Los Angeles Wrongful Death Attorneys
Standing up for Families Who Suffered Tragic Wrongful Deaths
Death from unintentional injuries is the fourth-leading cause of fatalities in the United States, with more than 146,500 accident-related deaths in one year. Many people who suddenly die in unexpected circumstances leave behind spouses, children, parents, and other loved ones who never imagined they would face such a tragedy. Many surviving family members may not know how to proceed in light of their sudden financial and emotional losses.
We Take on Challenging Wrongful Death Claims
The attorneys at Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, represent the surviving family members of wrongful death victims. Although some wrongful death claims seem straightforward, defendants will almost always fight aggressively against liability for a death. Family members may benefit from a law firm that has the resources and experience to fight aggressively for them.
Wrongful death laws can confuse anyone, especially when applied to the complicated circumstances of a death, but our firm does not shy away from such cases. We aim to protect the legal rights of our clients during a devastating time in their lives. The results we have achieved for past clients demonstrate how hard we have fought for them.
If your loved one recently suffered fatal injuries in an accident in Los Angeles or anywhere in California, please do not wait to call us at (310) 576-1200 to discuss whether we can help.
Why People Rely on Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, Over Other Law Firms
When the phone rings and a grieving spouse or parent is on the other end of the line, many law firms will refer the case out to another lawyer with more experience and resources. Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, is the firm they often call. Our legal colleagues and our clients trust our firm for many reasons, chief among them our track record and reputation for successful representation of the families of wrongful death victims.
We credit that track record to a few factors that set us apart from our peers:
The resources to fully investigate a claim. Because our firm has achieved successful resolutions for many clients suffering from catastrophic injuries and tragic losses, we have the ability to put our resources into future cases. When the situation calls for it, we employ full-time investigators dedicated to gathering evidence in each case.
We have a warehouse where we not only store massive amounts of evidence that our investigators have collected, but where we have conducted demonstrations for jurors or opposing counsel so they see can see the weight of the evidence firsthand. Such a presentation of evidence can persuade defendants to provide fair compensation through settlement, or for juries to find in our clients’ favor.
Experts to weigh in on technical matters. Determining liability for fatal accidents can often require highly technical analysis. Claims may require knowledge of accident reconstruction, trucking industry practices, auto components and manufacture, product design and assembly, and much more. When necessary, our firm works with highly respected experts who can examine the circumstances of a case and provide clear, persuasive opinions. Reliable and honest experts can prove particularly convincing to juries.
Dynamic negotiating skills. Throughout the litigation process, the parties often engage in multiple rounds of negotiations to try to reach favorable settlement agreements. Reaching a settlement can avoid the need for an expensive, time-consuming, and exhausting jury trial. All of our lawyers understand how to aggressively and skillfully employ negotiation strategies that best suit the circumstances of each case. This gives us the best chance at obtaining settlements our clients deserve.
The ability to succeed at trial. In some cases, the defendant will not offer an adequate settlement. At this point, many law firms try to convince their clients to accept the offer because their lawyers are afraid of going to trial. At Greene Broilet & Wheeler, LLP, our attorneys are not afraid of trial. We strive to give our clients the best advice possible about the risks and benefits of trying a case. If the situation calls for trial, we have the experience and skills to present the best possible case to the jury. Other attorneys are well aware of our past successes in the courtroom. Opposing counsel will often take our lawyers more seriously because they know we have the skills and resources to succeed at trial. This reputation has benefited our clients in the past.
Dedication to each client. Every client has a unique story, and that story is often essential to proving they deserve significant compensation for their losses. Clients come to us following the deaths of loved ones arising out of a wide variety of circumstances. We strive to understand what happened and the effects of the death to provide the highest quality of representation. We aim to get to know each client, including their financial needs and their losses. We think of many of our clients as family and want to help each one through their difficult times.
