The loss of a loved one is one of the greatest challenges you may ever face, especially when you know that someone else’s negligence caused it. When a family member dies, the entire family structure changes.
Although no amount of money can truly make this type of loss right, a fair settlement can hopefully help the family adjust to a new normal without financial stress hanging over their heads.
We’re sorry for your loss and the pain it brings. As you figure out what your next steps are, we recommend contacting one of the Orange County wrongful death lawyers listed below.
Under California law, there are limits on when you can file a wrongful death claim and who is permitted to file a claim. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years, but it’s important to begin the process as soon as you can. This ensures that you have full access to the evidence you need to prove your claim.
Legally, these parties can file a wrongful death lawsuit:
Certain other parties may also file a claim if they were financially dependent on the victim. They include the decedent’s stepchildren, their putative spouse, children belonging to the putative spouse, and the decedent’s parents.
You may file a wrongful death case if your loved one died as a result of injuries caused by negligence, medical malpractice, or intentional acts against them.
You may seek both economic and non-economic damages in a wrongful death suit. Economic damages include financial support that you could have expected the victim to contribute to the family, funeral expenses, and the cost of household services the decedent would have been responsible for. These losses are ones that are easier to calculate.
Non-economic damages relate more to the pain and suffering of the surviving family members. Damages in this category include the loss of the decedent’s affection and companionship, the spouse’s loss of intimacy, and loss of the decedent’s support and guidance.
The right attorney should make this time easier for you, not more difficult. Consider working with a lawyer with extensive experience in wrongful death cases. They may be better able to understand how much information you want, how involved you want to be, and why you may need to take a step back at times.
However, empathy is only one part of this. You’ll still want your attorney to be aggressive when it counts—during negotiations or in court. This is the only shot you have at justice for your loved one’s death, and you do not need an attorney who will coax you into a low settlement for their own convenience.
When choosing a wrongful death attorney in Orange County, it’s CRITICAL to consider the following factors:
It is also recommended to meet with the attorney in person, if possible, to discuss your claim and decide if the attorney is the right fit for you.
During your consultations with attorneys, come prepared with questions. You may want to ask how much of their practice is dedicated to wrongful death claims, if they have experience with the specific type of wrongful death case you have, and how they go about calculating potential damages.
Ready to start your search? Browse our Orange County wrongful death attorney listings now to find the right lawyer to support you during this period of transition.