Understanding California Wrongful Death Legal Action Lawsuits

Alexander D. Napolin, Esq.'s Wrongful Death Legal Blogs

Licensed for 6 years

Attorney in Claremont, CA

Alexander D. Napolin, Esq.

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Serving Claremont, CA

  • Serving Claremont, CA

  • Free initial consultation, Credit cards accepted

Founder & Managing Attorney at firm The Napolin Law Firm

Serving Claremont, CA

Free initial consultation, Credit cards accepted

Defining California Wrongful Death Legal Action

Understanding California Wrongful Death Legal Action Lawsuits – Are you wondering whether the death of a family member or friend is wrongful? Dealing with the death of a family member? If someone else was involved surrounding the death of a loved one, there may be legal action available in the California court system. When an individual dies as a result of someone else’s wrongful act or neglect, it is known as wrongful death. In the unfortunate case of a wrongful death, the decedent and others with standing to sue may be entitled to recover damages in a legal action against the negligent actor whose negligent actions caused the person’s demise. This blog will explain who has standing in California to maintain a legal action for wrongful death and what kinds of damages are recoverable in such actions. It is important to consult a California wrongful death attorney immediately to evaluate the specifics of yoru circumstances to determine standing and next steps for legal action in the form of a complaint for wrongful death.

Determining Who May Recover In a Wrongful Death Legal Action

Not just anyone can recover for wrongful death damages in California. One must first have standing. Standing is a legal concept that means the person has a right to maintain a legal complaint for wrongful death to recovery damages. There are a few different catagories explained here that can help laypeople determine their standing to sue. Remember, consultation with a California wrongful death lawyer is a must if your family member or friend dies due to someone elses actions.

  1. Heirs: An heir is an individual entitled to inherit from the decedent. Heirs include dependents such as decedent’s putative spouse and his/her children, stepchildren and parents as well as minors. Each heir is entitled to have his/her own cause of action for wrongful death. And a defendant who is found to be liable for the wrongful death action, who settles a lawsuit brought by several heirs may be liable to another existing heir in a separate lawsuit. Joint Action Law: Despite the fact that each heir has a separate case, the authorized action is joint. In the case that a lawsuit is filed against a government entity, the claim is considered joint and invisible despite the existence of multiple heirs. In such case, the claim is viewed as defective.
  2. Parents: If the parents are heirs under statutory laws of decedent or if they were dependent, they are entitled to file a lawsuit for the wrongful death of their son/daughter. If the parents were dependent on the decedent in one way or another, then they have to show proof such as providing shelter and financial support. If dependent, the parents can only sue if the heirs are also suing. In other words, the dependent parents’ claim must be consolidated with an action brought by heirs.
  3. Heirs by disclaimer: Persons entitled to inherit from the decedent may disclaim their interest in the decedent’s estate. Unless the decedent provides otherwise, these individuals are treated as if they had deceased prior to the decedent him or herself; for the purposes to allow heirs next in line who are interested in inheriting the disclaimed interest. These heirs, however, are no longer entitled to sue for wrongful death of the decedent.
  4. Former spouse: If the marriage was terminated before the death, the spouse is no longer entitled to sue for wrongful death. A former spouse is neither an heir nor a putative spouse.
  5. Putative spouse: Is a spouse of a void or voidable marriage. If the spouse is dependent on the decedent, she/he and her/her children are entitled to recover damages resulting from the decedent’s wrongful death.
  6. Putative parents: In the cases where an unadopted child deceased as a result of another’s wrongful act, his/her unnatural parents are not entitled to sue and recover damages for his.her death. However, unadopted stepchildren who happen to be dependent may sue for their deceased wrongful death.
  7. Employers: Although employers may suffer from an employee’s wrongful death, they cannot recover damages.
  8. Personal representatives: Executors or administrators of a decedent may bring an action for wrongful death forward on behalf of the heirs. However, this action must only be for the detriment of the eligible heirs and must be for their benefit.

Recovering California Wrongful Death Damages in Orange County Superior Court

The code allows for recovery of certain types of damages in wrongful death lawsuits. Every case is specific and unique and therefore consulting an attorney like The Napolin Law Firm Orange County Wrongful Death Lawyers 2230 West Chapman Avenue, 2nd Floor, Orange, California 92868 is necessary to start the process of collection. Possible recoverable damages include:

  • Financial support
  • Contributions
  • Services
  • Society, comfort, companionship and consortium
  • Care and protection
  • Training and advice
  • Funeral and burial expense
  • Prospective gifts
  • There are also some specific exclusions to what can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit. Some non-recoverable damages under California Law include but are not limited to:

  • Detriment suffered by decedent
  • Decedent’s medical expenses
  • Heir’s grief, sorrow, anguish and mental suffering
  • Decedent’s prospective savings
  • Expectancy of inheritance
  • Punitive damages
  • Measuring the Amount of Damages For Wrongful Death Claims Lawsuit Cases

    Under all case circumstances, the heir is entitled to recover damages in an amount which is just. There are certain measures to determined what is considered to be just under the law. Discussing with an attorney personal injury motor vehicle is important to set litigation goals as to pursing measures of damages for wrongful death legal lawsuits. In California, there are no statutes or regulations that limit the award received for damages consequenting from a wrongful death action. However, case law determines that:

  • Damages that are a compensation in money for detriment
  • Detriment is a loss or harm suffered in person or property
  • The measure of damages for the breach of an obligation not arising from contract is the amount that will compensate for all detriment proximately caused by the breach, whether or not it could have been anticipated
  • Only in the cases where it is certain that detriment will take place in the future Damages can be recovered for future detriment only if the detriment is certain to result in the future
  • Damages must be reasonable.
  • Getting Help From A California Wrongful Death Attorney

    Never go it alone against an insurance company when it comes to tort lawsuits. It is important to immediately consult with the experts. Get a free case evaluation from a reputable wrongful death The Napolin Law Firm to start the process right from day one. Difficult times call for the need for powerful support. The Napolin Law Firm has decades of experience helping families colllect in these types of situations. Put your burden on us to help with the greiving process. Trust that the professionals know how to handle the case so that you can support you and your family when they need it the most.

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