The death of a loved one is a tragedy that rips through the heart of every family.
A qualified Antelope Valley wrongful death attorney, such as those at Kuzyk Law Firm, can help families get justice for their lost loved one.
But it’s about more than just the money. At Kuzyk Law Firm, we also have a passion for justice.
Pain from a friend or family member’s passing gets even worse when fault for the dead lay at the feet of someone else.
Through all of the suffering, questions, and frustrations, families need to keep a clear head. If their loved one died from the fault of another, it’s vital to focus on obtaining justice. We can help.
Understanding When to File Suit with an Antelope Valley Wrongful Death Attorney
A wrongful death case is where the victim’s family attempts to prove that the defendant was responsible or civilly liable for the deceased person’s death as the result of a careless, deliberate or negligent act. These are often complicated cases that require a highly skilled team of personal injury attorneys, such as the wrongful death lawyers at Kuzyk Law. Handling a wrongful death case requires skill, strategy, and most of all, sensitivity, understanding and compassion. No amount of money is enough, and nothing will take away the pain, loss, and devastation that the family must endure. But Kuzyk Law is here to help, and obtain the maximum financial recovery for the family; the victims who must survive and go on without their loved one.
Our wrongful death attorneys must consider a number of factors in evaluating your wrongful death claim. Our experienced California wrongful death attorneys can help Los Angeles County victims’ families obtain maximum compensation by carefully examining the specific aspects of the case. An important step in a wrongful death case is to establish the life expectancy of the decedent had the accident not occurred. To do this, we consider the decedent’s age, medical history and occupation, and other factors. We also consider lost earnings, and other financial support that the family lost as a result of their loved one’s death. This requires us to review the decedent’s employment and salary history, and anticipated future wages.
Wrongful Death Defined
Legally, wrongful deaths occur when an individual dies as a result of another person’s negligence or overt action. Many such cases occur as the result of a traffic accident, for example.
Although not every accident death qualifies as wrongful, many victims’ families are eligible for compensation
The law identifies which survivors or representatives from among the victim’s family can file suit. Defendants can include individuals, businesses, or other entities potentially held responsible for the individual’s death.
Wrongful death cases differ from those of homicide or manslaughter. Homicide, manslaughter, and related cases come from criminal charges pressed by the state. The standard of proof for all criminal cases is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and those found guilty are subject to punishment. Wrongful death cases arise in civil law. The legal standard in civil cases uses the preponderance of the evidence as a standard, making them easier to prove and to win.
Cases in wrongful death need not be limited to those happening soon after the incident. Even deaths years later, if their causes trace to the original event convincingly, can be subject to wrongful death-based legal action.
That said, no one is subject to criminal punishments if found culpable in a wrongful death suit. Those who do lose wrongful death cases, however, may face criminal prosecution as a result of facts uncovered by plaintiff attorneys or the court itself.
Naturally, some confusion may arise when considering the legal standards of wrongful death suits. Consulting a reliable and experienced lawyer can help to clear up questions and issues.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Many cases of wrongful death stem from either negligent accidents or overt criminal acts. Accidents alone that cause death do not rise to the level of wrongfulness. This is the case only when the defendant did not exercise reasonable care or intentionally committed an act leading to death.
Some of the most common causes include:
- Automobile accidents where one or more drivers did not follow highway laws or otherwise failed to operate a vehicle with reasonable safety
- Bicycle accidents where an operator was harmed by negligent actions, including those of automobile drivers
- Product liability cases stem from using goods or services that have flaws and failures leading to death
- When a criminal’s actions result in death
- Workplace related accidents where a reasonable standard of safety was not met
- Malpractice from medical treatment where mistakes meet the standards of negligent care.
This, by no means, offers a completely definitive list. For more information, we suggest that you reach out to the experts at Kuzyk Law. If you have lost a loved one through these or other circumstances, we can apply fifty years of experience to help you get the justice you deserve.
How Can a Person Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death case can be brought by the estate of the person who died (the decedent) so that the proceeds of the case can be distributed to the decedent’s heirs. In addition, survivors may bring a wrongful death case, including the decedent’s spouse, children, and grandchildren, or the decedent’s parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents or other descendants, and dependents of the person who died. There are complicated rules that determine who can bring the claim, which is one of the many reasons that any potential wrongful death case should be promptly evaluated by an experienced wrongful death attorney.
What Damages Can I Recover?
A California wrongful death case is usually very complicated and hard-fought, which is why it is so important to have an experienced wrongful death attorney help you. As the survivor of a loved one, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit for the recovery of the following kinds of damages:
- The loss of the love, companionship, comfort, affection, support, and consortium of the decedent
- The value of the household services the loved one would have provided in the future if any, and
- The value of the financial support which the survivor would have received from the loved one but for the unfortunate death.
When a devastating accident takes the life of a loved one, the survivors are thrown into chaos, and unimaginable pain and suffering. Kuzyk Law’s wrongful death attorneys understand, and with compassion, sensitivity, and experience, we will help you! Contact us today for a free consultation.
Damages Caps and Other Information In Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death claims can cover a number of specific costs under California law. Amounts awarded vary according to each case’s individual characteristics as they are considered by the court or settlement.
California law imposes caps on what the plaintiff can collect in a personal injury case. They can receive economic damages that equal the amount needed to restore the individual’s physical and mental health that they enjoyed before the incident. Economic damages also cover lost wages and other financial considerations.
While pain and suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience do factor into a case quite often, a legal formula limits awards in these non-economic categories. Clients can receive at most a single-digit multiplier of economic damages awarded.
Although the law restricts these, plaintiff’s may even sue the government for causing wrongful death. In one tragic recent case, a family is suing the California Department of Children and Family Services for failing to act in a case of suspected abuse.
We will fight city hall, or even the Statehouse if that is what we need to do to get justice.
Family Members and Others Considered Legitimate Plaintiffs in Wrongful Death Cases
Claims reflecting specific costs can be filed by the official representative of the estate.
These costs can include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Reasonably calculated loss of potential income over his or her life
- Expenses related to the funeral
- Hospital and other medical bills related to the incident causing the wrongful death
California law establishes which family members have the right to sue in cases of wrongful death. The following can sue for wrongful death in any circumstances:
- The deceased individual’s surviving spouse
- Surviving domestic partner
- Surviving children
- Those entitled to the property of the deceased, should no surviving immediate family members meet the legal criteria for preference
Other individuals can file suit only if they prove that they relied on the deceased for financial support, including a putative spouse and his or her children, stepchildren, and parents of the deceased.
Meeting the conditions established by the law can cause confusion in some cases. Kuzyk Law Firm can help to sort out the issues and ensure that wrongful death suits meet all necessary criteria before proceeding
Characteristics Needed In Wrongful Death Attorneys Who Fight These Cases In California
The wrongful death of a loved one will throw a family into upheaval. Most of the time, it brings devastating emotional and financial effects.
When confronted by the hurt, confusion, anger, and frustration of a wrongful death, only the most experienced attorneys can help you to make sense of it all and forge a clear path ahead.
Lawyers handling wrongful death cases must approach the subject with tact and sympathy while also conveying clear and honest points about the case. Showing compassion for the family means making sure that they have an accurate assessment of their case so that they know best how to proceed.
Transparency is always the best policy when dealing with any client, especially those feeling hurt and betrayed in wrongful death cases.
Contact The Wrongful Death Lawyers At Kuzyk Law
Decades of experience gives you peace of mind in trusting that your law firm understands the law, court systems, and also how to manage settlement negotiations. When they do not charge clients until awards are received, you know that their full incentive lies in fighting for client rights.