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Los Angeles Wrongful Death Claims

Posted by Siamak Vaziri | Feb 27, 2024 | 0 Comments

Navigating the aftermath of a Los Angeles wrongful death can feel like an insurmountable challenge. This guide aims to simplify that journey, providing you with essential knowledge on how to proceed if you find yourself facing such a tragic situation. This section unfolds the mysteries of wrongful death causes, outlines the legal steps necessary for initiating a lawsuit, and identifies those qualified to seek justice.

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We also dive into what compensation might look like and break down the process of proving negligence or fault under California law. Lastly, we give insights into choosing strong legal representation to help guide your case towards a favorable outcome. Armed with this information, navigating through these difficult times could become slightly less daunting.

Table of Contents:

Understanding Wrongful Death in Los Angeles

Fundamentally, wrongful death in Los Angeles encompasses situations in LA where an individual's carelessness or deliberate action results in the demise of another. 

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Several factors contribute to fatal accidents, which often lead to wrongful death lawsuits. Among these causes are distracted or impaired driving, aggressive behavior on the roads, ongoing road work, and incidents involving pedestrians.

Notably, truck collisions have led to significant legal settlements. For instance, after a commercial truck failed to yield at a pedestrian crosswalk resulting in an elderly woman's death, her family received a $1 million settlement from the driver's insurance company.

Bicycle-related fatalities also see their day in court. The family of 13-year-old Brett McDaniel was awarded $2 million (later reduced to $1.2 million) when he was tragically hit by an ambulance while biking; this case involved Mercy Regional Emergency Medical Services.

Medical malpractice is another leading cause of wrongful deaths when healthcare professionals do not meet standard care levels. Families may pursue litigation if they believe a loved one's death resulted from errors such as incorrect prescriptions, misdiagnoses or delayed diagnoses, surgical mistakes or emergency room oversights.

Product liability cases arise when defective designs or manufacturing processes of products result in fatalities. Those responsible for bringing these products into the market can be held accountable if their negligence leads to someone's death.

Workplace accidents too can form the basis for wrongful death claims if employer negligence plays a role in fatal incidents involving unsafe conditions or equipment failures.

Furthermore, criminal actions that result in loss of life can lead to substantial damages being awarded against perpetrators and associated institutions. A notable case involved a New Jersey teenager who committed suicide following sexual abuse by his high school coach; his family secured $900,000 from those deemed responsible.

Legal Requirements for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

Facing the loss of a loved one due to someone else's negligence hits hard. But, when it comes time to seek justice through a wrongful death claim in California, knowing the legal requirements is your first step towards closure and compensation. So let's break down what you need to know without any fluff.

In California, generally speaking, you have two years from the date of your loved one's passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This deadline isn't just a suggestion; it's set in stone unless rare exceptions apply. Miss this window and you might lose your right to sue forever.

Who can take action? It's not open season for anyone who knew the deceased. The law specifically allows certain family members or dependents—think spouses, domestic partners, children—or those entitled by intestate succession (when there's no will) like parents or siblings, depending on who survives the deceased.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

When the unthinkable happens, and a loved one is lost due to someone else's negligence or intentional act, knowing who can step forward to file a wrongful death claim is crucial. In LA, the statutes delineate particular kin and supporters endowed with this entitlement.

Firstly, surviving spouses or domestic partners are at the forefront of those eligible. They bear not only emotional loss but often financial burdens that were previously shared. Children of the deceased also hold rights under these laws; their future without a parent's guidance and support is considered in legal terms.

But what about more distant relatives? The answer lies within intestate succession – if you're entitled to inherit from the deceased as per California's rules on property distribution when there's no will, you might be able to bring forth a claim. This could include parents or siblings depending on circumstances surrounding other surviving relatives.

A less commonly known term yet equally important in these matters is 'putative spouse.' If someone believed they were legally married to the decedent despite there being issues with legality of marriage formalities, they too may have grounds for filing such claims in Los Angeles courts.

To navigate through this difficult time effectively, the Vaziri Law Group, seasoned wrongful death attorneys based out of Los Angeles provide indispensable help by offering insights into eligibility criteria along with compassionate legal assistance every step of way toward seeking justice for your loved one.

Types of Compensation Available in Wrongful Death Cases

Economic Damages

In the aftermath of a wrongful death, economic damages serve as a financial lifeline for grieving families. These include covering medical bills that piled up before the untimely passing and compensating for lost income potential, which can be especially critical if the deceased was a primary earner. The harsh reality is funerals aren't cheap either; back in 2017, families were shelling out between $6,000 and $8,700 on average just to say their final goodbyes.

This monetary support doesn't ease emotional pain but it does help stabilize what feels like an imploding world financially. And while no amount of money can replace a loved one, ensuring the family's financial security is one less burden during such difficult times.

Non-Economic Damages

Beyond bills and lost wages lies another category: non-economic damages. In this realm, we delve into the deep and unseen scars—awarding solace for the heart's turmoil or the void left by a cherished presence now absent. It's about acknowledging that beyond every number crunched or claim filed there's heartache that deserves recognition too.

Surely enough these kinds of losses are harder to quantify than tallying up hospital visits or projecting future earnings missed out on by those left behind. But they're real and they matter immensely because they speak to human connection; something far more precious than anything else we could possibly lose.