With the above skills, resources, and commitment, our lawyers have the tools to represent clients effectively in even the most complex and challenging cases. We have obtained seven- or eight-figure settlements and verdicts for our clients—and we put the same effort into each case.
Read: “Quiet Reflections On Profound Loss – Helping the jury do justice for the wrongful death of a child” – By Bruce Broillet
Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Recovery for Surviving Loved Ones
At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we have successfully recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for the grieving family members of wrongful death victims. Below are just some of our results in wrongful death cases:
- $73 million verdict – Claims brought against Ford Motor Company for rollover deaths due to defective vehicles
- $14.4 million verdict – The death of two people caused by an improperly serviced asphalt truck that threw hot asphalt on a vehicle
- $5 million settlement – A passenger of a truck that rolled down an embankment died after the driver lost control
- $4.5 million verdict – A husband and father died when a recycling truck hit his vehicle head-on
- $3.7 million verdict – A young boy died in a motorcycle accident due to defective road design
- $3.3 million verdict – The children of two families were killed in an accident caused by an improper Border Patrol chase. This was the largest verdict ever against Border Patrol
- $3 million verdict – The father of a young daughter was killed by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, who hit the man while he was on the side of the freeway
- $3 million settlement – Two immigrants from the Philippines died in an accident caused by tire tread separation
- $2.6 million verdict – A father of 12 children died because an auto repair shop did not properly repair his vehicle
- $2.5 million settlement – A husband died in a head-on crash caused by a driver who fell asleep on the job
- $2.5 million verdict – For the family of a college student who crashed when her vehicle hit a metal object that fell off another driver’s trailer
- $2.25 million settlement – An auto crash caused a celebrity to suffer a heart attack and pass away
- $2.25 million settlement – An underage driver crashed into an immigrant security guard at a construction site
- $1.1 million settlement – For the parents of a young girl who got tangled in a mini-blind cord and died from asphyxiation
We credit our track record of recovering multimillion-dollar awards for our clients to bringing the right resources, attorneys, and mindset to standing up for our clients after they suffer the tragic death of their loved ones.
The numerous settlements and verdicts we’ve secured illustrate the talent and commitment of our legal team. We strive to present the most persuasive, supported, and well-crafted arguments possible in every case. We seek to achieve an appropriate settlement offer, but do not hesitate to go to trial when necessary. Our attorneys know how to present a wrongful death case to a jury in a way that illustrates the extent of each family’s losses.
Some law firms that handle less serious cases may prefer to settle cases as quickly as possible. We believe the clients of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, have too much on the line for us to take that approach. We understand that they often cannot afford to accept an inadequate settlement.
When Is a Death Wrongful?
Wrongful death means a preventable death that resulted from someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct. This can apply to a wide range of fatal accidents that may lead to legal claims. The following are only some of the many common causes of wrongful death in California:
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Hazards on property
- Defective products
- Workplace accidents
- Fatal burns
- Furniture tipover accidents
Many different types of actions—or inactions—can result in wrongful deaths. Each type of accident will raise specific legal questions and concepts. Our case results above show that we have successfully obtained settlements and judgments in wrongful death cases arising from many different circumstances—auto crashes, police chases, on the job injuries, defective products, and more. We are ready to take on wrongful death claims stemming from a wide range of accidents and negligent acts.
In addition, many different parties may face liability for wrongful death. An individual, company, or government entity’s negligence can lead to a fatal accident. Parties who may contribute to a wrongful death include:
- Automobile manufacturers
- Automobile or truck drivers
- Product manufacturers
- Trucking companies
- Government entities and contractors responsible for road repair and maintenance
This list, however, is not exclusive. Almost any person, manufacturer, business, or government body that did not take sufficient care and contributed to a fatal accident can cause a wrongful death.
The law recognizes that wrongful death results in tremendous economic and non-economic damages, and that survivors should not shoulder these losses alone. Instead, the party responsible may be required to pay compensation to the victim’s family for the death of their loved one and certain losses incurred due to the death.
