Wrongful Death and Liability Policies

Liability Policies in an Auto Accident Wrongful Death Case

nullThe unexpected death of a loved one can be devastating. The mental pain and anguish that you will have to go through is bad enough. If you were dependent on the person financially, the strain of trying to cope without their income can also be difficult.

There is a difference between a natural death and a sudden death. The latter likely involves circumstances that could have been prevented. If you are convinced that the negligence or recklessness of another person led directly to the death of your loved one, you can sue them for wrongful death. Our wrongful death attorney Newport Beach can help you.

Why Sue for Wrongful Death?

The moment you tell people that you are thinking of suing a person, company, hospital, or physician for wrongful death many will say that doing so will not bring your loved one back, and that you should concentrate on getting on with your life. While it may be true, that is not the point. 

Filing a wrongful death suit is not about revenge; it is about justice. If your loved one passed away because of someone else’s negligence, misconduct, inattention, or intent to harm, it is right for you to get justice through compensation.

When Can You Sue for Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death suit can be filed for many types of incidents. Here are a few:

Medical malpractice
If your loved one underwent a low-risk surgery and died as a result, the incompetence of the surgeon may have been at fault. In any case, the incident is worth investigation. A surgery that went wrong is not the only grounds for suing a physician or a hospital for wrongful death. If your loved one was misdiagnosed or given a prescription that caused an especially violent allergic reaction and died as a result, then you can file suit.

Car accident
If your loved one was killed in a car accident caused by a reckless driver, you can sue the person responsible. In this instance, their insurance company may be made to pay you compensation should you win a jury verdict. It may not be necessary to go to trial. If enough evidence is accumulated against the other driver, then their insurance company may prefer to settle out of court.

Murder or manslaughter
Most people believe that murder cases can only be tried in criminal court and prosecuted by a district attorney. This is not the case. It is also possible for the survivors of a person murdered or killed to sue the individual who carried out the act. If the accused is found guilty, the evidence used against them can be employed in a civil suit. If the accused is found innocent, the same thing applies. However, it may be possible to get a conviction in a civil suit because the standard is lower: it is not beyond a reasonable doubt, but the preponderance of the evidence.

Perhaps the most famous case of a murder civil suit is the O.J. Simpson case. Even though Simpson was acquitted, the family of Ron Goldman filed a civil suit against him and won.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?

In most instances, the only people allowed to file a civil suit are the deceased person’s spouse and children. However, there are exceptions to this rule. It is possible for parents, stepchildren, and domestic partners to file a wrongful death suit, if they can prove a close long-term relationship with the deceased.

It is possible for multiple parties to make a wrongful death claim. However, they must join a single suit against the defendant. If the wrongful death suit is settled out of court, then the money will be distributed to the various claimants.

What Damages Can Be Awarded?

Wrongful death claimants may seek damages for the following expenses and revenue losses:

  • Medical costs
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of wages and earnings
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Pain and suffering

Why You Need a Wrongful Death Attorney

Most wrongful death settlements are achieved without a jury trial. Taking such a case to court is expensive, and it can prolong the pain and suffering of the survivors. In most instances, the respondent will also want to settle the case out of court to avoid expense and bad publicity.

Hiring our personal injury attorney in Newport Beach will give you the kind of representation and advocacy you need to get the money you deserve. Wrongful death claims have a statute of limitations. In most states, you must file a claim within three years of the death of your loved one. That is why you should begin the process soon after their death.

Newport Beach attorneys for accidents resulting in wrongful death possess the skill and insight to negotiate a settlement that is fair and that will help you rebuild your life.