Submitted by: Claysphere Rivera
Wrongful death laws are primarily designed to give the surviving family members or close relative of the victim a right to claim for damages or compensation from the person who caused the victim s death.
The simple rationale, for the institution of wrongful death laws was that a dead person could not in anyway file a case on his own behalf. Someone then must be held liable for the loss of life and retribution for the surviving family members who suffers the loss must be devised in order to obtain justice.
Wrongful death laws and procedures seek to simplify claims for compensation through the mechanics of not so complicated tort action than the most intricate criminal prosecution.
In recent years, most states have provided some form of wrongful death claims in their respective jurisdiction. It is wise to note that wrongful death claims of each state varies and often uniquely created.
In Los Angeles most particularly, a wrongful death action can be pursued only after satisfying the constitutive requisites as laid down by the state law.
To have a much broader look on the mechanics of a wrongful death action in Los Angeles I prepare a detailed account of the same below.
Conditions for filing wrongful death claim in Los Angeles
Initially, it would be best to give a description of the wrongful death law, concisely.
Wrongful death law seeks to provide financial compensation to the close relative of a person whose death was caused by willful, inaction, negligent or wrongful act, omission of another. A wrongful death claim covers all types of accidental death, irrespective of the specific cause.
A wrongful death action cannot be pursued by just anybody. The law only allows lawsuit to be pursued by the person who has directly suffered from the loss.
To be precise, the law only allows the immediate relatives of the victim including his/her parents, spouse, and children. In default of the foregoing, other family members may have the right to bring lawsuit of this kind. Stepparents, grandparents and dependents belong to the second class.
Aside from the rightful standing in the court action, the component damages of the sudden death covers the following:
Medical, funeral and burial expenses
Lost of wages and future earnings
Lost of inheritance
Lost of benefits
Pain, suffering and mental anguish
Other loss that family members may have suffered, such as loss of financial support and loss of companionship
The above enumerated damages are not exclusive and do not encompass all damages that are recoverable. However, speculative amounts with no definite basis are not recoverable.
Elements of a wrongful death lawsuit
A wrongful death claim generally consists of four elements:
(1) the death was caused, in whole or part, by the defendant s conduct;
(2) the defendant was negligent or strictly liable for the victim s death;
(3) there is a surviving spouse, children, beneficiaries or dependents who have suffered emotional and monetary damages; and
(4) financial damages have resulted from the victim s death
The procedure of filing a wrongful death lawsuit is not easy and needs a delicate consideration of pertinent applicable principle and precedents. Therefore, the family of the victim must have a consultation with a credible Los Angeles wrongful death attorney.
In this type of legal proceedings, the aid of a wrongful death attorney will definitely give the victim s survivors a fair chance of obtaining justice and suitable compensations.
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