A loved one’s wrongful death can be difficult for a family to move past. Knowing that a relative’s death could have been prevented had the negligent party acted responsibly can cause immense pain and grief for a family. In the wake of such a terrible tragedy, a family may feel like they will never get the answer they’re looking for.
However, filing a wrongful death claim may bring a family peace by knowing the negligent party faced justice for their actions. Learn more about wrongful death claims and how to file one.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death is a “preventable death that results from someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.” Many wrongful deaths result from the 167,127 accident-related deaths in the United States every year. There are several situations where wrongful deaths may happen, including the following:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Property hazards
The wrongful death of a loved one can be emotionally and financially devastating for those they leave behind. This may be particularly true if the decedent was the main provider for the family. In such a case, a wrongful death claim may be the best way for a family to move forward.
Who’s Responsible for a Wrongful Death?
Many actions (or inactions) can result in a wrongful death. This may involve negligence, misconduct, intentional conduct, illegal activity, or something else. Anyone who directly or indirectly caused another’s preventable death may be held liable for the incident.
In order to prove a wrongful death, your attorneys will need to prove the following:
- A human being died.
- The death was the result of another party’s negligence; design, manufacture, or distribution of a product; or intent to harm.
- Surviving family members have suffered economic and/or non-economic damages stemming from the death.
Specific examples of viable wrongful death cases include the following:
Pascua/White v. Industrial Asphalt Verdict: $14.4 Million
In this wrongful death case, we represented the family of a surgeon, her husband, and her 81-year-old mother who were passengers in a vehicle struck by a load of hot asphalt on a freeway. Our case demonstrated the asphalt truck company was liable for damages because they did not service or inspect the vehicle properly prior to the incident.
Scholz v. State of California Verdict: $3.7 Million
In this wrongful death case, we represented a young boy who was killed along with his father who lost his leg in a motorcycle crash caused by poorly designed roads. We demonstrated the State of California was liable for this incident due to its failure to design the road in a safe manner.
Murillo v. U.S.A. (Border Patrol) Verdict: $3.3 Million
In this wrongful death case, we recovered the largest verdict against U.S. Border Patrol after a vehicle they were improperly chasing struck and killed the children of two families.
How Filing a Wrongful Death Claim Can Help a Family
We understand that no legal action can bring back a loved one. However, obtaining justice against the responsible parties and holding them accountable for their actions can bring a family peace of mind.
Additionally, the funds recovered through a wrongful death claim can help a family pay for unexpected emergency services and other medical bills, funeral costs, and more. The funds recovered may also be able to support a family financially after a breadwinner passes away. In short, filing a wrongful death claim can help a family obtain justice while also providing them for the future.
In the wake of a loved one’s wrongful death, going through the legal process may seem overwhelming. But with the right legal team on your side, it doesn’t have to be. A qualified law firm will take the legal matter largely out of your hands while keeping you apprised of important updates along the way. The right law firm will also respond to your questions, no matter how small they may seem to you, in a timely manner.
At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we offer our clients all that and more throughout this process. Our goal is to make this difficult time a bit easier for you.
Who’s Eligible for a Wrongful Death Claim?
In general, only family members close to the decedent may file a wrongful death claim on their behalf. These individuals include the following:
- A spouse or domestic partner
- Other heirs, such as parents or siblings
- The personal representative of the decedent’s estate
It may be possible for others to file a wrongful death claim if they were financially dependent on the decedent.
It’s also important to note that most legal actions have a certain time limit to file, including wrongful death claims. This is known as the “statute of limitations.” Most of the time, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years.
Wrongful Death Support Systems
Seeking emotional support is vital in the wake of a loved one’s wrongful death. Although it may seem overwhelming to do so immediately following such a tragic event, it’s definitely something you should look into when you feel ready. Finding ways to express and process your emotions is the only way for you and your family to truly move forward. The following ideas may help you get started:
- Reconnect with family and friends. Reach out to your close network of family and friends for support. Chances are, someone close to you has experienced something similar and can provide helpful, empathetic advice.
- Look after your physical health. Grief and depression can make taking care of your physical health seem overwhelming. However, even taking a small step forward every day, such as drinking more water or getting enough sleep, can help you along the path to overall wellness after tragedy.
- Do not allow anyone to tell you how to feel. How you feel after a loved one’s loss is your business and no one else’s. Additionally, there is no “timeline” for the grieving process; it is different for everyone. Do not let society or other people’s expectations affect your recovery process.
Considering a Wrongful Death Claim? We’re Here to Help
If your loved one died due to the reckless actions of another, our Los Angeles trial attorneys can help you seek justice by filing a wrongful death claim. Our team has a strong track record of success in this area of the law, and we have helped countless clients move forward after a terrible tragedy. We’re here to help you, too.
Call Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP at (866) 634-4525 to schedule a free consultation.