Have you lost someone that you love as a result of another’s negligence or hurtful actions? If you have, then you may be considering a wrongful death lawsuit. Here is what you can expect from the process of a wrongful death case in the state of California and how a wrongful death law firm can help.
Step 1: Determine If You Are Eligible To Sue
You cannot assume that just because you were affected by a person’s wrongful death that you are eligible to file a lawsuit. Only certain people in a wrongful death situation can file the civil lawsuit. You might be able to file the suit if you are one of the following in relation to the decedent:
- Surviving domestic partner or spouse
- Surviving child or stepchild
- Parent or sibling
- Personal representative of the estate
A good attorney can help you determine if you can file the claim or could receive compensation in the claim.
Step 2: Gathering Evidence and Determining Liability
An attorney can help gather the necessary evidence to prove your claim. This may include collecting medical records, interviewing witnesses, and hiring expert consultants. The attorney will help establish which party is guilty and proceed with litigation to hold them accountable for their negligence or actions.
Step 3: Representation Through The Litigation Process
From filing your lawsuit to negotiating a settlement, your attorney will help you through each step of the legal process. This process can be stressful and time-consuming. It involves different rules and procedures that must be followed. A skilled wrongful death attorney will simplify this process for you and take the burden off of your shoulders.
Here are some of the aspects you can expect in the litigation process:
- Filing the lawsuit;
- Presenting the evidence and challenging the liable party’s defense;
- Negotiation for a settlement;
- Representation at trial.
Damages That Can Be Awarded In A Wrongful Death Claim
A successful lawsuit will result in the survivors collecting compensatory damages for their loss. The compensation is intended to reimburse the victims for their economic damages as well as their non-economic damages. Here are the differences in the two types of damages that can be awarded to the plaintiff:
Economic damages: These damages are more easily measured than non-economic losses. An economic loss can include expenses such as medical or hospital bills, funeral and burial costs, loss of future income, loss of future inheritance, and so forth. These are simply examplesof economic damages, but certainly not the only ones that could be incurred in a wrongful death suit.
Non-economic damages: A non-economic loss can be trickier to calculate than an economic loss. The sum of the medical bills from the wrongful death incident can be easily added, but measuring the financial worth of the loss of companionship or guidance is not as simple. This is why you need a good wrongful death attorney that will ensure you are being fairly compensated for your non-economic losses.
Hire A Skilled Attorney To Help
As you can see, the wrongful death case process can be complex. Enlist the assistance of a seasoned California lawyer for the best outcome in your case.