Knowing Each Element Will Aid in Success & Winning the Injury Claim
The definition of wrongful death is: The death of a close family member or life partner under a “civil union.” (Read More Here). So when the passing occurs of a loved one, there is no doubt that it is a dark tragedy, and affects everyone in the family. When a wrongful death occurs, often the situation gets made even worse. Hence, the family and dependent loved ones are suddenly left without a provider. However, the family has the right to file a claim against the negligent party (the defendant). Also, this is to reclaim losses due to the death of their loved one (the decedent).
Who Can Tell Me if the Death Meets the Legal Elements of a Viable Injury Claim?
A wrongful death attorney should be hired to properly and successfully handle the wrongful death case. The good news is that experienced legal help is available at Ehline Law Firm PC; however, it is important for the survivors themselves to understand the basic elements of a wrongful death suit, which in a nutshell, are:
- A death of a person caused by;
- The negligence; or wilful intent of another, that causes one or all of these:
- Loss of love, affection (aka emotional support),
- financial support, physical support, such as yard work, doing dishes, etc., both past, present and future.
Was the Passing Caused By Negligence or an Intentional Act?
The first element to be proven in court, is that the death “was caused by a negligent or wrongful act, rather than another cause?”
For example, a family cannot sue a doctor or hospital if their loved one dies from cancer; only if there has been a wrongful act or negligence in the situation. Furthermore, your lawyer must be able show that the death was due to the actual defendant (or the agents thereof) against whom the claim is made. [There may be other defendants who caused decedent’s cancer such as an asbestos manufacturer.]
Was the Expiration or “Termination of Life” Caused By a Negligent or Intentional Act?The next element is really two sub-elements, with the same outcome; that is whether (a) Negligence or (b) A Willful Act, caused the death. Example: A willful act would include shooting someone in the head at point blank, whereas negligent act would be rear ending someone while you are busy talking on your cell phone (This could also be a “Reckless Act” depending upon the given facts.)
One would think this is easy to prove. But you would get surprised to see how many families have estranged relationships. Thus, they would probably recover more in “intestate succession,” than in a lawsuit!
Losses are things like:
- Loss of love: And this includes things like sex, and just the love loss itself;
- Financial Support: This is usually the big factor. How much did your loved one provide? Was he or she a doctor, or a lawyer, or a garbage collector? Was he or she contributing to an education fund for the survivors, etc.?
- Physical support also has a financial value. So if your husband provided house-work etc., chores, you have to pay someone, or take time from your job. Understood? And yes, you become entitled to seek money for the past, present and future.
Additional More Detailed Requirements Under CA Law:
Your injury claim must get filed within the two-year time limit in the state of California. But exceptions apply. So it could get limited by statute or the Government Code, for example. The court will want the facts and the evidence. So the judge needs to see that the negligent party was strictly accountable for the death.
Obviously, the deceased victim will have left behind a family. These relatives are usually able to file the survivors’ claim legally. Hence, these are parents, a spouse, children or stepchildren and in some cases grandparents. Also, life partners get covered under California civil unions. Children, if minors, will have the lawsuit filed by a parent or guardian ad litem (learn more here.) As discussed above, proof of monetary damages will need to get proven in court.
In order to pursue a wrongful death suit, one must prove the elements. Hence, decedent’s survivors must prove inter alia, they are suffering financially from the loss. Sad relatives must also show loss of love and affection among the other emotional loses. Also, the claim is generally made by the executor/executrix of the estate. This person represents the decedent’s wishes on behalf of all other parties. But parties can include the spouse, the children, other immediate or dependent loved ones. Last, family, such as parents or siblings, or beneficiaries are also potential parties.
Also, it must get demonstrated to the court that the parties are suffering losses. Last, they must have monetary value. So examples include medical, funeral, and burial costs. But they also include loss of a supporting income in the family. Also, they can include loss of a potential inheritance or the loss of a caretaker.
We offer the “Ehline Difference.” We return phone calls and, a real attorney, not a secretary, returns that call. The wrongful death lawyer at Ehline Law Firm PC will be important in proving your case to the court. They can assure that all the elements of a wrongful death suit get met. Hence, chances for the success of the survivors of the decedent become improved significantly.