Maria had just finished her shift at the local diner and was exhausted, but the thought of seeing her husband and children gave her the energy she needed to keep going. She carefully drove her car along the busy streets of Long Beach, eager to get home.
Unfortunately, Maria never made it home. Another driver, distracted by their phone, ran a red light and collided with Maria’s car. Despite the best efforts of the paramedics, Maria passed away from her injuries.
Devastated and struggling to provide for his children alone, Maria’s husband turned to a Long Beach wrongful death accident attorney for help. The attorney evaluated the facts of the tragic accident and determined that Maria’s husband had the right to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver to get compensation for his family’s loss.
Although this is a fictional scenario, tragedies like this happen far too often in real life. That’s why the Madison Law Group focuses on providing legal representation for families of loved ones who passed away because of someone else’s negligence.
Compassionate Long Beach Wrongful Death Attorneys
At the Madison Law Group, we understand that the unexpected loss of a loved one is a life-altering tragedy. When a negligent person or entity causes that loss, the pain gets compounded by anger, frustration, and a desire for justice. There is also the matter of finances, which can become very stressful due to the bills that pile up from any medical treatment that was administered prior to death, and funeral and burial costs, not to mention the lost wages and services that were lost along with your loved one.
Our law firm of experienced wrongful death attorneys understands the complexities of wrongful death claims, and we work to ensure our clients receive the maximum compensation allowed by law.
At the Madison Law Group, we provide empathetic, personalized attention to every one of our clients. We know this is a difficult time and are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation so we can review your wrongful death claim and assist you in seeking justice for your family member.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful death lawsuits allow the family members of a person who has died due to someone else’s negligent, reckless, or intentional acts to seek compensation for their loss. These personal injury cases aim to hold those responsible accountable for their actions and secure financial support for the remaining family members.
For example, imagine a man is killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. His wife and children may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver, seeking compensation for their loss. The claim may include damages for things like medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost income, and emotional pain and suffering.
A wrongful death lawsuit can help provide some measure of financial stability for the deceased loved one’s family. Additionally, it holds those accountable for their actions and helps prevent similar tragedies in the future.
California Traffic Accident Deaths
Every year, thousands of families in California suffer the devastating loss of family members in traffic accidents. Despite numerous efforts to promote safe driving, fatal accidents on California’s roads remain high.
According to a 2021 annual report by the California Office of Traffic Safety, in 2020, traffic fatalities rose 3.4 percent from 3,719 in 2019 to 3,847. These sobering statistics remind us of the need for continued vigilance regarding road safety.
The OTS reports more shocking statistics:
- Alcohol-impaired drivers caused thirty percent of all traffic deaths in California. These fatalities represent a four percent increase compared to 2019.
- Drug-related fatalities (legal and illegal drugs) account for 50 percent of traffic deaths, up from eight percent in 2019.
- Motorcycle accidents resulting in fatalities skyrocketed to nearly 10 percent in 2020. The number of deaths went from 491 to 539.
These tragic losses of life serve as a stark reminder to stay aware and take safety precautions to prevent road accidents. It is crucial for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians alike to prioritize safety and work together to reduce the number of traffic accident deaths in California.
Examples of Wrongful Death Situations
A family member’s untimely death is never easy, especially when the negligence of another person, company, or government entity caused their death. In such cases, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be the best course of action.
Below are some examples of wrongful death actions that occur most often:
Car Accidents: When drivers behave recklessly or negligently and cause a fatal accident, they can be held accountable for their actions. One example of a car accident causing another driver’s death is a collision where a drunk driver speeds through a stop sign and hits another car, resulting in the death of the other driver.
Medical Malpractice: If a medical professional fails to provide adequate care, and the death of a patient results, filing a wrongful death lawsuit is a viable option. A wrongful death case may involve a situation where the provider made a negligent mistake during surgery or prescribed the wrong medicine, for example.
Defective Products: If a product is designed or manufactured improperly and unsafely, resulting in a fatal accident, the manufacturer may be liable for their negligence. An example is a faulty airbag that fails to deploy during a car accident, leading to the driver’s or passenger’s death.
