San Clemente Wrongful Death Lawyer

There is little that is more difficult than losing a loved one. When that loss was due to the negligence of someone else though, it makes it even more challenging for surviving family members. These cases are known as wrongful death and in San Clemente, surviving loved ones may file a claim for compensation against the negligent party. While this compensation cannot bring a loved one back, it could help ease the financial burden of the loss.

California has very specific laws on wrongful death, including who is able to file a claim. A San Clemente wrongful death lawyer could help family members understand these laws, and give them the best chance of success. When you are ready, reach out to a compassionate personal injury attorney.

Wrongful Death Defined

California law defines wrongful death as a death that occurs as a result of another personā€™s negligence or wrongful act. Negligence is failing to act in a reasonable manner that keeps others safe. The law also states that when someoneā€™s negligence causes a wrongful death, surviving family members are able to file a claim against them for compensation.

Wrongful death cases are civil lawsuits. Sometimes, they are settled with an insurance company or the at-fault party. When the two parties cannot reach a settlement agreement, wrongful death cases are tried in court in front of a jury.

Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim

Under California law, only certain individuals are entitled to file a wrongful death claim. These individuals include:

  • The spouse or domestic partner of the deceased
  • The surviving children of the deceased
  • Anyone that has an interest in the property of the deceased, such as the deceasedā€™s surviving siblings

In certain situations, individuals other than those listed above may file a wrongful death claim. These include:

  • Individuals considered to be the deceasedā€™s spouse or children
  • Stepchildren of the deceased
  • Parents of the deceased

For these individuals to file a claim, they must show that they were financially dependent on the deceased.

Damages Available in Wrongful Death Claims

Damages in wrongful death claims work slightly differently than in other personal injury claims. This is because damages are divided into compensation owed to the estate, and compensation owed to surviving family members.

Damages awarded to the estate typically include funeral and burial expenses, as well as medical expenses and lost income incurred before death. Damages awarded to surviving family members often include the value of household services, loss of financial support, and loss of love, comfort, and guidance. A seasoned wrongful death lawyer in San Clemente could help calculate and recover damages for a claimant.

Statute of Limitations in Wrongful Death Claims

Surviving loved ones in San Clemente must understand they have only two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim. This is known as the statute of limitations. If a claim is filed after the statute expires, the courts would likely throw out the case, and family members lose their right to compensation. Therefore, it is imperative to contact a dedicated lawyer who could help one file a claim promptly.

Call a San Clemente Wrongful Death Attorney

If you have lost a loved one due to someone elseā€™s negligence, do not wait to contact a San Clemente wrongful death lawyer. Attorneys know how challenging this time is for you. While you focus on moving on, attorneys could handle all aspects of your claim, so you obtain the full amount of compensation you deserve. Call today to begin reviewing your case.