When you lose a loved one unexpectedly, it can feel like your whole world is crumbling. Trying to navigate your next steps can feel totally overwhelming, and if an individual or business is responsible for the wrongful death, you may need to seek legal counsel sooner rather than later, especially to interview witnesses or secure/preserve possible evidence.
Cohn & Swartzon, a personal injury law firm based in Southern California, has litigated many wrongful death lawsuits for individuals and families. Even though it’s clear to us after an initial assessment whether or not a case has merit, we recognize that most people have not studied these issues. With that in mind, let’s discuss what a wrongful death lawsuit is and the elements that a favorable outcome requires.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In California, a wrongful death claim can be made on the grounds that someone’s negligence, recklessness, or careless actions caused the untimely death of your loved one.
According to state law, a wrongful death lawsuit must be brought within two years from the date of death unless certain important exceptions apply such as if a government or public entity was involved, which can significantly shorten the statute of limitations to only six (6) months! Wrongful death actions are claims for compensation for the economic and non-economic damages that the deceased’s family has suffered.
Common causes of wrongful death include:
- Vehicular accidents
- Work-related accidents
- Defective products
Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Specific elements are necessary to prove wrongful death in California. You will need to prove that the following four statements are true:
- Duty of Care: The defendant had a foreseeable duty to prevent a potential incident
- Breach of Duty: The defendant failed and breached their duty of care
- Causation: The breach of the duty led to the incident that caused the death
- Damages: The death created losses for you and your other claimants
Proving these elements in a trial can be extremely complicated, and it’s all but impossible to maximize potential compensation without the right legal representation by your side.
Take Timely Action With Cohn & Swartzon
Getting legal help may be far from your mind after suffering through a wrongful death, but as we mentioned above, it’s important to explore your options in a timely manner to take legal action before the statute of limitations runs out.
Further, a wrongful death lawyer can step in to collect evidence and assist with other time-consuming steps that a wrongful death lawsuit requires.
The legal team at Cohn & Swartzon has filed and successfully litigated wrongful death lawsuits for individuals and families throughout Southern California. We are acutely aware of the suffering you are going through, and we aim to provide candid and compassionate counsel to help you secure compensation and start down the road to recovery.
“Defendants and their insurance companies often try to minimize the suffering and damages that plaintiffs are facing in these situations to reduce the amount of a potential settlement. We have experience on their side of the table, and we know what it takes to secure what our clients are entitled to in these unfortunate circumstances.”
– Saar Swartzon, Founding Partner & Personal Injury Attorney
If you have recently lost a loved one, we are very sorry for your loss. If you are considering legal action, we strongly recommend speaking with a qualified attorney as soon as possible.