How a lawyer recovers money for a death case, depends up which state of the union the death, trauma, or injury causing corporation or product is domiciled in most cases. Here, California injury lawyer, Michael P. Ehline, Esq., discusses the general principles and histology of death law, so you can better understand how a legal eagle goes about getting people reparation for these losses.
CA Wrongful Death – What Is it?
A wrongful death is basically a negligent death of a family member or life partner. (See also citations below.) A wrongful death lawyer is a lawyer who recovers money for the survivors. Wrongful death law in California is a specialized form of recovery that was not allowed under English Common Law.1 Thus, this body of law is a creature of statute.
No More “Self Help”
Prior to this, it was pretty much a “pound of flesh” philosophy, such as an “eye for an eye.” But this “self help” standard became untenable, and resulted in feuding and many more retribution killings. Thus in North America, the laws evolved into a system of monetary compensation borrowed from the existing tort scheme for destruction of property. This way, the bereaved parties in the united States could at least recover money damages. But each formulated their own statutory scheme.
A kills C, who is the son of B by accident. B, father of decedent C, can sue death dealer A, instead of killing A, in a negligence lawsuit for the fatality of C caused by A.
Vehicle Of Recovery:
California statutes are the vehicle for how injury attorneys recover money for bereaving California families via the courts. Basically, these laws (CA statutes and codes) allow financial compensation to the surviving, lawful heirs, of a decedent who was killed by a negligent tortfeasor, due to the wrongdoer’s willful neglect, recklessness, misfeasance, malfeasance, or non-feasance. A wrongful death lawyer (definition here), helps people recover money damages for these types of personal injuries.
Other States Have Wrongful Death Statutes that are Different From California
Other state legislatures have their own “wrongful death statutes.” However, every jurisdiction has it’s own set of wrongful death law modernly. There are no federal wrongful death statutes.
How Can a Wrongful Death Happen?
How law firms recover money for California families depends upon who caused the death, who was killed, and what the circumstances were surrounding the dead person’s passing.
These circumstances include:
- Motorcycle Accident Fatalities
- Truck Accident Fatalities
- Exploding Airbag Fatalities
- Burn Injury Fatalities
- Brain Injuries Leading to Death
- Electrocution Deaths
- Cruise Ship Injury Deaths
- Car Accident Fatality
- Slip and Falls Leading to Coma and Dying
- Train Accident Expiration
- Airplane; Helicopter Accident Fatalities
- Animal Attack; Dog Bites
- Boating Accident
- Parking Structure Accidents
How Do Wrongful Death Attorneys File Suit for You?
A civil action for wrongful death is usually done on a Judicial Council approved form complaint, which makes it easier to withstand a demurrer. The elements are discussed here. The complaint claims allegations that the decedent was negligently, recklessly, or willfully killed by the defendant. The complaint must also allege that the decedent’s heirs (usually family members) are entitled to money damages due to defendant’s bad acts. Usually, the surviving heirs are surviving spouses, decedent’s children, and the decedent’s parents. But sometimes there may be a wrongful death of a child. A wrongful death lawsuit must be brought by the executor of the decedent’s estate. However, you can still recover under a survival action theory for decedent’s pain and suffering, or expenses incurred prior to his death, so usually, both actions are filed simultaneously. (Read more here.)
What Are Wrongful Death Damages?
This means money, which includes loss of sex, love, support, money, care, inheritance, funeral and medical expenses. Usually you can also get interest on the loss since the date of death. Punitive damages are often awarded in cases of recklessness and willful neglect in order to punish the killer and deter others from acting the same in the future, such as a toxic drug manufacturer.
How Does This Work?
If you are awarded damages, they go to the decedent’s estate and pass to the heirs under the will, or trust of the decedent, and if none, than by intestate succession under state law.
Why Should I Retain Wrongful Death Lawyer?
If your loved ones passed away from a wrongful death, it is not enough to know how legal champions recover money for California families. You need a lawyer who has the experience in dealing with Courts and judges, as well as defense attorneys who regularly deal with injuries caused by negligence and misconduct of corporations, individuals, and other wrongdoers. There are statutes of limitations in which you need to file your lawsuit. Contact us to get free advice about the legal ramifications of your potential case.
Call for a Free Legal Consultation
Contact Ehline Law Firm PC to get a free legal consultation with an experienced negotiator, who is not merely an ambulance chaser. Call now at 888-400-9721.