A loved one’s unexpected passing is a painful experience that no amount of money can ever fully compensate you for. However, if your loved one passed because another party was negligent, you may at least pursue compensation to minimize the financial consequences of this tragedy for you and your loved ones.
Review your case with a Santa Monica wrongful death attorney at Randolph and Associates to learn more. While you focus on your needs during this challenging time, we’ll focus on recovering the compensation you and your loved ones may deserve.
Common Causes Of Wrongful Death In Santa Monica, CA
A wrongful death case is one involving a victim who passed away due to the actions or carelessness of another party. Common causes of wrongful death include (but aren’t limited to) the following:
- Motor vehicle.
- Falls from height accidents.
- Assaults and other such criminal behavior.
- Medical errors.
- Exposure to hazardous substances.
After a loved one dies, you might not be certain whether the cause of their death provides you with justification to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. In these circumstances, it’s wise to consult with an expert. The team at our Santa Monica wrongful death law firm will answer your questions and explain whether you have grounds to take legal action.
Seeking Financial Compensation After A Loved One’s Wrongful Death In Santa Monica
The process of seeking compensation after a loved one’s wrongful death in California begins with identifying the party or parties responsible for their death. This may require conducting a thorough investigation. Because you likely don’t have the resources necessary to conduct such an investigation yourself, a Santa Monica wrongful death lawyer can handle this task on your behalf.
Once you’ve identified the liable parties, you may file a claim with their insurance, or file a lawsuit to pursue damages in court. This may be necessary if they don’t have insurance or their insurer won’t offer a fair settlement.
The following individuals can file wrongful death claims in California:
- The decedent’s spouse.
- The decedent’s domestic partner.
- Children of the decedent.
- Certain individuals who may have been dependents of the decedent, such as stepchildren or parents.
- A minor who was dependent on the decedent and had remained living in their household for 180 days or more prior to their death.
- Those who would be entitled to the decedent’s property by intestate succession.
If you don’t know whether your relationship with someone who passed away allows you to file a wrongful death claim, contact an attorney. They will explain how to proceed.
Losses/damages for which one may seek compensation when filing a wrongful death claim or lawsuit include:
- Reasonable funeral expenses.
- Medical expenses if the decedent received treatment before their death.
- Loss of the decedent’s income, including potential future earnings.
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of inheritance.
- Loss of the decedent’s household services.
- Mental anguish.
- Parental guidance and support.
How A Santa Monica Wrongful Death Law Firm Helps?
Hiring a qualified attorney can play a critical role in the outcome of your case after a loved one’s untimely passing resulting from someone else’s negligence. Again, to recover the compensation you and your family may deserve, you’ll need to accurately identify the party or parties who caused your loved one’s accident. A Santa Monica wrongful death attorney can leverage the resources of their firm to conduct an investigation and identify these parties accurately.
They can also:
- Gather witness statements
- Request and review any evidence that may strengthen your case, including (but not limited to) police reports, equipment maintenance records, security camera footage of an accident, photographs of the conditions at the scene of an accident, etc.
- Recreate an accident to illustrate how it occurred and why it was the result of negligence
- Assign a dollar value to non-economic losses you may have sustained due to your loved one’s passing, such as mental anguish
- Calculate the dollar value of future losses/damages, such as the amount of money your loved one might have earned over the course of their lifetime if they hadn’t passed away
- File a claim or lawsuit by an established deadline to ensure you don’t accidentally waive your rights to compensation
- Demonstrate why you and your family deserve to recover more compensation than the insurance company is offering if their initial settlement offers are unreasonably low
Mistakes To Avoid When A Santa Monica Wrongful Death Case Is Pending
Making certain mistakes when seeking compensation after a loved one’s wrongful death can jeopardize your chances of recovering what you’re owed. Mistakes to avoid making include the following:
- Communicating with an insurance adjuster or other representative of the insurance company yourself.
- Communicating directly with the negligent party responsible for your loved one’s passing.
- Hiring a personal injury attorney who doesn’t have experience handling wrongful death cases in the Santa Monica area.
- Posting about your case on social media or discussing it openly until it’s been fully resolved.
It’s also important to ensure you thoroughly understand the terms of any settlement you may arrive at when your case reaches its conclusion. For example, in some instances, the terms of a settlement include a provision limiting what a claimant can and can’t disclose about the case going forward. Violating the terms of your settlement could prevent you from recovering the compensation you’re owed.
At our Santa Monica wrongful death law firm, we understand that these complex topics can overwhelm and confuse someone who never thought they’d have to file a claim or lawsuit due to a loved one’s wrongful death. We’ll gladly answer any and all questions you may have throughout every step of the process.
Contact A Santa Monica Wrongful Death Attorney
Filing a wrongful death claim doesn’t guarantee an immediate payout. Insurance companies often attempt to protect themselves financially by denying claims or offering less compensation than claimants deserve.
Hiring a qualified lawyer will significantly improve your chances of arriving at a fair settlement. At Randolph and Associates, our Santa Monica wrongful death attorneys will aggressively pursue what you deserve while offering the compassion you need right now. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at 310-957-7900.