Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawyer
There is no question that the loss of a loved one is devastating and often, life-changing. The Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys at BISNAR CHASE advise our clients to obtain grief counseling in the aftermath of a sudden loss.
We understand that money cannot bring a loved one back. It's a cold, hard fact. However, we have been able to help thousands of clients cope with their financial struggles. Some of the types of California wrongful death claims we pursue are;
- Car accident fatalities
- Animal or dog attack (fatal)
- Commercial truck fatalities
- Pedestrian fatalities
- Bus fatalities
- Catastrophic auto defects
- Product defect fatalities and prescription drug deaths
There are so many examples. Families that have lost a breadwinner. Families that are struggling to pay off medical expenses and funeral costs after the sudden death of a loved one. Families that have lost benefits and considerable future income as the result of a sudden death. These are the realities of life. We help families obtain a sense of justice and fair compensation for their losses while holding at-fault parties accountable for their negligence and/or wrongdoing. We may be able to help you too.
Please contact us at 323-238-4683 to schedule your free consultation. We are familiar with Los Angeles courts, defense teams and judges and will fight for you with trust, passion and results. We've recovered millions of dollars for our California wrongful death clients.
Wrongful Death Liability
The sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one can have a long lasting impact on a family emotionally and financially. If an individual's death was caused by an act of negligence or wrongdoing, there are civil remedies available for the families of decedents. While filing a criminal case in such situations is entirely up to the investigating police agency and the Los Angeles District Attorney's office, the decedent's family can still pursue monetary damages for their losses by going through the civil justice system and filing what is known as a wrongful death claim. In California, a "wrongful death claim" arises when one person dies due to the negligence or wrongful act of another person or entity.
A "wrongful death" differs from a criminal prosecution for murder and homicide in the sense that the civil action is brought to court directly by the survivors of the deceased person. The defendant in a wrongful death action is found "liable" for the damages. In a criminal case, the defendant faces penalties such as jail or prison time or even the death penalty. In a civil case, the family members of the decedent receive monetary damages for their losses. Also, in a criminal case, jurors find the defendant guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt." In a civil wrongful death case, jurors find the defendant liable through a "preponderance of the evidence."
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Los Angeles?
There are several "representatives" who may be able to file a wrongful death claim, and location such as LA County is based on the statute for the state, not the city. The following can typically file a wrongful death claim.
- Immediate family members: Family members who can file a wrongful death claim include spouses, children, adopted children and parents of unmarried children.
- Partners: Life partners, financial dependents and putative spouses may also file a wrongful death claim. A "putative spouse" is a person who was not legally married to the victim, but who, for example, participated in a ceremonial marriage.
- Other family members: In some cases, a distant family member may also be able to file a wrongful death claim. For example, a grandparent who is raising a child may be able to bring wrongful death action on behalf of the child's deceased parents.
- Financial dependents: Anyone who has been financially dependent on the victim can also seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
Wrongful death lawsuits in Los Angeles are based on California law and can be brought against a wide variety of individuals, entities, corporations, employees and even governmental agencies. Here are some examples of individuals and entities against whom a wrongful death claim may be filed:
- A negligent driver who was at fault for a car accident. If a driver is on the job at the time of the crash, his or her employer can also be held liable.
- The manufacturer of a defective auto or a faulty vehicle part that caused a crash.
- The manufacturer of any dangerous or defective product, which caused the death.
- A governmental agency that allowed a hazardous condition to exist on a roadway it was responsible for maintaining.
- An agency, which defectively designed a roadway.
- A daycare center that was responsible for taking care of a child.
- A nursing home that was responsible for taking care of an elderly resident.
The Value of a Wrongful Death Claim
The value of an LA County wrongful death claim depends on a number of different factors.
- Economic damages: This may include immediate financial losses suffered because of the accident as well as compensation for financial contributions the victim will no longer be able to provide. Economic damages may include funeral expenses, medical bills, loss of the victim's expected earnings, loss of benefits, and loss of inheritance.
- Non-economic damages: It can be challenging to put a monetary value on non-economic damages because they are invaluable. The court may, however, attach a monetary value to the survivor's mental anguish, pain, suffering, loss of care, loss of love and companionship and loss of consortium.
- Punitive damages: In cases involving egregious conduct, it may be possible to pursue punitive damages from the at-fault party. For example, the manufacturer of a defective product can be slapped with punitive damages if they knew that the product was defective when it was sold to consumers.
Wrongful Death Statute for California
The statute of limitations on a wrongful death claim in California is 2 years. This includes all counties including Los Angeles. If you do not file within this time you may lose your right to file a claim unless you can prove that the wrongful death was discovered later rather than sooner. Typically a two year period is plenty of time for a person to file their wrongful death lawsuit but trauma and stress often cause people to lose track of time. If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death let an lawyer help you determine if you are due compensation.
Let our Los Angeles Legal Team Assist You
Our firm has a lot of resources, talent, and experience -- and those resources extend throughout California. Whether it's a Los Angeles death claim or Northern California, we have the financial resources to pursue your case with optimal results.
Bisnar Chase doesn't take just any case. We take cases that we know deserve justice, and also justify the cost of pursuing them vigorously. We will invest heavily in your case in an effort to get you the fair compensation you're entitled to. You will not be charged a fee until the case settles. Only then will we charge you a recovery fee. If we don't win, you'll pay nothing. It's a promise that's worked for over 35 years.
Los Angeles, California 90045