Lake Forest Wrongful Death Lawyer

No words can capture the magnitude of the loss you may feel when a family member dies in a tragic accident. Unfortunately, an unexpected death may be even more devastating when it is caused by someone elseā€™s negligent actions.

While no amount of money can replace your loved one, you do have legal options for financial recovery that a compassionate personal injury attorney could assist you in exploring. Specifically, a Lake Forest wrongful death lawyer could help you seek justice on the deceasedā€™s behalf by recovering compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, lost income, and more.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Case?

Under California Code of Civil Procedure Ā§377.60, various parties can bring a wrongful death cause of action, including the decedentā€™s surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, or parents in the event of the wrongful death of a child. If a decedent has no surviving family members, then those who would receive the decedentā€™s property by intestate succession may file a wrongful death suit.

In addition, other people may have a valid claim if there were financially dependent on the deceased, including:

  • The putative spouse and their children
  • The deceasedā€™s stepchildren
  • The deceasedā€™s parents
  • A minor who resided in the deceasedā€™s house for 180 days prior to the death and was depending on the decedent for 50 percent or more of their support

Types of Wrongful Death Claims

In Lake Forest, California, a plaintiff may have a cause of action for a wrongful death suit when the decedentā€™s death stems from the wrongful act or neglect of another person. As a Lake Forest wrongful death lawyer knows, a wide variety of actions by the defendant may result in the unnecessary death of the decedent. Among the most common causes of wrongful death, cases are motor vehicle accidents, medical errors, malfunctioning consumer products, falling incidents, and criminal acts.

In Lake Forest, a plaintiff can recover a range of damages in a wrongful death case, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • The decedentā€™s lost earnings
  • Loss of companionship

Proving Negligence

Just like in any other negligence action brought in Lake Forest, a plaintiff in a wrongful death case must prove that the defendant owed the decedent a duty of care, that they breached this duty by their actions or inaction, and that the defendantā€™s breach of their duty directly caused the decedentā€™s death.

Even if the decedent was partially at fault for the incident that caused their death, a plaintiff can still recover damages under Californiaā€™s comparative negligence doctrine. In these cases, the recoverable amount would be reduced by the percentage of the decedentā€™s fault.

Statute of Limitations

In Lake Forest, the time period in which a plaintiff must file a wrongful death lawsuit is two years. However, there are some exceptions to this rule under certain circumstances. For example, if a plaintiff is bringing a wrongful death action based on medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the injury or one year from when the plaintiff should have reasonably discovered the malpractice.

The loss of a loved one can be overwhelming, and a lawsuit may add to your stress. However, with a Lake Forest wrongful death lawyer by your side, you could get the advice and support you need to get justice in your case, so you can start to focus on the future. Call whenever you are ready to set up a confidential consultation.