Wrongful Death Attorney in Oxnard
The news that a loved one has died unexpectedly is devastating to the survivors of the deceased. Finding out that the death was from negligence just compounds that devastation even further. No one is ever prepared for the passing of a loved one, but when that passing is due to someone else’s incompetence, that just makes their death seem even more senseless than it already did. There is obviously nothing anyone can do to fix the hurt that the loved ones feel now that an important person is no longer in their life. But at the very least a wrongful death claim can make sure that the loved ones of the deceased are taken care of financially.
We here at the King Law Firm have years of experience helping grieving families in Oxnard, and other parts of California who have lost a loved one due to wrongful death, receive the compensation that they need. We know that any financial remuneration will not fill the void the unforeseen parting of a loved one leaves behind, but our wrongful death attorney in Oxnard will do their best to make sure that the decedent’s family is well taken care of.
What Counts As a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death claim is when a person dies from what would otherwise have been a personal injury. A personal injury is an accident that is caused by someone else’s negligence, which can be anything from a car accident to a slip and fall to medical malpractice. Any deaths resulting from
those actions are usually unintentional, but it is possible to bring a wrongful death claim for intentional acts as well.
Assault, battery, and similar acts of violence are criminal acts but the victim of that act can also file a personal injury claim for any injuries caused by the attack. So it is possible for the family of someone who died because of one of those acts to file a wrongful death claim. The only exceptions to a wrongful death claim stemming from a personal injury are work injuries. Those are taken care of by the workers’ compensation system.
How Is a Wrongful Death Claim Proven?
In a wrongful death claim, the people representing the estate of the deceased person must meet the same burden of proof that the decedent would if they had lived. In other words, they must prove that the death of the victim was caused by negligence. That means they need to prove that the deceased was owed a duty of care by the person who caused their death. Duty of care is a somewhat nebulous concept because there are no hard and fast rules in every situation where that concept arises. In general, however, duty of care means that someone should act in a reasonable manner that does not bring any harm to someone else.
If someone fails to live up to that duty of care, then it is called a breach of duty. It means that the person who caused the accident was negligent and put the victim at a higher level of risk than they would normally encounter. So, in a wrongful death claim, it needs to be proven that a breach of duty stemming from negligence caused the situation that led to the victim’s death.
Who Is Responsible For Filing a Wrongful Death Claim In Oxnard?
A wrongful death claim is filed by a representative of the estate of the decedent. This representative files the claim on behalf of the survivors who had a close relationship with the decedent. Who those survivors are is different in each state, though there are some commonalities. In all states, the following people can file a wrongful death claim:
- The spouse of the deceased
- Parents of minor children who were victims of a wrongful death
- Minors whose parents died as a result of a wrongful death
- If the decedent does not have a spouse, domestic partner, or children, and they did not have a will, then the claim can be brought by anyone who would be entitled to their property by intestate succession. That can be the siblings of the deceased, nieces or nephews of the deceased, or grandparents of the deceased. It depends on the remaining people in the family of the decedent
In addition to the above, California law states that a wrongful death claim can also be filed by the following if they can prove that they were financially dependent on the deceased person:
- The domestic partner of the decedent
- The putative spouse of the deceased person and the children of the putative spouse
- The parents of the decedent
- The stepchildren of the deceased
What Kinds Of Damages Are Available In a Wrongful Death Claim?
Damages are the financial compensation that is received after a personal injury claim. Normally, the victim is the one who collects the damages in order to pay for medical bills, recoup lost wages, and take care of any other injury-related expenses. In the case of a wrongful death claim, the damages are collected by whichever surviving family members filed the claim. The types of damages available to the decedent’s surviving family include the following:
- The deceased person’s survival claim – The survivors of the decedent are allowed to collect damages incurred by the deceased before their death. This can include pain and suffering damages as well as lost wages from the time of the accident to the time when the person passed away. If the person died instantly from the accident, then their surviving family are not entitled to compensation from lost wages, but they can receive damages for pain and suffering if it can be proven.
- Medical costs incurred by the deceased prior to their death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of financial support from the deceased
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of love, companionship, guidance, and moral support
- Loss of consortium
The Statute Of Limitations Of a Wrongful Death Claim
The statute of limitations is the time limit the survivors of the deceased have to file their wrongful death claim. According to the wrongful death law in California, the Statute of Limitations is two years from the date of when the decedent passed away. If the survivors wait too long, then they will not be able to file a claim at all. So it is necessary that the representative of the decedent’s estate contact a wrongful death lawyer in Oxnard as soon as possible.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Oxnard To Help You With Your Claim
Nothing can replace the loss of a loved one but at least a wrongful death claim means that you will not have to suffer financially as well as emotionally. The King Law Firm will provide you with an experienced wrongful death lawyer who will take care of the legal proceedings and work hard to make sure that you receive the monetary compensation that you need. Money is the last thing on your mind when you lose a loved one, but if you contact the King Law Firm after suffering a wrongful death in the family, we will do our best to make sure that money is one less thing that you need to worry about.