The death of a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences anyone can undergo, but it is a torture like no other when it did not have to happen and is the result of the wrongdoing of another person or company.
Common Causes of a Wrongful Death
A wrongful death can be the result of:
- medical malpractice;
- an automobile accident;
- an aviation accident;
- a defective product;
- a defective medical device;
- a bad prescription drug.
- failure to diagnose an illness.
- failure to train gym staff.
- failure to properly respond to an emergency.
If you are grieving for a loved one whose death was caused by another person or the actions of a company, you may have a wrongful death suit.
However, there are strict time limits you must meet to file a lawsuit. These time limits are complex and strictly enforced by the courts. It is in your best interest to speak to an expert attorney at our award-winning Los Angeles law firm as soon as possible. In this way our attorneys can immediately begin to compile evidence and can relieve some of the stress you are facing.
Our veteran attorneys are familiar with a strategy used by the opposition to mitigate their losses. It is common practice to quickly offer what appears to be a fair settlement rather than face a trial. Family members who are feeling the emotional stress of losing a loved one while coping with an abrupt reduction in income may mistakenly accept the offer. We urge anyone in this position to at least contact us to review the facts of their case before accepting any settlement offers. One of our lawyers will be happy to schedule a complementary consultation.
Though we understand that this is an excruciatingly difficult time for you, please be aware that it is critical that an investigation into the facts of the case be undertaken as soon as possible by one of our attorneys if you are considering filing a case. This is necessary to preserve evidence, to get information while memories are fresh, and to avoid losing your right to bring a lawsuit.
Why Heimberg Barr
Dr. Steven Heimberg possesses a very rare and dangerous (for his opponents) background. He is a medical doctor as well as a lawyer. This allows him to recognize the full extent of medical issues involved in a wrongful death, uncover hidden facts, decipher complicated medical records, recruit top medical experts, and simplify and communicate the full impact of life altering injuries to juries so that they also understand and can award just damages.
Dr. Heimberg and the Heimberg Barr attorneys have decades of experience facing down insurance companies and their lawyers. They know the medical and legal issues inside and out and they know how to hold insurance companies accountable. They know what it takes to get insurance companies to do their job and pay claims that should be paid. That knowledge combines with a passionate commitment to justice and a rigorous work ethic to form the foundation on which Heimberg Barr is built.
Reasons To File A Case With A Wrongful Death Lawyer
You not only deserve to be compensated for your pain, suffering and loss, but, most importantly, you deserve to be free from your new financial hardships. A wrongful death claim is a civil action intended to financially compensate survivors for their losses resulting from the death. If the death was the result of a homicide, the state will bring criminal charges against the person responsible. The state penalizes guilt with prison time or probation and does not involve itself in a wrongful death action. A wrongful death lawsuit can proceed at the same time as the criminal proceeding. With the loss of your loved one, you and your family may have a severe reduction in income and huge medical bills (depending on the situation). Payment for your loss for the unnecessary death of a loved one is often critical to your family’s future. Having a lawyer for proceedings gives families their best chance at obtaining meaningful financial compensation to help them move forward. Being financially secure is important when planning a future without the support of a spouse or the pleasure of the company of a child or sibling.
Payment for your and your family’s loss for the unnecessary death of a loved one is often critical to your and your family’s future.
In most cases you will face an army of lawyers, an entire department at an insurance company, and the resources of a mega-corporation fighting you in order to avoid providing you the money you desperately need. In other words, their whole focus is to avoid claims or to settle with you for the least amount of money possible. If we find that you have a case, the experts at Heimberg Barr will connect you with among the best lawyers who will fight diligently to gain you the compensation you deserve.
Wrongful Death FAQ
Wrongful death refers to a situation in which an innocent party dies as a result of a negligent or reckless act. In Los Angeles and throughout the state, certain parties have the right to file a lawsuit to seek damages from the at-fault party. These include immediate family members such as spouse or children, or the parents of a person who was unmarried with no children.
It is advised that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the death of your loved one. While it is difficult to consider legal issues after the sudden and tragic loss of a family member, the evidence to support your case should be gathered while it is still available.
Only certain relatives have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In California, you must file your case within two years of the death, or your will lose your right to seek compensation. Under state law, the persons with the right to file a wrongful death suit include a spouse, domestic partner, children, grandchildren (if children are deceased). If the person was unmarried, the parents have the right to file. These issues are outlined in Article 6 or the Code of Civil Procedure, sections 377.60 – 377.62.
An autopsy may be helpful in a wrongful death case, as it will provide an official document about cause of death. The reason behind the need for an autopsy is that the lawsuit will be challenged by the defendant’s lawyers who may claim that the person had a physical condition that contributed to the death.
The difference between murder and wrongful death is that a wrongful death is a lawsuit filed against a person who could be held liable for the death of a loved one and filed in civil court. Murder is a case in which one party acted in a criminal manner, leading to the death of another human being. A wrongful death lawsuit could be filed in a case of murder, or when an act of negligence or reckless behavior led to a death.
In a murder case, a conviction will be based upon proof that the murder took place beyond a “reasonable doubt.” In civil court, the burden of proof is far lower than in criminal court. If a person died due to the actions of another party – even if that party was not convicted of murder in criminal court, a wrongful death lawsuit can still be brought.
When another party’s actions led to the death of a loved one, the at-fault party’s insurance company will be interested in getting you to settle your case for the lowest amount possible. Unfortunately, these insurance company lawyers typically offer a low settlement offer as the first action.
People who have lost a loved are often unaware of the actual value of a wrongful death case, and may accept an offer that is far, far lower than what could be negotiated by our lawyers at Heimberg Barr or awarded by a jury in a wrongful death lawsuit. It is advised that you do not discuss a settlement without speaking with one of our attorneys.
The compensatory damages sought in a wrongful death case typically include:
- The value of the support that the person would have provided had he or she lived.
- The loss of support that would have been provided to a child had the person lived a normal lifespan.
- The value of gifts and household services the person would have provided over a normal lifetime.
- Burial expenses and other similar costs associated with the loss of life.
- Damages for the loss of the love, care, assistance, moral support and other personal and emotional losses resulting from the death.
- For the spouse or domestic partner, loss of consortium, or the intimate relations of a partner.
- For children, the loss of guidance the parent would have provided.
- The pain and suffering a loved one experienced prior to the death.