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Irvine Wrongful Death Attorney

Death is an extremely unfortunate circumstance in any given case, but the people who are left behind are burdened with pain and heavy financial responsibilities.

If you have experienced or are currently experiencing the death of a loved one, West Coast Trial Lawyers expresses our deepest condolences to you and your family.

Losing a loved one can be extremely depressing and disorienting, so it is normal to have questions, concerns, and stress. However, family members may bring a wrongful death claim to seek justice and compensation on behalf of their lost loved one.

At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our experienced Irvine wrongful death attorneys have over 60 years of collective legal experience in handling personal injury cases. With our track record of recovering more than $1.5 billion in settlements for our clients, we have been ranked as one of the top personal injury law firms in Irvine.

If you have lost a loved one in the city of Irvine due to someone's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Please don't hesitate to contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (213) 927-3700 or filling out our quick contact form for a free consultation at our law firm in Irvine, California.

Irvine Wrongful Death Lawsuit

When a loved one or family member dies due to malicious or negligent actions, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed to hold the liable party responsible. A wrongful death claim is filed by family members or close relatives on behalf of the deceased victim.

These lawsuits differ from personal injury lawsuits because they are exclusively filed by the survivor(s) of a wrongfully killed person.

Cases of wrongful death are more trivial because of the stakes involved. Not only is financial compensation necessary, but families of the victims are dealing with a traumatic loss of life.

Seek justice and consult with an Irvine wrongful death attorney for legal advice on how to file a wrongful death suit.

Wrongful Death Laws in Irvine, CA

When a wrongful death accident happens in Irvine, California, only a few people have the right to file a lawsuit on the victim’s behalf and receive compensation.

Irvine’s wrongful death laws have been created to ensure that only the deceased’s family members and their estate operators are entitled to compensation for the damages.  

Murder or Involuntary Manslaughter is considered a violent felony under California law, and anyone who commits such acts will be punished by law.

Liability in an Irvine Wrongful Death Case

Liability in a wrongful death lawsuit will be determined based on the evidence presented in your case.

Before you begin filing your wrongful death claim in California, understand that there are certain things you (the plaintiff) must prove to be able to have a strong enough case: 

  • That you actually suffered damages because of the wrongful death 
  • The defendant was responsible for the death
  • The defendant was negligent or engaged in wrongful conduct leading to the wrongful death

An experienced wrongful death attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to prove the liable party guilty and recover maximum compensation.

California Burden of Proof

In a civil lawsuit, the burden of proof is usually a "preponderance of the evidence". This means that something is more likely true than not.

The burden of proof in California falls on the plaintiff to prove that the defendant is, without a doubt, the one who is responsible.

In a wrongful death case, the victim's family must prove it is more likely true than not true that the negligent party caused the death.

What Is an Assumption of Risk?

An “assumption of risk” means that an individual is aware of potential hazards involved in an activity yet goes ahead and takes a chance, knowing they may be hurt in the process.

It is important to understand that someone who engages in certain extreme sports and high-risk activities will not always be able to sue for damages.

Typically, activities that carry an assumption of risk include a signed waiver, but not always. Either way, surviving family members of someone who was killed after participating in an activity that included an assumption of risk may be barred from filing a wrongful death claim.

What Does an Irvine Wrongful Death Lawyer Do?

Our Irvine wrongful death lawyers will help you throughout the entirety of the legal claims process and afterward.

Your lawyer will be responsible for all of the following:

  • Gathering evidence
  • Filing the claim
  • Calculating damages
  • Collecting witness testimonies
  • Negotiating with the insurance companies
  • Representing you in depositions and court
  • Negotiating your settlement

We will assist with your questions, concerns, and worries and are available 24/7 to help you with everything concerning your lawsuit. Schedule a free consultation with one of our expert wrongful death attorneys today.

Types of Wrongful Death Cases We Can Handle

Unfortunately, there are many situations where a death could wrongfully occur in Orange County due to negligent parties. Whether a loved one's death was caused by a drunk driver or other negligent actions, you can hold the responsible party financially accountable.

Here are some of the claims our experienced Irvine wrongful death attorneys are able to file on your behalf.

Wrongful Death of a Child

Losing a child due to negligence or wrongful actions of another individual is an unimaginable tragedy. Death cases involving children are emotionally tasking, and grieving family members must cope while trying to navigate the legal system at the same time.

Pursuing a claim is the best way to seek legal justice, and having a compassionate lawyer on your side will aid in easing the stress around the tragedy and ensure you obtain just compensation.

Wrongful Death Involving the Police

Wrongful death claims are filed against the city where the police department that was responsible for the death is located. These claims have the potential of being settled quickly, especially when the police department wants to avoid bad publicity.

It is important to understand that some cities will invoke immunity from legal action. Immunity can only be invoked as a defense when an officer kills someone using appropriate techniques.

