Losing a loved one is a traumatic event that turns your entire life upside down. Although it’s hard to see beyond grief and sorrow, you can take legal action and obtain justicec for your loss. You also have the right to compensation for the wrongful death of your family member.
For a free consultation regarding your Oxnard wrongful death case, call The Dominguez Firm at 800-818-1818 today. We can evaluate your wrongful death claim, explain your options under California law, and help you take appropriate legal steps.
What Counts as Wrongful Death in California?
California law defines “wrongful death” as any loss of life because of someone’s negligence or recklessness. A wrongful death can happen for a variety of reasons, including:
- Car accidents, including DYI accidents
- Slip and falls
- Murder or manslaughter
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- A construction accident
- Hazardous property conditions
If you believe another person was responsible for the accident or circumstances that led to the death of your family member, don’t hesitate to call us.
Who Can Pursue a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?
California wrongful death law usually allows the following surviving family members to file a wrongful death claim:
- Spouse or domestic partner
- Siblings or parents, if the deceased left no spouse or children
In some cases, other family members, like stepchildren, may be eligible to file a claim if they can prove financial dependence on the deceased person.
Proving a Claim on Behalf of a Wrongful Death Victim
To collect compensation in any personal injury case, we must prove that the defendant’s acts involved negligence that caused the accident and ultimately led to the victim’s passing. Usually, your Oxnard wrongful death lawyer will need to show that:
- The defendant had a duty to practice reasonable care under their relationship to the victim—i.e., an employer, manager, landlord, or caregiver.
- The defendant breached their duty of care—that is, acted negligently or recklessly. For example, a corporation that fails to comply with safety regulations breaches its duty of care to its employees.
- The defendant’s actions led to the victim’s accident and death.
- The defendant’s negligence or recklessness caused compensable losses to the family—for example, medical bills, funeral expenses, and loss of financial support.
Some wrongful death cases are pretty straightforward. For example, if a police report shows that the person who caused your loved one’s death drove drunk, it shouldn’t be too difficult to establish blame. In other cases, our personal injury lawyers of The Dominguez Firm must sift through complex evidence and search for witnesses to prove negligence.
What Does Wrongful Death Compensation Include?
The exact amount of compensation in each wrongful death lawsuit depends on the individual circumstances, such as the deceased person’s age, health, potential earning capacity, and other factors. However, in most valid claims, the family can expect to recover damages for:
- Any medical costs related to the accident that led to their loved one dying
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Economic losses—i.e., the loss of the deceased person’s earning capacity and financial support
- Legal fees
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of emotional support the deceased would have provided
On rare occasions, a California court will award punitive damages to the family. This usually happens if the defendant’s actions were exceptionally negligent or careless. This is done more to make an example of the defendant and discourage others from acting in the same manner in the future.
While no money can ease the mental anguish of losing a loved one, compensation can provide financial support to a bereaved family. Our Oxnard wrongful death lawyers will use all the legal options at our disposal to help you receive the highest possible settlement or verdict.
What to Do If You Suspect a Wrongful Act Led to Your Loved One’s Death
Immediately after losing your loved one, you may feel overwhelmed by grief, anger, and confusion. As difficult as it is, try to avoid altercations with the party you believe responsible. Refrain from making public statements or posting on social media about the event before speaking to an attorney.
Also, avoid talking to the defendant’s insurance company altogether. Their adjusters may try to use whatever you say to reduce or deny your claim outright. Instead, let our attorneys deal with the insurance company for you.
Per California’s statute of limitations law (the legal term for a deadline), the next of kin must usually file a claim within two years of their loved one’s death. However, we strongly encourage you to file your claim as soon as possible. Waiting months, let alone two years can seriously damage your case. Vital evidence the witness contact information can easily be lost if you wait that long.
Contact The Dominguez Firm as soon as possible after the accident. It will make it easier for our personal injury lawyers to search for relevant evidence, present a strong lawsuit, and help you pursue a settlement.
Why You Need a Skilled and Compassionate Wrongful Death Lawyer
A wrongful death lawsuit is an emotionally taxing, complex legal procedure. To navigate this process and maximize your odds of obtaining compensation, you need a supportive and competent Oxnard wrongful death lawyer. The outcome of your case and the amount of compensation you receive could depend on choosing the right attorney.
Here is why countless former clients recommend our team at The Dominguez Firm for personal injury and wrongful death cases:
- Our vast experience. The Dominguez Firm has been providing legal services since 1987.
- Our outstanding track record. We have won many wrongful death law cases in California, from fairly straightforward to the most complex.
- We have the resources to see your case through to the end. If the insurance company won’t make a fair offer for your loss, we’re not afraid to go to court on your behalf. Not all firms can say the same. That gives you, our client, the type of leverage those firms can’t offer.
- Our dedicated team. At The Dominguez Firm, we value the attorney-client relationship above all else. We are always here to guide you through the legal process and answer any questions or concerns.
Give your case the best chance by calling The Dominguez Firm today. Our Oxnard wrongful death attorneys are ready to fight for your rights.
The Dominguez Firm: Wrongful Death Lawyers in Oxnard, CA
Did you lose a loved one because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness? Contact The Dominguez Firm, top-rated wrongful death attorneys providing outstanding legal services in Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Ventura County, and across Southern California. During 35 years of practice, our superb lawyers have recovered over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for personal injury victims and families pursuing wrongful death claims.
We offer free consultations at 800-818-1818. And as always, we promise, if there is no recovery, there is no fee!