Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences in life. Losing a loved one in a preventable accident can add create additional stress in an already difficult situation. If you have recently lost a loved one as the result of another's negligence or misconduct, you may have a right to recover financial compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. At Lessem Newstate & Tooson, LLP, our team of experienced and compassionate attorneys strives to guide families step-by-step through the wrongful death claim process.
According to California's wrongful death law, certain family members will be eligible to file claims and recover compensation. Our legal team can review your case to help determine your eligibility. Generally, however, the following parties will be eligible to file a wrongful death claim:
- Surviving spouse of the decedent
- Domestic partner of the decedent
In the event that these parties do not exist, courts may determine who is eligible to file a claim, specifically if they were dependent on the decedent. In any case, a wrongful death claim will require families to prove that another party is responsible for the death of their loved one and that another's negligence or wrongful act more likely than not caused the victim's death. When all legal elements are effectively addressed, families may be able to recover compensation for their damages, including:
- Pain and suffering of the decedent
- Any emergency medical services or medical care
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of emotional support & companionship
In some cases, but not all, families may be able to recover an additional form of compensation known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are reserved for cases involving gross acts of negligence or misconduct. Fatal drunk driving accidents, for example, are often cases in which families can pursue punitive damages.
For more information about filing a wrongful death claim in Ventura or any of the surrounding communities of California, call (805) 410-3513 for a free consultation.