Was your loved one a victim of wrongful death? What Compensation are you entitled to?
There are many types of unnatural deaths that can lead to a wrongful death claim, so, if you have lost a loved one unexpectedly, the first thing you should do is consult a Torrance Personal Injury Lawyer. In general, a wrongful death is that which has been caused by the negligence or willful act of another. As such, a deliberate attack, such as an assault, that ends with a death can justify a claim. Additionally, a wrongful death claim can be filed if someone who has been in a fatal workplace accident or auto accident. Even some medical malpractice claims may involve damages for a wrongful death. The following guide explains more about this process.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Only one person can file a claim with the help of a wrongful death attorney in Torrance CA. This individual is called the personal representative and must have been closely related to the decedent. Typically, the only people eligible to file this type of claim are the parents, spouse, or children of the deceased.
Additionally, there is a two-year time limit on how long you have to initiate the claim, and those 24 months start counting down from the date of the death. While this seems like a long time, it goes by rather quickly. Before you get to the point at which you’ll file a lawsuit complaint, you’ll first have to hire an attorney, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies for the defendant. This can be a time-consuming process, so you should get started as early as possible.
How is a Claim Filed?
There are several steps you should take in filing a wrongful death claim. You should start by talking to witnesses of the incident. You can ask them what they saw and collect their names and contact information. You should let them know they may be asked to make a statement or testify if you do need to pursue a claim in court.
You should also collect evidence. Primarily, this may involve taking pictures of the location of the accident if that’s possible. Any property damages that resulted from the incident, such as damage to the vehicle in an auto accident, should also be photographed. It can also help your claim to obtain any medical records and bills that resulted from treatment of the individual. Be sure you obtain an official copy of the death certificate.
As soon as possible, you should also hire a Torrance personal injury attorney to handle your claim. A lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies, use your evidence to build a stronger claim, and file the necessary paperwork with the courthouse. Since an initial complaint must be filled out correctly and must be submitted in a timely manner, working with an experienced attorney will help your claim move along more expeditiously.
What Damages Can a Torrance Wrongful Death Attorney Help You Recover?
There are three different types of damages that a Torrance wrongful death lawyer can help you recover. They are economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic damages include the cost of the funeral and burial, the loss of an inheritance, and the loss of income in cases where the decedent was the primary provider. The value of the familial services the individual would have continued to provide can also be estimated.
Non-economic damages include the following:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of protection
- Loss of guidance
In some situations, the jury will opt to award punitive damages, which can be granted in almost any amount. While the previously mentioned damages are compensatory and intended to help the plaintiff, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant. Punitive damages are typically awarded where the defendant is a large corporation and the amount awarded is intended to cause a financial hardship. The goal is to make it less likely that the defendant will act negligently in the same manner in the future.
If you’re unsure whether or not a loved one’s death was wrongful under the law, you should consult a Personal Injury Attorney in Torrance CA. The experienced legal team at Stearns Kim & Stearns & Ryan will go over your case with you to help you determine the strength and value of your claim. They will also answer any questions you may have about the process. While they can’t help you with the grieving process, they can help you recover the financial losses the death of your loved one has caused.