Speak to a Lawyer About Wrongful Death Settlements
Legal action is not always the first thing people consider when they lose a family member or a relative out of the blue and it may not even be a priority. That being said, it is very important that one obtains legal counsel as quickly as possible after the death of a loved one.
If the death occurs in the county of Los Angeles, it is best to get a local attorney. The Molchan Law Firm is both experienced in personal injury and as a wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles. It is important to have a good personal injury attorney in Los Angeles when dealing with a wrongful death case because of additional claims that normally happen in those cases like negligence.
It is very important to get with an attorney as soon as possible after death because of time limitations. The statute of limitations will vary from state to state and each type of lawsuit. If the time limits established in the statute are exceeded before one can file a claim, the claim is normally barred.
Up until recently, wrongful death was not recognized as a legal claim in the United States. This changed in the second half of the last century. A wrongful death claim is a type of tort because the plaintiff is seeking civil damages against a person who was negligent.
There are four key elements that must be met in a wrongful death lawsuit according to law.
- NegligenceThe plaintiff must prove that the death of their family member was caused in whole or part by the recklessness, carelessness, or negligent actions of the defendant.
- Breach of DutyThe plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased victim and breached this duty.
- CausationThe plaintiff must prove then the defendant’s negligence caused the victim’s death.
- DamagesThere must be measurable damages like hospitalization bills, medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of income and potential income and loss of consortium. These along with the pain and suffering endured prior to death by the victim are examples of measurable damages.
According to Annuity.org over 190,00 people die on a yearly basis because of wrongful death circumstances. For more information see this link. All of these wrongful death cases are civil matters and need attorneys experienced in civil cases.
Wrongful death cases involve either the negligence, recklessness, carelessness or intentional act of the defendant. If there was intentional malice or premeditation, the prosecutor’s office will bring charges of murder against the defendant. The goal of the prosecutor’s office is to make sure the community is safe and the victim or his family obtains justice.
Wrongful death claims are not just limited to deaths that can be criminally charged but can include deaths which are total accidents. An example of this can be seen in automobile accidents. If a person accidentally fails to yield to a pedestrian and kills the pedestrian, the person can be sued.
Automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of unlawful deaths in the United States. For further information on automobiles and unlawful deaths see this link.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof for a civil claim is less than the burden of proof for a criminal case. An example of this can be seen in the O.J. Simpson cases. O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder in his criminal trial but was found responsible for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in his civil trial. For more information on these cases and to see the differences between the burdens of proof see this link for the murder case and this link for the wrongful death case.
Criminal complaints do not bring financial compensation to the victim’s family. Getting compensation for the victim’s family is the responsibility of a wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles.
Many times, the unexpected death of a family member will cause a considerable financial burden on the surviving family members. Wrongful death settlements can greatly relieve the financial burden caused by the loss of a loved one. Wrongful death settlements can cover the costs of hospitalization bills, medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of income and potential income and loss of consortium.
Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys are the people in the best position to help you out in obtaining a wrongful death settlement if the death occurs in the Los Angeles area. Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys have the knowledge of the local rules of court and can negotiate the best settlement for their client.
If the defendant does not give you a fair offer for a settlement, we will fight for you in court. The compensation that the Molchan Law firm can help you get recognizes the value of your deceased family member.
The plaintiff’s in a wrongful death case are limited in most cases to limited to the next of kin. Normally, it will be the spouse but depending on the situation can mean the parents, children or grandchildren as well. The state law of where you file controls who can be the plaintiff.
A personal injury attorney in Los Angeles like those at the Molchan Law firm can help you navigate through the legal process while you are grieving. At the same time, we will make sure your personal interests are being looked after.
For further information on unlawful death cases in California, click this link.
If you have any questions for either a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles or a wrongful death attorney, contact us here at the Molchan Law Firm.