Find Out If You Have a Case
Wrongful Death Lawyer Whittier
Losing a loved one in a fatal accident is an incredibly painful experience. Our law firm in Whittier, CA can help seek financial compensation for your loss.
Our experienced and compassionate Whittier wrongful death lawyers can provide you with invaluable guidance and support in filing a wrongful death lawsuit. We will help you understand your rights and options, and represent your best interests in negotiations with insurance companies or in court, if necessary. Your priority is to take the time to grieve and heal. Let us help you seek justice and the compensation you deserve. Our law firm operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not collect any legal fees unless we win your case.
What Is Wrongful Death?
When a person dies due to someone else's negligence or wrongful act, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. The goal of a wrongful death claim is to compensate the survivors for the financial and emotional losses caused by the death of their loved one. Some of the types of losses may include medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, loss of companionship, and emotional pain and suffering.
Hiring a qualified wrongful death attorney can help you gather evidence, assess damages, negotiate with insurance companies, and maximize your chances of obtaining fair and just compensation. If you are considering filing a case, our Whittier wrongful death lawyers can help you in a free case evaluation.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
According to California's wrongful death statute, the following people are allowed to file a personal injury case in a civil court:
- The decedent's surviving spouse or domestic partner
- The decedent's surviving children
- The grandchildren of any deceased child of the decedent
- The decedent’s parents
- The decedent’s siblings
- The decedent's putative spouse and/or children
- A financial dependent of the decedent
- A personal representative of the decedent’s estate
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases in California
In California, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is two (2) years from the date of the deceased person's death, as specified in California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1. This means that the wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date of death, or you may lose the right to seek compensation. Our wrongful death attorney in Whittier can help you file a claim within the deadline.
What Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim's family can seek monetary damages for the lost financial support and suffering due to the death of their loved one. A jury may award damages based on a variety of factors, including the deceased person’s income, expected future income, and the level of family members' dependence. These are some of the most common damages in a wrongful death case you may be eligible to recover:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses leading up to the death
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of household services
- Loss of love, affection, encouragement, moral support, guidance, and attention
How Do I Know If I Have a Wrongful Death Claim?
In order to prove a wrongful death case, you must be able to prove the four elements of negligence.
1. Duty of Care
To bring a wrongful death action, you must show the defendant had a duty of care to the deceased person. A duty of care is a legal obligation to act with reasonable care and caution to prevent harm to others. For example, a driver owes a duty of care to other drivers and pedestrians on the road.
2. Breach of Duty of Care
It must be established that the defendant breached their duty of care by failing to act in a reasonable manner or by engaging in wrongful conduct. This could include acts such as negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct that caused or contributed to the death.
There must be a connection between the breach of duty of care and the death of the person. This means that the wrongful conduct of the responsible party must have directly led to the death of the person.
The plaintiff must prove that their loved one’s death resulted in financial or non-financial losses.
In addition to proving these elements, you must also meet the required burden of proof. In civil cases, this is known as a "preponderance of the evidence.” You must prove the death was at least 51% likely to be wrongful using quality evidence to support your claim. Our Whittier wrongful death lawyers can help you meet the burden of proof to win your case.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death claims arise when the death of a person is caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongful act of another party. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death include:
Car accidents make up a majority of wrongful death claims. In 2021, an estimated 42,915 people died in motor vehicle accidents, a 10.5% increase from 2020. Many of these fatal accidents are attributed to speeding, driving under the influence, and distracted driving.
In a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University, more than 250,000 people in the U.S. die every year because of a medical error, making it the third-leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer. Other studies report the number of deaths could be much higher, at 440,000.
Semi-truck accidents often lead to catastrophic injury and death, considering their enormous size and weight. Accidents can be caused by driver error, a malfunction, or oversight from the trucking company.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, defective or unsafe products cause 29.4 million injuries and 21,400 deaths each year. Many defective product deaths involve machinery, cars and car parts, medical devices, and children’s products. A design, marketing, or manufacturing defect could lead to wrongful death.
Despite making up only 3% of all registered vehicles, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2020, according to the National Safety Council. More than half of the fatalities in motorcycle accidents occur in urban areas, and a majority of accidents happen on clear, cloudy days.
A lack of designated bike lanes, busy intersections, and speeding drivers can all contribute to deaths involving cyclists. Bicycles and motor vehicles must share the road in California, yet many times drivers engage in reckless behavior and are at fault for a cyclist’s injury or death.
Construction workers, logging workers, and roofers face dangerous working conditions on a daily basis. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were a total of 5,190 fatal work injuries in the U.S. in 2021. When an injury or death occurs, the company may be found liable if they failed to adhere to proper safety protocols.
Pedestrians are met with constant dangers while out walking or jogging. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, California's pedestrian fatality rate is almost 25% higher than the national average. If a pedestrian is hit by a car and killed, the family member can sue the negligent driver for compensatory damages.
More than 400,000 people die from homicide each year. While a criminal act would be filed in a criminal court and not a civil court, the family of the deceased may also file a wrongful death claim simultaneously.
Experienced Whittier Wrongful Death Attorneys | Free Consultation
You should not have to suffer in silence. By hiring a wrongful death lawyer in Whittier, you and your family can receive the closure you deserve after a tragic car accident. Our experienced attorney will help you gather all the necessary information related to the accident and file a strong claim against the wrongdoer. Our firm holds a 99% success rate, and we will fight day and night to ensure you walk away with the maximum compensation. We offer a completely free consultation to evaluate your case and decide the next steps. Call us at (562) 550-7676 or fill out this quick contact form.
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You never pay a fee unless we win your case for you, and we’ll never receive more financial compensation than you do. We always put accident victims first – so you can get back on the road and back to your normal life as quickly as possible.