Workplace Accidents: Wrongful death cases relating to the workplace happen when an employer fails to provide a safe working environment or fails to follow safety protocols, resulting in an employee’s death. For instance, when a construction worker falls from an improperly secured scaffold, resulting in fatal injuries, a wrongful death suit may be filed due to the employer’s failure to provide a safe workplace.
Criminal Acts: If the intentional actions of another person caused a person’s death, their family can seek justice and compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Malpractice vs. Wrongful Death: How They Differ
Malpractice and wrongful death are both serious legal issues that involve harm or death to a person.
Malpractice is a type of negligence where a professional fails to provide the expected standard of care. This can include medical malpractice, where a healthcare professional provides substandard care. When that negligence leads to an injury, a malpractice suit may be filed.
Wrongful death is a situation where that negligence caused more than just an injury, but death.
Let’s say a person goes to the doctor because they are experiencing chest pain, and the medical professional fails to properly diagnose their condition as a heart attack. As a result, the person suffers severe heart damage due to improper medical care. In this case, the doctor’s failure to diagnose and provide the appropriate treatment could be considered malpractice. A medical malpractice personal injury lawsuit could potentially be filed if it could be proven that the doctor’s negligence was the reason for the damage to the patient.
Another example of a wrongful death case is a drunk driver who causes a car accident resulting in another motorist’s death. In this wrongful death claim, the drunk driver should be held liable because their careless behavior directly resulted in the death of another individual.
Statutes of Limitations in Wrongful Death Claims
The statute of limitations on a wrongful death lawsuit in California is two years from the date of the individual’s death. This deadline means that if you plan to file a wrongful death suit in California, you must do so within the two-year window, or you will lose your right to file a lawsuit.
For example, if someone died on January 1, 2022, the deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in California would be January 1, 2024. It’s important to note that there may be some exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations, depending on the circumstances of the wrongful death case, so it’s always best to schedule a free consultation with an experienced wrongful death attorney to understand your legal options.
The Burden of Proof for Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death is an overwhelming emotional time for families, and the survivors have the right to file a lawsuit. However, a successful wrongful death claim requires that you establish the following key elements:
Duty of care
A claim must show the responsible party had a duty of care to the deceased. This legal concept means they have a legal obligation to act in a way that prevents harm to the victim. An example of duty of care in a Long Beach wrongful death lawsuit would be if a doctor failed to give the patients the correct diagnosis and proper care, causing their death. In this case, the doctor had a duty of care to provide competent medical treatment to the patient, and their failure to do so was a breach of that duty.
Breach of duty
When a negligent party engages in careless or deliberate actions that violate their duty of care, this is called a breach of duty. This element entails proving that they did not behave in a way that a reasonable person would have in a similar situation. For instance, a driver failed to stop at a red light and hit a pedestrian, causing their death. The driver had a duty to obey traffic laws and act reasonably, but their failure to stop at the red light breached that duty and directly caused the pedestrian’s death.
You must prove that the breach of duty was the direct cause of the deceased’s death. If there was a breach of duty but you can’t directly link it to the person’s death, you may not have a case.
There must be damages resulting from the death of the deceased, such as medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, and a loss of companionship. An example of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit could be a family losing the sole breadwinner due to a workplace accident caused by employer negligence.
Long Beach Wrongful Death Claims: Who Has the Right to Sue?
A Long Beach wrongful death accident attorney understands that determining who can sue for wrongful death in California can be complex. Below is a list of surviving family members who are eligible to initiate a wrongful death claim:
- Spouse and children – With California law, the deceased person’s spouse and children are typically the first in line to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Domestic partner and children – If the deceased person was in a domestic partnership and had children with their partner, the partner and children could file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Stepchildren and parents – Occasionally, these family members can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit if they are financially dependent on the deceased loved one.
- Other dependents – If the deceased individual has no surviving spouse or kids, other relatives can file the lawsuit.
A skilled Long Beach wrongful death accident attorney who knows how to file wrongful death claims evaluate your case, help you understand your legal rights and provide representation throughout the legal process. Request a free consultation with our attorneys at Madison Law Group as soon as possible.
What Compensation Can the Family Receive in a Long Beach Wrongful Death Claim?
