An Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney
If you lost a beloved family member to an accidental death and you would like to learn more about your legal rights and options, now is the time to contact Markarian Law Group. Whenever a death occurs from the misconduct or negligence of another person, the family of the deceased individual has the right to take appropriate legal action.
Whether the accidental death in your family resulted from a car accident or a catastrophic injury, we are here to provide you with outstanding legal representation as your trusted wrongful death attorney.
Common Questions About Wrongful Deaths
What is a Wrongful Death Action?
A wrongful death action is a claim for damages that stem from the conduct, action or omission by another party that causes injury and, ultimately, premature death for the victim. State and federal laws have wrongful death statutes, which give certain persons the right to bring a claim for damages they sustained as a result of the loss of their loved one.
Generally, these damages would be monetary losses, but they may also be loss of companionship, loss to the estate or additional losses, depending on the circumstances of the case. These cases typically require the help of an experienced wrongful death attorney, such as our attorneys at Markarian Law Group.
Who Can Bring a Claim?
Family members or dependents of the decedent may bring a claim for wrongful death on their own behalf, or individuals may bring a claim for wrongful death as representatives of the deceased person.
Therefore, a claimant (which is the person bringing the wrongful death claim) may be the deceased individual’s parent, spouse, sibling, child, or an executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate. Additionally, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews may have standing to bring a wrongful death claim if they are the decedent’s heirs at law.
Our Wrongful Death Attorney Will Guard Your Right to Bring a Claim
In order for an individual (family member, spouse, partner or personal representative) to bring a wrongful death claim, he or she must be able to prove to the court who they are (in relation to the decedent), the relationship/connection with the victim, and his or her right to bring a claim before the court for loss.
In some states, the claimant may also be the decedent’s domestic partner. Cohabiting partners usually may not bring a wrongful death claim, unless the applicable law recognizes common-law marriage and the decedent and potential claimant fit under the rules of a common-law marriage.
How to Determine Wrongful Death Compensation
The court uses a number of factors when determining the amount of damages in a wrongful death claim, including medical costs, burial costs, and other items. Winning a settlement for projected wages and punitive damages can result in a significant award.
Often the fact finder (judge or jury) will be able to consider the permanent loss of the decedent’s earnings after the wrongful death. The claimant may receive the amount of wages the decedent would have earned for the remainder of his or her life.
The salary amount at the time of death determines this calculated amount. (Some jurisdictions will also allow foreseeable wage increases.) Also called support payments, this calculation may include wages over what the remainder of the decedent’s life would have been (based on probable life expectancy).
Punitive damages may be available in a wrongful-death action. These damages will give the claimant additional money to punish the responsible party. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the claimant for his or her loss. Not all jurisdictions will offer punitive damages for a wrongful death claim. It is important to know the law in your jurisdiction when determining what type of damages to pursue in your wrongful death action.
Which Party Pays the Claim?
In a wrongful death claim, the defendant (or the responsible party) does not have to be an individual. The liable party — the party who would have been liable for the decedent’s injuries had he or she not died from them — may be the decedent’s employer, a corporation/business or a governmental entity. Our wrongful death attorney can help you find the responsible party or parties.
Deaths Caused by Negligence
In the state of California, the definition of an accidental death is one where the killing occurs from another person’s misconduct, recklessness or negligence. Accidental deaths may result from accidents, from injuries or even from people using products that are defective. Anytime a death involves negligence, it may receive an accidental or wrongful death ruling.
Often, in cases involving accidental death, families are not sure if the passing of their loved one involved third-party negligence. For this reason, police and state coroners may misclassify accidental deaths unless families employ a Los Angeles accidental death attorney, like the lawyers at our firm, who can investigate cases, look into the circumstances surrounding the death and attempt to prove that negligence occurred.
Contact Our Wrongful Death Attorney for a Free Consultation
When you need a local wrongful death attorney who will passionately fight for you, reach out to Markarian Law Group. Call our local Yucaipa office today at (626) 401-0500 or use the online form to submit your contact information.