Lancaster Wrongful Death Attorneys
Understanding California’s Wrongful Death Statute
If your family member or loved one was recently involved in a fatal accident, and you believe someone else was to blame, know that you have the right to take legal action. At Custodio & Dubey LLP, our Lancaster wrongful death attorneys provide highly personalized and compassionate legal services to clients who have lost loved ones due to the negligence, recklessness, and wrongful conduct of others. We are here to help you hold the liable party accountable.
What Makes a Death “Wrongful?”
In California, a death is considered “wrongful” if it results from the negligence or wrongful conduct of another. In other words, fatal accidents, negligence-related incidents, and criminal acts resulting in the death of an individual can all give rise to wrongful death actions.
An individual’s death may be considered “wrongful” if it resulted from:
- A car, truck, motorcycle, bus, or similar motor vehicle accident
- Unsafe or hazardous conditions on public or private property
- Medical malpractice or negligence, including birth injuries
- Nursing home abuse and/or neglect
- The use of a defective product or faulty equipment
- A dog bite or animal attack
- An Uber, Lyft, or similar rideshare accident
- An accident caused by a drunk driver
- Assault, battery, manslaughter, homicide, or murder
Essentially, if the person who died (the “decedent”) would have been able to file a personal injury claim had they lived, their death is considered “wrongful.”
Which Surviving Individuals May File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The first step in filing a wrongful death claim in Lancaster or anywhere in California is determining whether you are eligible to file. State law only permits certain individuals to file a wrongful death action after the loss of a loved one.
You are entitled to file a wrongful death claim in California if the decedent was your:
- Domestic partner
- Grandparent (if the decedent’s child is deceased)
You may also be able to file a claim if you are:
- The decedent’s surviving putative spouse
- The child of the decedent’s putative spouse
- The surviving stepchild of the decedent
- The decedent’s surviving parent or legal guardian (if the decedent’s parents are deceased)
If there is no surviving spouse, domestic partner, child, or grandchild of the decedent, anyone who can prove that they were dependent on the decedent and/or entitled to inherit the decedent’s estate through intestate succession (meaning the legal rules governing inheritance of property and/or assets) may file a wrongful death claim.
If you are unsure whether you are entitled to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, reach out to our team at Custodio & Dubey LLP. We are happy to sit down with you to discuss the specifics of your case during a complimentary consultation. We offer in-person appointments and phone consultations, as well as meetings via video conferencing, for your convenience.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a California Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Damages in a wrongful death claim or lawsuit are meant to compensate surviving family members and loved ones for economic and non-economic losses they have suffered related to the decedent’s death. Damages are recovered as either a settlement or awarded by jury verdict and are usually provided as either a single lump-sum or multiple payments over time.
There are two types of damages available in California wrongful death actions:
- Economic Damages: Economic damages are losses that are associated with a specific monetary value, such as medical bills related to the decedent’s final treatment and care, funeral and/or burial costs, and loss of income or inheritance.
- Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages are losses that do not have a specific dollar value but, rather, are evaluated based on the impact of the loss. Examples include loss of support, guidance, counsel, love, consortium, and moral support.
At Custodio & Dubey LLP, we know that no amount of monetary recovery can ever truly compensate you for your loss. However, we have also seen firsthand how a fair settlement or verdict allows our clients to manage unexpected financial challenges and navigate the healing process.
Request a Free Consultation with Our Team Today
If your loved one was tragically killed due to the careless, reckless, negligent, or illegal conduct of another, turn to our team at Custodio & Dubey LLP for the personalized and compassionate legal representation you need. Our Lancaster wrongful death attorneys genuinely care about you and your family and are here to guide you throughout the legal process. There are absolutely no legal fees for you unless/until we win your case—if we don’t recover compensation for you, you do not pay.