Losing a loved one in a wrongful death accident can have a long list of financial implications. A wrongful death attorney is often asked about the compensation families can receive in a wrongful death claim. Here is what you can potentially collect:
Families can receive compensation for monetary damages, such as medical bills, funeral and burial costs, and loss of financial support. For example, suppose the deceased person was the only breadwinner in the family. In that case, the family may receive compensation for the lost income the departed loved one would have provided.
Families can also receive compensation for non-economic damages, such as loss of companionship, love, and support. Evaluating these damages is challenging, and their value can fluctuate based on the specific aspects of the wrongful death claim.
In some cases, families may be entitled to punitive damages if the reckless behavior of the liable party caused the wrongful death. Punitive damages penalize defendants while deterring them from repeating similar actions in the future.
Work With a Long Beach Attorney
If you are contemplating filing a wrongful death claim, partner with an experienced attorney. They can determine the amount of compensation you may be entitled to based on the unique circumstances of your case.
What Does a Long Beach Wrongful Death Lawyer Do?
Experiencing the loss of a beloved family member is never easy, but it’s even more devastating when someone else’s negligence or intentional actions cause the death. This is where a wrongful death lawyer comes in. Here are the key ways an attorney can assist you:
- Investigates the case: A wrongful death lawyer will investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one to determine if another person, business, or government entity engaged in negligent actions resulting in the person’s death.
- Builds a case: Once established that someone else was responsible for the death, the wrongful death lawyer will strategize a compelling case on your behalf.
- Handles the legal process: A wrongful death lawyer will handle all legal matters, including filing the necessary paperwork and representing you in court.
- Negotiates settlements: Sometimes, the parties involved can settle the personal injury claim outside of court. Your Long Beach wrongful death lawyer will work with the other party or their insurance company to ensure you receive financial relief.
- Provides support so you can focus on healing: A Long Beach wrongful death lawyer understands the emotional toll a loss can take on every family member. They will offer assistance and guidance during every step of the process.
Areas of Law Pertaining to Wrongful Death
Losing a loved one due to another person’s negligence is unimaginable. In such cases, a Long Beach wrongful death accident attorney is vital for securing justice and getting compensation for the loss. Some attorneys have specialized skills in different areas of wrongful death claims. There are different areas of law which a wrongful death might pertain to. Here are a few.
Personal injury: Many personal injury attorneys also handle wrongful death claims, as the two areas of law are closely related. A personal injury attorney knows how to file a wrongful death claim and can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you and your deceased family member deserve.
Medical malpractice attorneys: If your loved one’s wrongful death resulted from medical malpractice, work with an attorney with specific experience in this area of law. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be intricate and demand in-depth knowledge of legal and medical matters. Our attorneys at Madison Law Group are well versed in all injury related areas of law.
No matter what, always do your research to ensure the attorneys you choose have experience handling wrongful death claims. Our wrongful death attorneys have a track record of success and work hard to defend your family’s rights.
FAQs About Long Beach Wrongful Death Claims
1. How does a deposition fit into a wrongful death lawsuit?
The defendant’s attorney questions a witness or party under oath in a deposition. This legal procedure takes place outside of court and is used to gather evidence for the trial. During a deposition, the witness answers questions about their knowledge of the incident, the events leading up to it, and any other relevant information.
The witness must answer truthfully, and the court reporter records their responses. Depositions can be crucial to a wrongful death lawsuit, as they allow wrongful death lawyers to gather substantial evidence for building a persuasive wrongful death claim for their client.
2. How much is a Long Beach wrongful death claim worth?
There is no definitive answer to the average settlement amount for a wrongful death lawsuit. The compensation awarded varies depending on several factors, such as the case’s circumstances, the damages’ severity, and the parties involved. However, wrongful death settlements can range from thousands to millions of dollars.
For example, the California case of Estate of Shear v. the City of Los Angeles settled a wrongful death claim for $12.5 million. This lawsuit was one of the highest premises liability awards in 2020.
The award can cover costs ranging from medical bills to funeral expenses. The amount of compensation granted in a wrongful death legal case is based on the unique circumstances of each case, including how much damage was sustained due to the loss.
3. If the person responsible for my loved one’s death was acquitted in criminal court, can I still file a wrongful death lawsuit against them?
