To lose a loved one is the saddest time possible for a family. In addition to the pain, grief, and emotional loss, family members must deal with the reality of moving into the future without their loved ones. Our job at the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter is to not only comfort the family but to present their case. We represent families and have successfully brought claims against wrongdoers, major corporations, hospitals, doctors, employers, trucking companies, and other wrongdoers. Your loss may be the result of a negligent act such as an auto accident or medical malpractice. It could be the result of a reckless act suck as drunk driving. Or it might even be the result of an intentional act such as an assault or even murder. Either way, we understand that this is a very emotional time; we will handle your case with compassion and sensitivity.
This is an emotional time; our wrongful death attorneys will handle your case with compassion and sensitivity.
Protect your rights. Call the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
ESTABLISHING THE HEIRS IN A WRONGFUL DEATH CASE
The heirs of the deceased are the plaintiffs in any wrongful death case. In the case of the death of a child, the parents are the heirs. If the deceased is married, the spouse and any children are the surviving heirs. For an unmarried individual, the heirs would be any children, then parents, followed by any siblings. If the deceased person’s stepchildren or putative spouse can show they were financially dependent on the deceased individual, they may also be able to file a wrongful death suit in the state of California.
Sometimes, the establishment of heirs can be complicated but must be done before the case can be filed because all heirs must be named as plaintiffs in any wrongful death case. If you have questions about establishing heirs, contact a lawyer today.
WHAT IS A WRONGFUL DEATH CASE?
Wrongful death lawsuits are filed with the claim that the victim was killed as a result of negligence or other wrong action on the part of the person or entity being sued. As a result, the victim’s survivors are due to monetary compensation. Civil cases are brought in the name of individuals, not in the name of the State. There are no criminal charges associated with a wrongful death case. Remember, this is done in a civil court, not a criminal court. The purpose of this case is not to determine whether the defendant is innocent or guilty, but rather what damages are owed to the victim if any. A family is legally allowed to bring a wrongful death claim to court even if the defendant is already involved in a criminal case. For example, if a drunk driver kills your loved one and is arrested for DUI, you can pursue a wrongful death claim while they are on trial for DUI charges. The two are completely independent of each other.
DETERMINING THE AT FAULT PARTIES IN A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM
Wrongful death suits can be filed against individuals, hospitals, employers, corporations, and many other entities. The wrongful death may be caused by:
- A negligent or careless act such as drunk driving that resulted in a car accident or medical malpractice
- A reckless act
- An intentional act such as a deliberate murder
Almost every state has enacted a statute permitting a lawsuit to be brought by the relatives of a person who died as a result of a wrongful act, although states may differ on which relatives are allowed to file the claim.
WRONGFUL DEATH CASES INVOLVING MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Wrongful death is a type of medical malpractice where the patient died as a result of negligence. However, this can be a challenge to prove. There must be a proven causal connection between the negligence and the cause of death. In many cases—particularly concerning the elderly or those with complex medical problems—an autopsy is often not performed. And sometimes, even an autopsy may not provide sufficient information to connect evidence of negligence with the cause of death. The Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter regularly work with specialists when their expertise is needed when presenting your case. Contact a wrongful death lawyer in our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.
HOW MUCH COMPENSATION CAN YOU RECOVER IN A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT INVOLVING MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?
California state law limits the recovery of non-economic damages to $250,000 in all medical malpractice lawsuits including wrongful death. Non-economic damages can include those for pain and suffering or loss of consortium since these are hard to quantify and are not actual expenses incurred because of the wrongful death. When it comes to economic losses, however, there are no limits to how much you can receive in a civil case. Economic losses can include funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses and hospital bills related to the deceased person’s illness and death, and any other expenses related to the deceased individual’s wrongful death. The law will also take into account the economic value that the deceased provided his or her spouse and heirs, such as loss of income, even if the deceased was not working at the time of death. This is especially true in cases where a minor child who was financially dependent on the deceased is involved. This is important because the value of “home services” is often not recognized.
The state of California places a statute of limitations on wrongful death cases, which is why it is so important to move quickly and call an attorney as soon as possible. You must file a wrongful death claim within two years of the person’s death, otherwise, you will not be legally allowed to pursue compensation. For help filing a claim, contact San Diego wrongful death attorney Elliott N. Kanter as soon as possible for a free legal consultation.
SEEK LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT
The time after the death of a loved one, especially if you had a close relationship with the deceased family member, can be very difficult and painful. You have suffered enough, and during this challenging time, you need support. No amount of money in the world can bring them back, but the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter can help ensure you receive sufficient resources to make sure you and your loved ones are provided for. You may be able to recover damages for funeral expenses, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and lost wages. Our law firm is experienced in a number of different practice areas. Our personal injury lawyers have over 30 years of experience representing the best interest of our clients in cases involving injuries sustained in car accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, elder abuse, dog bites, defective products, slip and fall accidents, and pedestrian accidents. To speak to one of our experienced wrongful death lawyers about your case and get the legal advice you need to move forward, call our law firm, or fill out the form on this website. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with a member of our team.