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Who can file a wrongful death claim in Los Angeles?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Personal Injury

Wrongful death claims are generally legal options available to families and the estates affected by the untimely death of an individual caused by another’s negligence or wrongful act. Understanding who can file these claims and the necessary elements for a successful case is crucial for those seeking justice and compensation for their loss.

The right to file a wrongful death claim in Los Angeles is limited to certain individuals closely related to the decedent.

Eligibility to file a claim

The law in California is particular about who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit to court. The decedent person’s immediate family members, such as their spouse, children or parents, are typically the primary claimants. If these relatives aren’t available, others who were financially dependent on the decedent, including stepchildren or the decedent’s legal guardians, may also be eligible.

Requirements for a wrongful death claim

For a wrongful death claim to be successful in Los Angeles, several key elements must be proven. A human death must have occurred, and this death must have been caused either by another’s negligence or intent to cause harm. Negligence can manifest in various forms, such as medical malpractice, car accidents caused by reckless driving or inadequate safety measures in a workplace.

Proving negligence or wrongful act

A claimant must also establish that the defendant had a duty of care toward the decedent and that this duty was breached, leading directly to the death. This involves showing that the defendant’s actions or inactions were the direct cause of the death and that if not for these actions, the death wouldn’t have occurred.

It must be demonstrated that the death has resulted in measurable damages. These damages can include funeral and burial expenses, loss of anticipated earnings, loss of love and companionship and the value of household services the decedent would have provided.

Filing a wrongful death claim can be a complex undertaking. Anyone considering this option should ensure they work with someone familiar with these matters. Time is limited by state law, so swift filing is critical.

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