Losing a loved one is never easy, especially when the loved one was taken as a result of the negligent actions of another. If someone in your family has wrongfully died due to the negligent action of a doctor, caretaker, or other individual or entity, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss.
If you are considering bringing a wrongful death suit to trial, you should be aware of a few things before you proceed. As with all legal matters, your best course of action is consulting with a wrongful death attorney in Los Angeles to discuss the specifics of your case. However, use the following as a general guideline on how wrongful death suits are handled in California:
Understanding Wrongful Deaths
Not all deaths are considered “wrongful” by California law. Justifiable homicide, the death of an unborn child, and certain medical malpractice deaths are not eligible to be tried as a wrongful death. The basic rule of a wrongful death case is that the person being charged must be substantially responsible for the death through negligence, direct action, or inaction. This is why some suicides qualify as a wrongful death when it is shown that a caretaker failed to take protective action. A qualified wrongful death attorney can help you understand whether your case fits under current California guidelines.
Limitations to Wrongful Death Litigation
If you’re considering contacting a wrongful death attorney in Los Angeles, you’ll need to talk to other friends and family members of the deceased before proceeding. Under California law, there can be only one wrongful death suit against the responsible individual; all claimants who wish to participate in a wrongful death case must do so under a singular suit. Any heirs filing a wrongful death suit are legally mandated to contact all other surviving heirs — if you are an heir to the victim it is vital that you work to loop in every other surviving heir before your court proceedings begin.
Wrongful death laws are quite complicated. It’s best that you work directly with a reputable and experienced wrongful death attorney to ensure your case falls within legal guidelines and covers all necessary bases for a successful outcome.