Families mourning the death of a loved one often have legal options available to them that they may not know about. In many cases involving product liability, negligence, or intentional violence, a civil wrongful death suit may be an option for families who have lost a loved one. A wrongful death lawsuit can help families recover damages and come to terms with the seemingly senseless death of a loved one.
Wrongful death lawsuits allege that the defendant’s conduct either caused or contributed to the death of another individual. Wrongful death can occur through negligence (a car accident), professional negligence (medical malpractice), a defective or poorly designed product, or an intentional act. Under any of these circumstances, the law is clear that the wrongdoer is held responsible to the family of the victims.
The amount of damages that a family can collect in a wrongful death lawsuit varies depending upon the type of case. In California, most circumstances allow the families to recover for the loss of comfort and companionship of their loved one, as well as for the financial losses inflicted upon the family. This is particularly important when a spouse or parent leaves the rest of their family without an income. In some cases, however, some areas of recovery are limited by law. In medical malpractice cases, the families may recover no more than $250,000 for their emotional loss. Fortunately, the law does not limit the recovery of lost income from the death of a loved one.
Wrongful death lawsuits can culminate in time-consuming and complex jury trials, but they can also often be settled with the help of a personal injury attorney. It is difficult to predict the amount of time or the costs associated with a wrongful death lawsuit, since each wrongful death case is unique. The issues might be extremely straightforward or obscure and require significant investigation.
You only get one chance to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. You don’t want to take your case to just any law firm. At Hinman and Peck, we pride ourselves on standing ready to take our cases to trial if necessary – something that a shocking number of other attorneys simply wont do. In fact, we’re often called upon by other firms to handle their trials. We’ll handle your case from beginning to end because we believe continuity is important.