Burbank Wrongful Death Attorneys
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When someone dies as a result of another person or party’s negligent or wrongful conduct, their surviving loved ones deserve answers. At Custodio & Dubey LLP, we help the families of those wrongfully killed fight for the justice they deserve. If your loved one tragically died because someone else was careless, reckless, or negligent, we are here to help you hold the at-fault party accountable.
We know that no amount of financial compensation can ever negate the loss you have experienced. However, a fair settlement or verdict can allow you to recover the resources you need to manage unexpected expenses so that you can focus on healing. Our team is here to answer any questions you may have and provide personalized legal counsel during a free, no-obligation consultation. There is no risk and no cost to you when you hire our firm unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
What Makes a Death “Wrongful?”
California laws define “wrongful death” as death resulting from the negligence or intentional conduct of another person or party. In short, if the person who died (the “decedent”) would have been able to file a personal injury claim had he or she lived, the death is considered “wrongful.”
Wrongful death claims often arise from:
- Car, motorcycle, truck, and other negligence-based accidents
- Unsafe property conditions, leading to slip and falls and other accidents
- Medical malpractice and negligence, including birth injuries
- Defective products, including auto defects, faulty equipment, and toxic exposure
- Intentional infliction of injury, leading to death, and criminal conduct
If you believe your loved one’s death could have—and should have—been prevented, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim. We encourage you to contact our team at Custodio & Dubey LLP right away, as you only have two years (in most cases) to sue the liable party for damages.
What Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
There are two main types of damages available in California wrongful death cases:
- Economic Damages: Economic damages compensate surviving individuals for losses associated with the decedent’s death that have a specific dollar value.
- Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages are losses that do not have a specific dollar value but, instead, are more intangible in nature.
Examples of economic and non-economic compensatory damages include:
- Funeral/burial costs
- Loss of income/financial support
- Loss of gifts, inheritance, or benefits
- The value of household services provided by the decedent
- Loss of consortium/enjoyment of intimacy by the decedent’s spouse or partner
- Loss of guidance provided by the decedent to surviving children
- Loss of “love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support”
The exact damages you may be able to recover will depend on the specific details of your case, as well as the factors involved in your loved one’s death. At Custodio & Dubey LLP, we fight tirelessly to maximize our clients’ recoveries so that they can obtain the critical resources they need to heal.
Can Anyone File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
California wrongful death laws limit who may file a claim (or lawsuit) after the wrongful death of an individual. The law also governs in which order eligible individuals may file.
First, any of the following individuals may file a wrongful death claim after the loss of a loved one:
- The decedent’s spouse or domestic partner
- The decedent’s child/children
- The decedent’s grandchild/grandchildren if the decedent’s child is deceased
If none of these individuals exist, the law next allows anyone who would be entitled to inherit property from the decedent’s estate via intestate succession to file a wrongful death claim. This might include such individuals as the decedent’s surviving parents, siblings, or other relatives.
Additionally, if the following individuals can prove that they were financially dependent on the decedent, they can file a wrongful death claim:
- Someone who mistakenly but in good faith believed they were married to the decedent (known as a “putative spouse”)
- A putative spouse’s children (if any)
- The decedent’s surviving stepchild/stepchildren
- The decedent’s surviving parent(s) or legal guardian(s) if the decedent’s biological parents are deceased
If you are unsure whether you have the right to file a wrongful death claim, reach out to our team at Custodio & Dubey LLP. We can review your case and help you understand all of your legal rights during a free and confidential consultation.
Providing a Compassionate, Client-Focused Approach
At Custodio & Dubey LLP, our clients always come first. We recognize that this is one of the most difficult and tragic times in your life, and we want to help you secure the justice you and your family deserve.
Our team offers highly personalized and professional legal services based on compassion, empathy, and honesty. When you trust your case to our firm, you can rely on our Burbank wrongful death lawyers to guide you through each step of the legal process. We respond quickly to all calls and emails and can provide answers to any questions you may have. Most of all, we will be there for you, ready to protect your rights and advocate for your family.