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LAW OFFICE OF SARA B. POSTER
Wrongful Death
Unexpectedly losing a family member or loved one is one of the most difficult experiences one will ever go through. While it is difficult enough to simply come to terms with the loss, survivors suffer even more when the death was caused by the negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of someone else. We attain justice for survivors and fight for maximum compensation to ensure that your family's best interests are protected. 
Families often suffer real harm when a loved one dies, especially if the family member provided a considerable amount of financial support. Though the legal system cannot bring the family member back, it can provide compensation to begin to address the loss the family feels. A civil lawsuit is often the only form of justice a family can pursue.
 
Where a death was caused by the negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of another person, the surviving family members may be entitled to compensation though a wrongful death lawsuit.
 
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
 
  • Auto accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Drunk driving
  • Defective products
  • Workplace accidents
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Construction accidents
  • Medical malpractice
 
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
 
Determining who has the right to file a wrongful death claim is similar to deciding who would inherit the deceased person's property if he or she died without a will. The first person who is entitled to file a wrongful death claim is the decedent's husband or wife, then the decedent's children, any dependent stepchildren, any minors who have lived under the decedent's roof for six months or longer, and then the decedent's dependent parents. 
 
If there is no one available under these categories, the surviving parents of the deceased are next in line to file a claim, regardless of whether or not they were dependents of the decedent, then the decedent's brothers and sisters and their children, then grandparents, and then the children of a deceased spouse. If no one exists within any of these categories, the decedent's next of kin has the right to file the claim.
 
The party bringing the claim can have the decedent's personal representative of the estate of the decedent file the action. The proceeds from the case will be distributed to the surviving family members in accordance with California's wrongful death statute.
 
Damages Available in Wrongful Death Cases
 
California law allows individuals who bring wrongful death claims to recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages represent the quantifiable financial injury to a family resuting from the loss of their loved one. Non-economic damages refer to the losses that cannot easily be assigned a dollar amount. 
 
Economic damages include:
  • The loss of financial support to the surviving family members that the deceased provided
  • The loss of any benefits or gifts the deceased would have provided
  • The loss of services the deceased would have provided
  • Funeral and burial expenses
 
Non-Economic damages include:
  • The surviving family members' loss of care, including the comfort, companionship, assistance, training, advice, love, and protection the deceased would have provided
  • The loss of sexual relations for the decedent's spouse

We use our in-depth knowledge of the law, extensive litigation background, and trial experience to determine how to best present the facts in order to ensure that you receive fair compensation.