Whenever one party’s actions result in harm to another party in Santa Monica, CA, it can form the foundation of a personal injury claim, a type of civil suit that seeks compensation for damages. However, if the victim dies from the actions of the at-fault party, this can lead to a wrongful death claim. If you have lost a loved one due to the actions of another party, a Santa Monica wrongful death lawyer can help ensure accountability and compensation for your loss.
Losing a loved one is never easy, and knowing that their death occurred because of the negligence or illegal actions of another party can make this situation even more difficult to bear. While a personal injury claim can potentially help a victim recover, a wrongful death claim seeks compensation for the surviving family’s loss and the damage done to the deceased’s estate.
The attorneys at Heimanson & Wolf, LLP, have years of experience resolving all types of personal injury cases in Santa Monica, including wrongful death claims. We know the emotional strain that the unexpected death of a family member can cause and the various financial problems such a death can impose on the victim’s family.
Money cannot replace your lost loved one, but a successful wrongful death suit can provide a sense of closure and secure a case award that helps your family adjust to new circumstances a bit easier. When you choose Heimanson & Wolf, LLP, to represent your wrongful death claim in Santa Monica, we will do everything in our power to ensure maximum compensation under California’s wrongful death statutes in a timely manner.
Before you and your family can recover compensation for a wrongful death in Santa Monica, you must have evidence to show the exact cause of the death and must identify the party responsible for causing the death. Wrongful deaths may occur from all types of acts of negligence, such as motor vehicle accidents, premises liability-related incidents, work-related injuries, and more. Deaths may also result from intentional and illegal misconduct.
Your Santa Monica wrongful death attorney can help gather the evidence needed to establish liability for the wrongful death. This may entail physical evidence from the scene of a fatal accident, various forms of digital records, eyewitness testimony, and even input from various expert witnesses who can provide their professional insights into the most complex details of the case.
To succeed with your wrongful death suit in Santa Monica, you must identify the party or parties responsible for causing your loved one’s death and prove how they caused it. Once you accomplish this, you can move on to claiming compensation for the losses resulting from the death, which may include damages to the deceased’s estate as well as the losses suffered by you and the other surviving family members of the deceased.
It’s possible for a wrongful death claim to yield various forms of compensation. State law limits eligibility to file a wrongful death claim to the victim’s closest surviving family members. Usually, the surviving spouse is first with the right to file a wrongful death claim, followed by surviving children and parents. Other family members would be next in line, such as siblings and other beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate.
Your Santa Monica wrongful death attorney can help you identify any losses incurred by the deceased’s estate that you can claim in your wrongful death action. These may include medical expenses for the victim’s final medical care between the fatal incident and their death, lost income during this time, and lost valuation of assets.
The surviving family also has the right to claim compensation for their own damages, which may include:
The individual acting as the plaintiff in a wrongful death suit is required to seek compensation for the beneficiaries of the defendant according to their estate plan. Your Santa Monica wrongful death attorney can provide valuable guidance when it comes to navigating the court proceedings your wrongful death suit may entail.
You have a limited time in which to file a wrongful death claim under California law. There is a two-year statute of limitations that begins on the date of the death, but this may not be as much time as you may think at first. It will take time to gather the documentation and supporting materials you need to successfully file your claim, and the sooner you reach out to a Santa Monica wrongful death attorney, the easier it will be to meet this deadline.
Your legal team can assist you in gathering all the evidence needed to establish liability for the death and to prove the full extent of the damages you are legally entitled to claim. Once you have built your case, it is possible that you can settle it outside of court to reduce the time it takes for your family to receive compensation, but if settlement is not possible, the case will need to go to trial.
Heimanson & Wolf, LLP, will provide compassionate legal representation through all stages of your case. We have years of experience helping clients in Santa Monica and surrounding communities with all types of civil claims for damages, including wrongful death claims. You can trust our firm to handle your case respectfully and diligently and to do everything we can to resolve the case as swiftly as possible.
A: The total potential value of your wrongful death claim depends on many variables. The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to hold a defendant accountable for the damages they inflicted on the deceased’s estate and the surviving family of the deceased. Your Santa Monica wrongful death attorney can help determine the range of damages you can seek with your wrongful death suit.
A: A wrongful death claim is technically a form of personal injury claim, and the process of proving fault for wrongful death is very close to what you would expect in any personal injury claim. You must identify the party or parties you believe to be responsible for causing the death, prove how they caused the death, and then prove the full extent of resulting damages.
A: The defendant responsible for your loved one’s death will face liability for the damages cited in your wrongful death suit. However, whether they face criminal charges will depend on how they caused the death. If they broke the law in causing the fatal injury, they could face charges for criminal negligence or other illegal actions. Your attorney can advise you how the illegal nature of their behavior could influence your case award.
A: California upholds the pure comparative fault rule, which comes into play in any civil case in which more than one party shares fault for the damages. If your deceased loved one is found to have partially caused the fatal accident, they will have a fault percentage assigned. This percentage will be taken from the final case award as a penalty. For example, if they were found 10% at fault, it would mean losing 10% of the wrongful death claim award.
A: The majority of personal injury attorneys accept clients on a contingency fee basis. This means the client is not required to pay any upfront legal fees and will instead owe their attorney a percentage of the total amount claimed from the defendant. There is no fee if the attorney is unable to secure compensation for their client, so there is no financial risk to the client in securing legal counsel under this type of billing agreement.
The attorneys at Heimanson & Wolf, LLP, have years of professional experience representing clients in the Santa Monica area with all types of complex civil cases, including wrongful death suits. We know the emotional toll these cases can take and want to help your family approach your case with peace of mind. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with an experienced Santa Monica wrongful death attorney.