Although closely enumerated by statute, civil actions involving wrongful death aren’t as simple as television shows and media depict. Murder, for example, is civilly litigable even after the perpetrator has been imprisoned, although you’ll be hard-pressed to recover assets to pay for such wrongful homicides. Conversely, deadly accidents happening at work aren’t always the employer’s fault.
Before consigning your claim to an expert California wrongful death lawyer, understand there is a recognizable difference between accidental death and wrongful death, even though both can happen at the hands of another. Here’s what we know:
The Keyword Is ‘Negligence’ In Proving Claims
Falling off construction scaffolding because it was poorly built is one thing; tripping over your own shoelaces, then fallen off the same scaffolding when you were too drunk to be at work is another. Notice the recognizable difference is negligence. Scaffolding may have been poorly constructed, but when a breathalyzer reveals you’re twice the legal limit, reasonable doubt has been raised.
Medical negligence works the same way. Should a doctor prescribed you a certain medication without telling you exactly how much to take, and you down five tablets and die, a significant case for wrongful death is possible. In the same scenario, when a doctor tells you to take one pill twice a day (and prints it on the labeling), but you decide to pop twelve one afternoon and die, reasonable doubt has been raised again because the patient refused to follow reasonable doctor orders.
Negligence means willful misconduct. A purposeful action performed directly (driving into a pedestrian) or indirectly (building a crappy scaffolding used later) by another which ends up killing someone is considered negligence by tort law. If claims cannot pass this test, they’ll be hard to pass by a jury.
Technicalities Can Kill Wrongful Death Claims
If you’ve never hired a California wrongful death attorney, know in advance that the smallest of technicalities can decimate even blatantly obvious claims. Things like missing facts, not raising reasonable doubt and other errors could cause defense teams to vilify plaintiffs looking for compensation for their deceased loved one. It’s horrific what one clerical error can do.
This is why many people are encouraged not to fight wrongful death claims alone. It’s already a tall order for an attorney to handle these types of claims, so imagine what it would be like for an aggrieving family member with little knowledge of civil procedures. It’s scary.
For example, did you know some insurance companies have a subrogation clause? This basically allows a private entity to handle paying claims wrongful death suits on behalf of the wrongdoer’s insurer. It’s almost like an insurance for the insurer.
Your Claim Does Have Merit
No one suggesting your wrongful death claim is baseless.
There are complexities in law, evidence gathering, and negotiation which make claims for wrongful death slightly more tedious than regular injury claims.
There’s a wrongful death attorney in California residents know family and friends of deceased persons can call to gain insight into their wrongful death claim. They could be just a click away.