What do I need to know if I’m considering a wrongful death lawsuit?
Seeking justice and recompense after the wrongful death of a loved one is a difficult but often necessary task. As personal injury attorneys with a proven record of successful wrongful death claims and litigation, the Cohn & Swartzon team explains the process and the role attorneys play in representing the families of victims below.
What Do Claims Have to Prove in Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
Wrongful death claims and lawsuits in California can proceed if someone’s negligence, recklessness, or careless actions caused the untimely death of your loved one.
For a case to succeed, however, you will need proof of the following four components.
1. Duty of Care
Duty of care is the first foundational element of a wrongful death lawsuit. You or your attorney will need to prove that the defendant had a foreseeable duty to prevent a potential incident.
2. Breach of Duty
Further, not only did the defendant have a foreseeable duty of care, but the defendant’s actions also failed and/or breached that duty of care.
Also, a wrongful death lawsuit states that the defendant’s failure of responsibility or negligence led to the incident that caused the death.
Finally, the lawsuit will include a compensatory value for the losses that the death created for you and other potential claimants.
Proving all of these components in a trial can be very complex. In addition, California law states that in most types of cases a wrongful death suit must be filed within two years from the date of death. That said, some notable exceptions apply. If a government or public entity is responsible, for example, the statute of limitations can be as short as six months. The statute of limitations can also vary depending on the type of case so it is very important to speak with a lawyer to make sure time has not, and does not, run out.
Given the challenges of proving a case and the relatively limited time allowed to bring a suit, the chances of maximizing compensation without a knowledgeable attorney on your team are extremely low.
Cohn & Swartzon’s Role in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Some of the most common causes of wrongful death include vehicular accidents, work-related accidents, or defective products. In all of these scenarios, the parties responsible for providing compensation and their insurance carriers will employ legal representatives of their own to deny or minimize the compensation you are entitled to.
Even though legal action probably is not your first thought when the unthinkable happens, you will need attorneys on your side to protect your rights if you do choose to pursue a wrongful death claim. Without a partner who knows how to prove your claim, you will be at a serious disadvantage and may not receive the settlement or other resolution you deserve.
“One of the most important things we do for our clients is take the burden of responsibility for pursuing a claim and compensation off of their shoulders after a wrongful death. Grieving the unexpected loss of a loved one is hard enough – you shouldn’t have to fight your way alone through the legal process too.”
– Jason D. Cohn, Founding Principal, Cohn & Swartzon
The Cohn & Swartzon team has decades of combined experience with wrongful death claims and litigation, and our attorneys are dedicated to providing honest, ethical and transparent counsel, and aggressive representation to Southern Californians who have suffered through these horrific circumstances. To learn more about how we can help, click the link below.