensate for the death of an animal or pet.
  • The second element has to do with the manner of dying. The reason why the person died must be related to another person’s negligence or intent to hurt. While this element clearly excludes deaths caused by natural causes, it includes intentional deaths. The person need not intend the death specifically, only the harm. For instance, a person intends to cause someone harm, so they shove another individual to the ground. The victim falls and unfortunately suffers an injury, like a concussion, and dies as a result. This type of death might be compensable under the statute because the death was caused by another’s intent to harm, regardless of the fact that the aggressor did not mean to specifically cause the death.
  • The third element requires that surviving family members suffer monetary injury as a result of the wrongful death. This likely refers to such monetary expenses as funeral costs, medical bills incurred prior to death, lost companionship, and lost income.
  • Finally, a personal representative for the victim’s estate must be appointed.

These requirements can sometimes be more confusing as a result of judges’ interpretations of the law in different ways depending on the factual scenario in the case before them. The decisions of judges create a body of case law that a lawyer can assist clients with navigating.

How a Laguna Hills Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

Understanding your legal rights when you are most vulnerable and grief-stricken is something that most people overlook because they have other things to worry about. Most people cannot be expected to grieve and fight for justice at the same time. That is where a Laguna Hills injury lawyer can assist you with learning about your rights and responsibilities when dealing with a wrongful death.

If someone close to you has passed away, contact a lawyer immediately to learn about your rights because the wrongful death statute of limitations permits most claims for wrongful death cases to be filed within two years from the date of loss.

If someone has passed beyond two years, you should seek legal counsel to discuss whether your case falls within one of the narrow exceptions to this timing rule.