Yes, you can still bring a wrongful death claim against someone even if they were acquitted in criminal court. In a criminal case, the plaintiff must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The standard of proof for a civil wrongful death case is a preponderance of the evidence. This basically means you only have to prove that the negligence or misconduct you are alleging is more likely than not to have occurred, and more likely than not to have caused the death. This means you can still seek composition from the accountable person even if they were not found guilty in a criminal court trial.
4.Can I file a Long Beach wrongful death claim if I’m an undocumented immigrant?
Undocumented immigrants in Long Beach and elsewhere in the state can file a wrongful death claim. California law does not discriminate against individuals based on their immigration status when filing a wrongful death claim.
Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 377.60, the deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, and domestic partner are entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, regardless of their immigration status.
Additionally, parents and siblings of the deceased may also have the right to bring a wrongful death claim if there are no surviving spouses, children, or domestic partners. There is nothing in California law pertaining to immigration status when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
5. Could my Long Beach wrongful death claim end up going to trial?
Yes, a wrongful death claim could go to trial if the parties involved cannot settle through negotiation or mediation. If there’s no agreement regarding the deceased family’s compensation, the case may proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will decide the outcome. Partnering with a skilled and experienced wrongful death attorney to represent you maximizes your chances of winning a personal injury case regardless of whether you go to trial or settle for a fair amount in negotiations prior to trial.
6. How long will my Long Beach wrongful death claim take?
The time it takes to resolve a wrongful death claim can vary depending on the case’s complexity and the parties’ willingness to reach a settlement. Some cases resolve within a few months, while others take several years.
Having realistic expectations and working with a Long Beach wrongful death attorney guiding you through the legal steps are crucial when trying to get a wrongful death settlement. While resolving a wrongful death claim may take time, pursuing justice for your loved one is worth the effort and time it takes. Ultimately the goal is to get you the maximum compensation due to you under the law, and that can take time.
The Devastating Impact of Long Beach Wrongful Death on Families
The loss of a loved one due to wrongful death can have a devastating impact on families. Losing a family member suddenly and unexpectedly can be emotionally and mentally overwhelming. Families may experience various emotions, including grief, anger, confusion, and sadness. They may struggle to accept their loss and adjust to life after their loved one’s death.
In addition to the emotional toll, families may face financial difficulties, such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and loss of income. Wrongful death can have a lasting impact on families and we at Madison Law Group want to help as much as we can with easing that burden.
The Importance of Holding Those Responsible Accountable
A loved one’s death is a painful experience for any family member. The impact of wrongful death is indescribable and can change the surviving family members’ lives forever. Holding the guilty party accountable is a matter of justice and a way for families to find closure.
Additionally, filing a claim serves as a deterrent to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future. By pursuing a wrongful death case, families can demand the accountability and compensation they deserve while also sending a message that careless or reckless actions will not be tolerated.
Cases of Wrongful Death Handled by Madison Law Group
Madison Law Group is a personal injury law firm that handles Long Beach wrongful death cases. The firm has represented clients in various cases involving medical malpractice, car accidents, workplace accidents, and nursing home abuse.
The experienced attorneys at Madison Law Group work hard to hold responsible parties accountable for their actions and to help families receive the compensation they deserve for their loved one’s death.
You can read some of our client testimonials to help you understand just how hard we fight for our clients.
Let Us Fight for Your Family’s Rights
If you’re considering a wrongful death claim, you’re likely dealing with intense grief and stress. The legal system can feel like a maze, especially when you are already having a tough time dealing with the aftermath of losing a loved one.I t can be daunting trying to make your way through the legal system.
That’s why you need a Long Beach wrongful death attorney. At Madison Law Group, our compassionate attorneys will dedicate themselves to fighting for justice for you and your family members. We understand the complexities of wrongful death cases and can represent you through the legal process, providing the support and experience you need.
Our Long Beach attorneys are skilled negotiators who can secure maximum compensation for you and your loved ones. With our legal team handling the case details, you can focus on healing from your loved one’s death. Don’t let the liable party get away with reckless acts. Allow us to fight to secure the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact Madison Law Group today.
Madison Law Group Is Here For You After Your Loved One’s Death
Don’t wait another day to get the justice you and your loved one deserve. Contact Madison Law Group to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced Long Beach wrongful death attorneys.
We know how difficult it is to lose a loved one and want to support you through the legal process. Our legal team is here to guide you every step of the way with understanding and compassion.