Wrongful Death Lawyer San Diego
A wrongful death lawsuit alleges that someone was killed as a result of the negligence or other fault on the part of another individual or company and that the surviving dependents or beneficiaries are entitled to monetary damages as a result of the wrongdoers conduct.
Wrongful death is brought in a civil action, usually by close relatives, against a person who is responsible for or can be held liable for a death. A wrongful death lawsuit claims that the victim was killed as a result of negligence or other unjust action. Common wrongful death lawsuits include such cases as automobile collisions, truck collisions, product liability, construction accidents, medical malpractice, fires and train collisions.
All states have some form of a wrongful death claim law that they use. When considering representation and suit as to a client’s losses arising from wrongful death in California, there are several initial issues to explore:
- Is your client’s relationship to the decedent such that your client has a claim at all;
Who else has a claim;
What damages can be sought by whom; and
What are the causes of action to be pleaded in the complaint?
- The plaintiffs in any wrongful death case are the heirs of the decedent. In the case of the death of a child, the heirs are the parents. If the deceased person was married, then the heirs are the spouse and any children. If the deceased person was not married, then the heirs would be the children, if any, followed by the parents, if any survive, followed by siblings. In some cases, the determination of the proper heirs may be quite complicated, but it is essential that the proper heirs all be involved in any wrongful death claim, since the law requires all heirs to be names as either plaintiffs or defendants in any wrongful death claim.
The decedent’s surviving spouse, children, dependent stepchildren (and dependent minors residing in the household for at least six months), and dependent parents can always state a claim for wrongful death. Code Civ. Proc. § 377.60 permits recovery for these categories of relationship in all circumstances, notwithstanding any intestacy laws. If there are none of these heirs, the law of intestate succession governs. Code Civ. Proc. § 377.60(a); and Probate Code § 6402.
In California, a wrongful death claim is a civil suit that seeks damages from the defendant for such things as medical and funeral expenses, future earnings, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and other types of physical, emotional, and financial damages. The claim must be filed within two years of the death.
Recovering from the loss of a family member is one of life’s most difficult challenges. Following your loss, the weight of the new responsibilities that rest upon your shoulders may seem to difficult to bear. The San Diego wrongful death attorneys at the law offices of Howard A. Kitay have in-depth knowledge of wrongful death and personal injury law. Our litigators will aggressively pursue your interests. If your loved one has been killed as a result or fault of another, consider contacting our office today for additional information about a wrongful death claim. Our experienced attorneys can answer questions specific to your case.
Wrongful death cases require experienced attorneys to maximize the recovery for the family of a person killed by another’s negligence or fault. With over 20 years of experience and the reputation as a firm with formidable litigators we will aggressively pursue your interests. The San Diego wrongful death attorneys at the Kitay Law Firm will provide you with unsurpassed legal representation. The initial case analysis is always free, and you will owe no legal fees or expenses until you receive an award. Contact our office today at 619-578-2222.