Glendale Wrongful Death Lawyer Pursues Relief for Family Members

California firm represents plaintiffs in claims involving fatal negligence           

The most tragic accidents are those that suddenly take someone’s life. Surviving loved ones are left to imagine what might have been as they struggle to put back together the pieces of their own shattered lives. At Geragos Law Group, we strive to help grieving families address their loss through wrongful death actions that seek to hold wrongdoers accountable for fatal negligence or misconduct. Many of our clients rely on a financial recovery to cover the income that the victim provided, as well as to offer some compensation for the devastating emotional blow of an untimely fatality. If the tragedy of wrongful death has struck your family, you can trust our Glendale firm to provide compassionate, yet aggressive, representation focused on securing a favorable legal result.

The difference between wrongful death and homicide prosecution

When misconduct directly causes a person’s death, authorities might prosecute a defendant on a homicide count, such as murder or manslaughter. The intent of a criminal case is to punish the defendant, who will be found guilty and sentenced if there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Regardless of whether criminal charges are brought, surviving heirs can file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation from the liable party. In a wrongful death claim, damages are awarded if the evidence indicates that “more likely than not” a defendant caused the decedent’s death. The plaintiff does not have to prove a criminal state of mind, but only a breach of a duty of reasonable care, what the law calls negligence. Because of the different burdens of proof, a defendant who is found not guilty in criminal court can still be found liable in civil court.

Causes of wrongful death

Any negligent act that inflicts personal injury could result in wrongful death. These claims can arise from one of the following types of incidents:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Dog attacks
  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace accidents

A wrongful death attorney is instrumental in gathering the evidence necessary to prove negligence, causation and liability.

Types of damages in a wrongful death claim

In California, people with certain relationships to the decedent may be permitted to bring a wrongful death case, including:

  • Surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • Children
  • Grandchildren (if the decedent’s children are also deceased)
  • Other minor children who depended on the deceased for at least 50 percent of their financial support
  • Anyone who could inherit the deceased’s property under state law of intestate succession

If more than one person files a wrongful death claim, the court will consolidate the cases into a single action.

Plaintiffs can recover compensation for economic damages such as:

  • The financial support the decedent would have contributed to the family
  • The loss of gifts or benefits the heirs could have expected to receive
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The reasonable value of household services the decedent would have provided

Plaintiffs can also claim noneconomic damages to compensate for emotional losses, such as:

  • Society and companionship
  • Protection
  • Affection
  • Moral support
  • Training and guidance
  • Sexual relations in the case of a spouse

The California statute of limitations allows two years from the date of death for plaintiffs to file a wrongful death action. Our firm conducts a thoughtful review of the relevant facts to determine what compensation would be appropriate and then tirelessly works to achieve that result.                       

Contact a knowledgeable California wrongful death lawyer to set up a free consultation

Geragos Law Group provides compassionate and capable legal representation for grieving families in wrongful death lawsuits throughout Southern California. To schedule a free consultation at our Glendale office, call 213-652-2129 or contact our office online.