Please consult with a skilled Irvine wrongful death attorney to determine whether or not you are entitled to file a wrongful death claim against Irvine's police department.

Wrongful Death and Nursing Homes 

When a patient dies due to abuse or carelessness, the nurse(s) at fault for the death will face consequences for violating state and federal laws that serve to protect elderly residents.

Listed below are laws that guide and regulate patient treatment in nursing homes:

Intentional Killing

Intentional killing in Irvine, California, or an intentional tort, is classified as acting with the willful purpose of causing harm or death to someone else. 

Intentional killing can either occur in the form of;

  • Murder: Killing with malice aforethought 
  • Manslaughter: Killing without malice aforethought 

Intentional killings require high premeditation and can be difficult to prove on your own. It is necessary to request the help of an experienced wrongful death lawyer who will be able to handle the burden of proof. 

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when the person in charge of providing any form of healthcare services to a patient acts in a way that does not align with their protocols and standard duty of care. 

This can include healthcare negligence such as: 

  • Misdiagnosis 
  • Delayed diagnosis 
  • Surgical errors 
  • Medication errors

Proving medical malpractice in Irvine requires your attorney to provide evidence showing that the health care services deviated from the standard norm of care and therefore resulted in the victim's death. 

Automobile Accidents

Automobile accidents and collisions are one of the most common causes of wrongful death in Irvine. You are legally entitled to receive compensation if the death of your family member happened because of a car accident caused by another person. 

There are certain things you must consider first before filing a wrongful death suit like: 

  • Negligence: Proving the death was caused by the other driver involved in the car accident requires showing substantial evidence that the driver was negligent. 
  • Comparative Negligence: In certain situations, both drivers involved are partially responsible for an automobile accident. California has a comparative negligence system, so in situations like this, the fault will be divided amongst drivers based on the parts they played in the accident. 
  • Liability Insurance: Every driver in California is expected to have liability insurance. Not surprisingly, however, not every driver does, and even when they do, the coverage is not always enough.

Grieving families should not have to deal with insurance companies on top of dealing with wrongful deaths. That is why hiring a wrongful death attorney who can help deal with the trivial stuff is advisable. 

Types of Damages in Wrongful Death Cases

If your family member has been killed by a negligent party, you are entitled to monetary compensation that would be determined based on the factors of the case.

Though no amount of compensation will ever bring the deceased person back to life, a fair settlement will help alleviate the financial burdens associated with the traumatic event.

Some of the damages that can be recovered in an Irvine, California wrongful death claim include:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Future earnings
  • Emotional and mental anguish
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Loss of companionship and moral support
  • Value of household services

In a California wrongful death lawsuit, punitive damages may be awarded to the grieving family of the deceased. Though punitive damages are not a part of the actual compensation given for the loss, they serve as a way of punishing the negligent party for their actions. 

Who Can File Wrongful Death Claims in Irvine?

According to the California Code of Civil Procedure, wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by the following survivors of the deceased person:

  • The surviving spouse
  • Domestic partners
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Stepchildren
  • Successors of the deceased's estate

If another person or a government entity has caused the death of your loved one, you may choose to file a claim against them and recover medical expenses. Speak with an Orange County attorney to know more about the legal process.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Irvine, CA

Southern California and Irvine residents can file a claim for the death of their loved one and hold the responsible party accountable for their negligent or malicious actions.

If you believe your loved one has been killed for intentional or reckless purposes, you should immediately speak with an Orange County wrongful death attorney about your legal options.

Your lawyer will be able to help you investigate the case and file a claim against the liable parties. Your lawyer will also be able to help you negotiate reasonably if you decide that you want to settle the case out of court.

Is There a Time Limit to File My Claim?

Family members of the victim are given two years to file a lawsuit, starting from the initial date of the death or discovery of the death.

This time limit is in accordance with the California Statute of Limitations to file a personal injury claim. If no lawsuit is filed within this period, then the right to file a claim will be lost.

It is encouraged for those suffering the loss of a loved one to file a claim in a timely manner to ensure that justice is served and healing may begin.

West Coast Trial Lawyers is Always Here to Help

If you have lost a loved one in the city of Irvine due to negligence or deliberate acts of malice, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible for your losses.

An Irvine wrongful death attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover compensation for damages. With a proven track record of helping thousands of wrongful death victims, our law firm can be trusted to help you and your family get the justice you deserve.

If you have lost a loved one in the city of Irvine due to someone's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Please don't hesitate to contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (213) 927-3700 or filling out our quick contact form for a free consultation at our law firm in Irvine, California.

More Resources from our Irvine Wrongful Death Lawyers

California Wrongful Death Lawyer

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?

Pedestrian Wrongful Death

Premises Liability and Wrongful Death

Survival Action in California: Is it Different Than Wrongful Death?

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