You could be eligible for financial compensation if a loved one died due to the negligent actions or inaction of another person. The experienced Torrance wrongful death attorneys at Dordulian Law Group fight vehemently for the rights of surviving family members so they don’t have to pay out of their own pocket for funeral expenses or struggle to pay the bills if their loved one was the breadwinner.
Our team has recovered more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients, with experience in all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases. With more than 40 years of combined experience and a 98% success rate, you can put your trust in our team to recover compensation for your loss. We focus on your well-being throughout the case so you can begin the healing process after losing a loved one.
A wrongful death claim can be filed if a loved one died because of another person’s negligence. This type of lawsuit is filed in civil court and can be filed against one defendant or multiple defendants, including companies. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the surviving spouse, surviving children, other close family members, or even the person who represents the decedent’s estate.
If your case is successful, the defendant will be ordered by the court to compensate you for your loved one’s death. The defendant will not face fines or jail time because the case is a civil matter, not a criminal case. It is possible that a concurrent criminal case involving the defendant could also proceed. However, the outcome of that case will not play a role in the outcome of the civil case. A well known example of such a scenario would be the O.J. Simpson murder trial. While Simpson was found not guilty in the criminal trial, he was found liable in the wrongful death civil trial brought by the families of Nicole Brown and Ronald L. Goldman.
Wrongful Death Statistics
Wrongful death is a common occurrence across the United States each year. The following statistics show just how common these tragic cases can be:
- There are more than 17,000 people killed in DUI accidents every year
- Medical malpractice leads to more than 90,000 deaths annually
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more than 65,000 unintentional poisoning deaths annually
- The CDC also reports more than 36,000 slip and fall deaths each year
If you have lost a loved one because of an aforementioned cause, or another type of accident, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced and trusted Torrance wrongful death lawyer from Dordulian Law Group about your case, your options, and your right to financial compensation.
Multiple parties can be held liable in a Torrance wrongful death case. Most wrongful death cases involve one defendant, but it’s not uncommon for multiple people to be named as defendants, or for companies to be named if a defective or faulty product led to the death of your loved one. Under California law, a wrongful death claim can be filed for intentional misconduct, recklessness, gross negligence, and negligence. A wrongful death claim can be filed for the death of a loved one due to any of the following:
It is possible that the defendant in the case could be held liable for wrongful death even if they were not negligent in the case. This is due to California’s strict liability law, which includes cases involving defective products and dog bites.
The surviving family members in a wrongful death case can file a wrongful death lawsuit in an effort to recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are used to help support the family with the amount of money the decedent would have been able to provide if they had not died. The court will look at the circumstances of the deceased at the time of their death to determine the value of economic damages, including the following:
Economic damages are damages that can be calculated. Economic damages you may be eligible to receive in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
You can also recover non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. These damages are more difficult to calculate given their subjective nature, and fall under the loss of consortium law in California. Loss of consortium only applies to the surviving spouse or partner of the deceased. It permits compensation for the following:
California law (California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60) expressly states who is eligible to seek damages in a Torrance wrongful death claim and they are as follows:
As with other types of lawsuits, California has a statute of limitations for filing a Torrance wrongful death claim. Under the law, you have two years from the date your loved one died to file a lawsuit. However, there is an exception to the rule (called the discovery rule) which can extend the statute of limitations if the following is present:
If the claim is being pursued against a California public entity, you have just six months to file. If the claim is denied, you have an additional six months to file an appeal. If the case is related to medical malpractice, you have three years from the date your loved one suffered the injury, or one year from the date in which you should have discovered the injury (or whichever is sooner).
There are varying lengths of time permitted when filing a Torrance wrongful death lawsuit in California. This is why you should always consult with an experienced Dordulian Law Group wrongful death attorney after you suffer the loss of a loved one. Our team will review your situation and help you file a claim as soon as possible so that you do not miss your chance to recover compensation.
If you filed a Torrance wrongful death claim and were successful, it’s important to understand how you will be compensated. In most cases, the insurance company of the defendant will pay you the award issued by the court. There are limits as to how much insurance companies will pay, which means the balance will have to come directly from the defendant. If they do not have the money in a savings account, their wages will be garnished and their assets will be seized. It is important that you speak with an experienced Torrance wrongful death attorney at Dordulian Law Group about a possible wrongful death award to determine how it will affect your taxes.
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Aside from wrongful death, you also have the option of filing a survivor’s claim in California. California Code of Civil Procedure 377.30 allows for damages to be awarded when a survival claim is filed for a loss incurred prior to death that the decedent would have otherwise been eligible to recover. A survivor’s claim can recover lost wages and medical expenses for the surviving family members. However, this claim does not award damages for pain and suffering, or disfigurement.
As mentioned earlier, it is important for you to consult with a Torrance wrongful death attorney if you suffered the loss of a loved one because of another person’s negligence. Negligent action and inaction can lead to serious injuries and the death of others. There is no guarantee that your claim will be successful in civil court, but you should still file against the negligent party within the statute of limitations to ensure the case moves forward, and you take every measure to recover any financial compensation you are owed.
If you suffered the loss of a loved one due to wrongful death in any type of incident, you should contact a DLG Torrance wrongful death lawyer immediately. Call the Torrance office of Dordulian Law Group at (310) 504-1911, or complete our free consultation contact form online to schedule an appointment with one of our team members. Our team has more than 40 years of combined experience and a 98% success rate. We have recovered more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients in various cases, including wrongful death claims, and will fight to recover a maximum financial damages award for you following your tragic loss.
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