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As wrongful death attorneys, we often see many different types of claims that have tragically ended with a fatality in Orange County. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that there were 130,557 unintentional injury deaths as a result of unintentional poisonings, car accidents, and falls in 2013. California alone saw 2,715 fatal traffic accidents, including pedestrian accidents and big rig crashes, and there were a total of 396 fatal work injuries in California that same year.
In many cases like these, the accidents occurred because of the negligence of another. Similar to other personal injury claims, in a wrongful death case, determining who is at fault is a key component of finding the responsible party. However, these types of claims have a few differences in terms of who can file the case and what kind of damages can be claimed.
If you suspect that one of your loved ones passed due to someone else’s negligent actions, contact the law firm of DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo for a free consultation to discuss your legal options. Our experienced Orange County wrongful death lawyers will help fight for the compensation that you deserve. Our team operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we win. Get the legal advice you need today.
Under California wrongful death law, the survivors of a wrongful death victim are entitled to monetary damages as the result of the improper conduct, negligence, recklessness, criminal conduct, or inaction of another.
In California, the relatives who can file wrongful death claims include:
As you can see, not just anyone can pursue a wrongful death action. There has to be a significant relationship between the deceased and the claimant.
Family members and the estate of a deceased individual may be able to recover various types of compensation in the event their wrongful death claim is successful in court. This type of compensation is meant to provide closure and financial assistance for the hardships that a family suddenly has to endure and can include a range of economic and non-economic damages, including the following:
Economic damages. Economic damages refer to the more calculable expenses that plaintiffs should be able to receive in these wrongful death claims. This includes expenses that can be easily added up using bills or receipts that come in or by working with financial experts to calculate future expected losses. Some of the main economic damages associated with the California wrongful death claim include:
Non-economic damages. Non-economic damages refer to the more immeasurable losses that plaintiffs are likely to incur as a result of losing their loved one. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
In order for a wrongful death claim to be successful in Orange County, there are various elements that must be in place. These elements, which we will describe below, all have to be proven in court, and doing so typically takes an extensive investigation into the incident.
Although it’s difficult to put a number on the value of a person and their relationship to those around them, that’s part of what your Orange County wrongful death attorney’s job is. He or she will help calculate your wrongful death damages based on financial and personal losses and will strive to acquire the most compensation possible for you. Although no lawsuit or amount of money can ever bring a loved one back, a wrongful death lawsuit can make a negligent party accountable for their actions as well as compensate the remaining family members moving forward.
When another party’s negligence causes a catastrophic accident that leads to your loved one’s death, he or she can be held responsible. Common circumstances that our OC personal injury attorneys see are:
Most states put a time limit on the amount of time you have before filing a wrongful death claim. This is called the statute of limitations, and under California law, it’s two years from the date of death. You must file a wrongful death case in civil court within this time frame, or you may lose your right to the claim completely. Therefore, it’s important to contact a wrongful death lawyer as soon as you are ready to pursue charges.
Obtaining a death certificate after the loss of a loved one is important for a number of legal reasons aside from a potential lawsuit including claiming life insurance and settling estates. When a death happens in Orange County, copies of the certificate are usually available via the Clerk-Recorder Department 30 days after the date of death. Please follow this link to learn more about obtaining a death certificate.
Wrongful death suits and legal implications aside, the mental health of the surviving family members is one of the most important factors of a wrongful death case that often goes overlooked. Losing a loved one can be debilitating and finding someone to speak to and help deal with grief can be a vital part of the healing process. There are many support groups and specialists in Orange County and throughout California who specialize in helping grieving families overcome loss during this difficult time:
At DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo, we have fought on behalf of our clients since 1979. We approach wrongful death cases with the compassion and tact you deserve, and we understand just how heartbreaking and emotionally exhausting losing a loved one can be.
You have the right to effective representation and legal action if you lost a loved one due to negligent or intentional acts. Contact an experienced wrongful death attorney in Orange County today at (714) 783-2205 for a free consultation and see how we can help you and your family through this tragedy.