Who Is Eligible to Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
Generally, only close family members can bring wrongful death lawsuits. California’s wrongful death statute permits the following surviving relatives to bring a wrongful death action:
- A spouse or domestic partner
- If the victim did not have surviving children, then other heirs, such as parents or siblings
- The personal representative of the person’s estate, on behalf of the spouse, children, or other heirs authorized to bring a claim
Additional people may have the right to bring wrongful death lawsuits if they depended financially on the deceased person. Such people include:
- A putative spouse or a putative spouse’s children. (Putative spouse means someone who believed that he or she was married to the deceased person, even though the marriage was not valid)
If you are unsure whether you can bring a wrongful death lawsuit, consult a Los Angeles wrongful death attorney at Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP. An experienced wrongful death attorney can evaluate your relationship to your loved one and help determine whether you have a valid legal claim.
Helping Clients Recover for All of Their Losses
The primary purpose of a wrongful death claim is to seek damages that compensate surviving family members for various losses suffered due to the death of their loved one. Generally, family members can seek compensation for economic and non-economic losses, though the damages available depend on the circumstances—and every case is unique. Contact Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, to evaluate your specific situation.
Economic damages. Economic damages compensate families for financial losses that bills, receipts, pay statements, and other financial documents can verify. Such expenses may include:
- Burial expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Costs of medical care provided to the loved one before death
- Lost income of the loved one
Courts may also award economic damages that represent the value of lost future earnings. For example, if a spouse would likely have worked another 30 years, the surviving spouse may seek 30 years’ worth of lost future income, factoring in expected increases in wages, inflation, and other factors over time. These calculations often require the assistance of economic and occupational experts, which our attorneys use on a regular basis.
Families also may seek damages for the value of lost household services, such as housekeeping, cooking, and childcare. For instance, a wife or husband might have regularly prepared meals for the entire family, cleaned the house, done everyone’s laundry, and taken care of minor children. If that person suddenly passes away, the burden of such services falls on surviving family members. Courts may award compensation to subsidize the loss of these services.
Non-economic losses. Not every loss is easily measured in dollars. The loss of a loved one can cause a family to suffer many devastating non-economic losses as well. Obviously, no amount of money can ever replace the presence of a spouse, parent, or child, but courts may award additional compensation for the loss of love, affection, companionship, moral support, and when appropriate, sexual intimacy. If a case does not settle pre-trial, the jury may determine the amount necessary to compensate a family for the loss of their relationship with their loved one.
Taking legal action after a wrongful death is never easy. Dealing with grief and adjusting to life without a family member can overwhelm anyone. Standing up for your legal rights does not require taking on additional stress. The lawyers at Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, aim to take as much stress off of their clients as possible through the diligent preparation of every aspect of the wrongful death legal claims they pursue.
Bringing a wrongful death claim can hold responsible parties accountable for the tragic death, and give family members a sense of justice and closure. Our attorneys are prepared to explain the process to you and listen to your story with compassion.
Contact Our California Wrongful Death Law Firm Today
At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, our attorneys have witnessed the devastating aftermath of sudden wrongful deaths. We have handled wrongful death cases involving many different scenarios—from auto collisions to workplace accidents to deadly police misconduct. We strive for the moment when our lawyers can help a family move forward after a death and into a better position than when they first called our office.
If your loved one suffered a wrongful death in Los Angeles, Southern California, or anywhere in the state, please do not hesitate to discuss a possible case with a member of our team. Call (310) 576-1200 or write to us through our contact form to start learning more about how we protect legal rights.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Greene Broillet & Wheeler LLP represented me following the tragic death of my father. I rarely write reviews, but I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude to this firm, and in particular Scott Carr and Alan Van Gelder. Beyond the quality of their legal work, which was excellent, they displayed a level of compassion that is hard to find in the legal profession. At every turn, they were responsive, ethical and helped me navigate what was an emotionally difficult process. I highly recommend this firm.”
Review by: Demian W.