Proving Negligence or Fault in Wrongful Death Cases

Elements of Negligence

To win a wrongful death lawsuit, showing someone was at fault is key. It's like piecing together a puzzle where each piece must fit perfectly. The first big piece? Duty of care. This means the person who caused the harm had a responsibility to act safely towards others. For instance, drivers have a duty to follow traffic laws and not text while driving.

The second crucial piece is breach of that duty. Here's where things get tricky; you need solid evidence that this duty was ignored or violated leading up to the fatal accident. Whether it's running a red light or ignoring safety protocols at work, proving this breach ties directly back to your loved one's passing is essential.

Specific Challenges

Facing off against an at-fault party isn't for the faint-hearted—it demands strong proof and often battles through complex legal defenses. One major hurdle? Showing direct causation—that the negligence led straight to your family member's untimely death without any significant breaks in between.

Gathering evidence becomes paramount here—everything from accident reports and eyewitness accounts to medical records can play part in building your case.

Navigating these waters might feel overwhelming but remember, establishing negligence is possible with meticulous gathering and presenting of facts tailored specifically toward meeting California law requirements on proving wrongful death claims.

High-Risk Factors Leading to Wrongful Deaths in LA

Vehicle-Related Incidents

Negligent driving tops the charts when it comes to fatal outcomes on Los Angeles roads. With over 40% of car accident fatalities nationwide, a significant chunk stems from LA's bustling streets. These tragic incidents often boil down to distracted driving, speeding, and unfortunately, impaired judgment due to substance use. Remembering that each time someone decides to text or drive under the influence, they're not just risking their lives but also those around them.

In the city's notorious snarl-ups, this just fans the flames of already hazardous conditions. It's not just about being stuck in traffic; it's how frustration leads drivers to make risky moves that could end fatally. For families affected by such tragedies, understanding why choosing experienced legal representation is crucial for navigating wrongful death claims effectively.

Workplace Dangers

In Los Angeles, perilous workplaces serve as fertile territories for avoidable fatalities. From construction sites without proper safety measures to industrial workplaces lacking adequate training or equipment – these environments pose serious risks. The importance of employers adhering strictly to safety protocols cannot be overstated because every worker deserves a safe return home at day's end.

Fatal accidents within these settings underscore the need for vigilant enforcement of workplace safety standards and regulations—a mission far too critical than any project deadline.

Medical Errors

An area often overlooked until tragedy strikes: medical malpractice contributes significantly annually towards wrongful deaths across Los Angeles hospitals and clinics.

It's not a blame game; it's about recognizing that, even with cutting-edge medical tech and methods at our disposal, human slip-ups can lead to devastating outcomes.

Advocacy organizations persistently push for enhancements in medical systems, aiming to reduce preventable errors by fostering enhanced dialogue between healthcare providers and implementing comprehensive care strategies.

If faced with loss due to medical negligence exploring your options with a knowledgeable Los Angeles wrongful death attorney can help shed light on potential pathways forward during such difficult times.

Key Takeaway: 

LA's high-risk factors for wrongful deaths include vehicle incidents, workplace dangers, and medical errors. Knowing these helps families seek the right legal help to navigate claims effectively.

Settlements and Verdicts in Los Angeles Wrongful Death Cases

Los Angeles sees its fair share of wrongful death cases each year. The settlement value in these cases varies widely based on factors like negligence proof level and the deceased's future earning potential. 

In Los Angeles, the typical range for wrongful death settlements is between $250,000 and $500,000. This represents the median values seen across the state. However, it's important to note that these amounts can vary widely depending on the specific details and intricacies of each case.

To successfully navigate this complex process considerations determining settlement value are crucial to understand. This includes both economic damages such as lost wages and non-economic damages like emotional distress faced by family members after losing a loved one due to someone else's negligence or intentional misconduct.

In some instances where fault is clear-cut and evidence robustly supports claims against responsible parties—such as in high-profile vehicle-related fatalities—settlement figures have reached significant amounts or led to impactful jury verdicts following trials within California's civil lawsuit system aimed at personal injury resolution.

Key Takeaway: 

To tackle a wrongful death claim in Los Angeles, grab skilled legal support. It's key to getting fair compensation and honoring your loved one right.


Navigating a Los Angeles wrongful death claim is complex. But, armed with the right knowledge, it's manageable. You've learned the causes and how to file a claim. You know who can take action and what compensation might entail.

Remember: proving negligence is crucial; choose your legal representation wisely for guidance towards success. Embarking on this journey for your loved one's justice involves initial strides, marked by determination and hope.

Those who have lost their loved ones can contact us for help. At the Vaziri Law Group, our Los Angeles firm has helped families recover over $1 Billion in compensation for their losses. We're here to help with a free consultation with no obligation to retain our services. We have a 98% success rate and over 100 5-star reviews. Obtain help today from our caring staff through phone, chat, or form.

About the Author

Siamak Vaziri

Attorney Siamak Vaziri’s mission is to help make his clients whole by obtaining maximum physical, emotional, and financial recovery. Mr. Vaziri’s clients' needs come first, evidenced by his 98% success rate, more than $1 Billion in client settlements and verdicts, as well as 100+ 5-star reviews. Mr. Vaziri invests every resource to nurture his client and partner relationships and does so with integrity and a relentless work ethic.


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