Did you lose a loved one because of someone else’s careless, reckless, or wrongful act in Santa Monica, CA? While fighting for money may be the last thing on your mind, you may deserve compensation. An experienced Santa Monica wrongful death lawyer at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers can help you fight to recover compensation for medical bills, loss of financial support, funeral expenses, and more.
Our lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience fighting for grieving families like yours. While we know that money can’t bring your loved one back, it can help you get justice.
By aggressively fighting to hold negligent parties responsible for their actions, we’ve recovered over $400 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients. To learn how we can put our winning track record of success to work for you, contact our law offices in Santa Monica, California at (877) 300-4535 to schedule a free consultation today.
Why Should I Trust M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers to Handle My Santa Monica Wrongful Death Claim?
You could face many complications when it comes to seeking compensation from the person responsible for your loved one’s death. Multiple parties may share blame. It’s possible that someone may try to blame your loved one for causing their own death. Insurance companies aren’t always easy to deal with.
You deserve advice from an experienced Santa Monica personal injury attorney who knows how to protect your family.
M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers is an award-winning law firm based in Southern California. Our lawyers have been selected as top 100 trial lawyers in the country by the National Trial Lawyers and as “Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers Magazine. Our lawyers have also received the Avvo Clients’ Choice Award for excellent client service.
When you retain our services, we will:
- Provide personal legal attention, guidance, and support
- Gather and evaluate all evidence
- Identify everyone who can be held liable for your family’s damages
- File all paperwork and handle all communications with the insurance companies
- Calculate the fair value of your case
- Work with respected experts on various aspects of your case
- Negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement
While you’re taking care of your family, our Santa Monica personal injury lawyers will handle the legal issues. Contact us today to get started.
Overview of California’s Laws on Wrongful Death
A wrongful death in California is a death caused by someone else’s neglect or wrongful act.
Sometimes wrongful death claims are based on criminal acts. A wrongful death case is handled in civil court, separately from any criminal case. In civil cases, the remedy is financial compensation–even if the defendant also faces jail time and other criminal penalties.
Most wrongful death cases are based on accidents. These cases are very similar to personal injury cases. The difference, of course, is that the accident victim did not survive their injuries. Because of that, the right to sue for damages is transferred to surviving loved ones.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?
Wrongful death claims can only be filed by certain parties under California wrongful death laws.
Those parties include:
- The victim’s surviving spouse or domestic partner
- Surviving children or grandchildren
- The victim’s parents or, if the parents are deceased, their legal guardian
- A putative spouse or a putative spouse’s children if they were financially dependent on the deceased
- A minor child who lived with the decedent for at least 180 days and depended on the decedent for at least one-half of their financial support
If none of these parties exist, the parties who would be entitled to the decedent’s estate under California’s intestate laws can file a wrongful death claim.
What is a Survival Action in California?
Wrongful death claims are different from survival actions. You may also have a valid survival action if your loved one survived for some period of time after the accident and before their death.
Survival claims are brought by the decedent’s estate to recover compensation for the losses sustained by the decedent between the date of injury and the date of death (including pain, suffering, medical bills, and lost wages).
What is My Santa Monica Wrongful Death Case Worth?
The value of your case can depend on many unique variables, including:
- Whether your loved one survived for a period of time between injury and death
- The identity of surviving dependents, such as young children
- Your loved one’s earnings prior to death
- Your loved one’s expected future earning potential, based on education, prior work history, etc.
- The types of household services your loved one provided
- The specific emotional losses and grief your family has experienced
Our lawyers in Santa Monica are committed to holding negligent people fully accountable for the harm they cause. We’re here to help you fight for every dollar you deserve. Call our law firm today to schedule a free case review.
What Types of Damages Are Available in an Action for Wrongful Death in California?
The damages that are awarded in wrongful death cases are different from those available in personal injury cases. These damages are meant to compensate survivors for the loss of a loved one.
Examples of the types of damages available under California law include:
- Loss of financial support the decedent would have provided, based on their life expectancy
- The loss of gifts and other benefits you would have expected to receive, including retirement benefits based on the decedent’s income
- Funeral costs and burial expenses
- Loss of the reasonable value of household services provided by the deceased
- Loss of love, companionship, care, assistance, and moral support
- Loss of parental training and guidance
- Loss of consortium, or loss of a spouse or partner’s companionship
Punitive damages are not typically available in California wrongful death cases. However, they may be available in cases where the defendant has been convicted of felony murder.
How Can California’s Shared Fault Law Impact My Case if My Loved One is Being Blamed for an Accident?
California’s pure comparative negligence law can impact the value of your settlement or verdict. If the insurance companies and defense lawyers can prove that your loved one shared some blame, your compensation will be reduced in proportion to their percentage of fault.
How Do I Prove I Deserve Compensation if I Lost a Loved One in a Fatal Accident in Santa Monica?
The vast majority of all wrongful death claims are based on negligence.
- Someone owed your loved one a legal duty of care
- They breached that duty
- The breach of duty directly caused your loved one’s death
- Your family suffered specific and identifiable damages
Surviving family members do not always witness the accident that caused their loved one’s death. In all cases, our lawyers will search for evidence to build your claim for compensation.
Depending on the circumstances, that evidence might include:
- Testimony from eyewitnesses and experts
- Video surveillance footage
- Photos of an accident scene
- Police reports
- Maintenance or inspection records
- Employment records
- Medical records
As a surviving family member, you’re the one who has to suffer the consequences of someone else’s negligence. While money can’t take away your pain, it can help you pay the bills and protect your family’s future.
Our lawyers are always here to listen to your story. To discuss your case and learn more about your legal right to compensation, call our law firm in Santa Monica to schedule a free consultation today.
Our Santa Monica Wrongful Death Attorneys Handle All Types of Cases
Almost any type of accident can result in someone’s untimely death. The consequences, of course, depend on the severity of the accident and the victim’s personal characteristics.
At M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers, we handle wrongful death claims involving:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Accidents involving recreational vehicles
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bus accidents
- Uber or Lyft accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Slip and fall accidents and other premises liability claims
- Dog bites
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Intentional criminal acts, including assault and sexual assault
Because our team has decades of experience, we’re well-equipped to handle even the most complex wrongful death claim. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our lawyers today to get the legal advice you need.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Fatal Accident in California?
Under California law, you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a lawsuit. Very few exceptions to this two-year statute of limitations exist.
However, if the defendant in your case is also facing criminal charges, the statute of limitations may be “tolled” – or paused – until the criminal defense rests.
Grieving is an unimaginably difficult process. You can count on our lawyers to work tirelessly to get the best results possible while you grieve the loss of a loved one.
If you lost a loved one in an accident, don’t hesitate to contact M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers to speak with an experienced Santa Monica wrongful death lawyer today.