Personal Injury Law
It is hard to deal with the untimely loss of a loved one. This is especially true if their death was the result of the actions of another entity or person. The law offers the loved ones and family of a victim the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit for seeking compensatory damages.
These are a few common types of accidents resulting in wrongful death:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Bicycle, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents
- Premise liability accident
- Workplace accident
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding locations.
Determining Liability in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the entity, person, or persons whose actions resulted in the accident, which subsequently led to the death of the victim(s) is considered to be at-fault or responsible for the death. For instance, a drunk driver causing an accident and killing a pedestrian can be held responsible for the accident.
In many cases, multiple parties may also be held liable for the death. For instance, a drunk driver may lose control of their vehicle because of a mechanical defect or a deep pothole and hit another vehicle. Three parties can be held responsible for the accident and subsequent damages in the aforementioned scenario:
- Company that manufactured the auto part
- Government entity responsible for fixing the pothole (only if they knew of the pothole and failed to fix it)
- Drunk driver
Possible Actions Against the Party Responsible for the Wrongful Death
Dependents and family members of the victim can bring forward a wrongful death lawsuit, which is a form of civil suit. This will be against the entity or person(s) responsible for the fatal accident.
Eligibility for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the following under the state law:
- Spouse of the victim
- Children of the decedent (including adopted children, biological children, and all other minor children that were dependent on the decedent for financial support)
- Siblings of the victim
- Parents of the victim
- Children of the siblings, in case siblings are deceased
- Grandparents of the victim
- Lineal descendants
Type of Damages Sought in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
The following types of damages can be sought by plaintiffs:
- Burial expenses
- Expenses associated in treating the victim because of the accident before their eventual death
- Lost wages from the date the decedent passed away to their expected retirement age
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of companionship, love, support, parental guidance, and consortium
- Loss of home related services provided by the decedent, including cleaning, cooking, housekeeping, childcare and shopping
Several factors determine the amount of compensatory damages that can be recovered by the family of the victim. This includes the victim’s:
- Life expectancy
- Age at the time of death
- Health condition
- Earning capacity
- Earning at the time of death
Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.
Have any legal questions? Contact the Attorneys at SBEMP Law Firm:
For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here.
SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; New Jersey, NJ; and New York, NY.
DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.