The unexpected death of a loved one is a shattering experience. The ordeal is worse if you learn that your family member’s death could have been prevented.
A death cannot be reversed, but California law recognizes the need for the parties responsible for a wrongful death to compensate aggrieved family members for their losses. In Newport Beach and greater Orange County, CA, the wrongful death attorneys of Sam & Ash Injury Law are here to provide you with compassionate guidance as you seek justice and accountability through a wrongful death claim.
As your attorneys, Sam & Ash Injury Law can handle every aspect of your claim for the compensation you are due. We won’t leave you to fight for justice on your own or let the insurance company take advantage of your grief.
Our experienced wrongful death attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law can make things easier for you during a trying time. We are available 24 hours a day to talk and answer your questions. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation discussion of a potential wrongful death claim.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The term “wrongful death” refers to the death of a person as the result of someone else’s wrongful act or failure to act.
A wrongful death may occur because of:
- Negligence, such as driving carelessly or failing to repair or warn visitors about a hazard on your property
- Omission, or failure to act, such as an able adult not responding as a child drowns in a shallow pool
- Criminal attack, such as murder or an assault and battery that proves fatal
- Death that occurs while committing another crime, such as vehicular manslaughter in a drunk driving accident or manslaughter or murder during a home burglary
California law allows certain people to assert “a cause of action (grounds for a lawsuit) for the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.” As part of such a lawsuit, family members of the decedent may seek “damages,” which is compensation for their losses.
Family members of the decedent in a wrongful death may seek damages for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Financial support the decedent would have contributed to the family
- Gifts or benefits family members could have expected to receive from the decedent
- The value of household services the decedent would have provided
- Loss of the decedent’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, training and guidance, moral support, and consortium
- Pain, suffering, or disfigurement the decedent suffered prior to death
Pain, suffering, and disfigurement damages are allowed under an amendment to the law that applies to lawsuits filed between January 1, 2022, and January 1, 2026, as well as to all existing actions that have been granted a trial preference. The law is written to expire, or “sunset,”’ in 2026, but also requires the Judicial Council to report judgments and court-approved settlements to the legislature for evaluation. The legislature is expected to make this provision of the law permanent upon its sunset date.