Laguna Niguel Wrongful Death Lawyer

Any accident can result in serious consequences for the person involved, but when an incident borne of negligence causes fatal injuries, the impact of that reckless or careless act can change the lives of many. If you recently lost a family member to an accident that they did not cause, you may be dealing not only with an immense personal loss, but also significant financial and psychological harm as well.

Fortunately, a Laguna Niguel wrongful death lawyer might be able to help you hold the party responsible for your loved one’s death accountable for every negative effect their negligence had on your family. By working with a reliable personal injury attorney, you could have much better odds of recovering fair compensation that allows you to maintain your financial security and your own personal wellbeing.

Unique Rules for Wrongful Death Claims

While a wrongful death lawsuit is technically a sub-type of personal injury lawsuit, there are several special rules that only apply to wrongful deaths, thanks to the unique circumstances under which these claims arise. First and foremost, only certain surviving family members of the deceased have the right to file a wrongful death claim under California Code of Civil Procedure § 337.60—namely, the decedent’s spouse, domestic partner, and/or children.

If none of the aforementioned family members are available, the right to file a wrongful death claim opens up to whoever would inherit the decedent’s assets and property through intestate succession, which could include parents or even siblings. Additionally, a deceased person’s putative spouse, stepchildren, or parents may have the right to file a wrongful death claim if they can demonstrate financial dependence on the decedent at the time of their death.

Once a wrongful death claim actually begins, things proceed similarly to a typical personal injury case, in the sense that the filing plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence directly caused the death through a preponderance of the evidence. However, prospective plaintiffs must still file suit within two years of the date their loved one passed away if they want to avoid their claim being time-barred. Therefore, it is generally best to retain a Laguna Niguel accidental death lawyer sooner rather than later.

Recovering Comprehensively for All Available Damages

A wrongful death claim’s primary purpose is to seek recovery for the losses that surviving family members sustained as a direct result of the loss of a loved one. Damages that a local wrongful death attorney could seek directly on behalf of surviving family members include loss of future financial support, loss of household services, loss of consortium, and loss of emotional and moral support.

In addition, there are certain damages that technically belong to the decedent’s estate, so any compensation recovered through civil litigation would go to the estate rather than surviving family members. Damages of this variety may include medical bills for care provided prior to a deceased person’s death, expenses for funeral and burial or cremation services, and loss of future personal income and/or earning capacity.

Seek Justice with a Laguna Niguel Wrongful Death Attorney

Civil compensation could never fully replace the value of anyone’s lost life, and it is understandable to be unsure about whether pursuing a lawsuit after a loved one’s death would be worth the trouble. While money cannot make up for the loss you suffered completely, it could significantly alleviate the financial consequences stemming from that loss, allowing you to focus on your own needs and those of your family.

A compassionate Laguna Niguel wrongful death lawyer could offer guidance and support throughout every stage of the litigation process. Call to schedule a private consultation to discuss your potential options.