Losing a loved one unexpectedly in West Covina accident is never easy. The shock of your loss will likely stay with you for the rest of your life. While money will not bring your loved one back to you, it can help to minimize the financial and emotional stresses you endure in the wake of your loss.
Contact the West Covina personal injury attorneys at Joshua W. Glotzer APC, to learn about the benefits of filing a wrongful death lawsuit. We offer a free case evaluation, so do not hesitate to call us for help today.
Legal Options After a Fatal West Covina Accident
When you are injured in a West Covina accident and someone else is to blame, you have the right to file a personal injury claim for damages. Unfortunately, many West Covina accidents are fatal. However, the ability to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party is not lost simply because a victim dies in an accident. In California, there are two primary types of legal claims that can be filed after a fatal accident: survival actions and wrongful death lawsuits.
Survival Actions: Survival actions are essentially personal injury claims that are filed by an estate on behalf of a victim after his or her death. Survival actions are used to recover damages that a victim would have been entitled to get had they survived the deadly accident. These typically include compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Replacement or repair of damaged property, and
- Lost wages.
If a victim suffered a loss prior to his or her death, it can be recovered through a survival action.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits: It’s important to distinguish survival actions from wrongful death claims. Survival actions are used to recoup damages that a victim suffered before his or her death, that they would have been able to recover if they had lived. Wrongful death claims, on the other hand, are filed by family members to recover damages for their own personal losses stemming from the death of their loved one.
If you’ve recently suffered the loss of a loved one in a West Covina accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can allow you to:
- Hold the person responsible for your loved one’s death accountable for their actions, and
- Recover monetary compensation for your financial and emotional struggles.
Proving Liability in Wrongful Death Cases
In order for your wrongful death lawsuit to be successful, you’ll have to prove that another person is legally responsible for causing your loved one’s death. In California, wrongful death occurs when:
- The defendant had and breached a duty of care that was owed to the victim
- This breach of duty was a substantial factor in the victim’s death, and
- The victim’s family suffered an injury as a result of the death.
In other words, you have to show that the defendant acted negligently, and that this negligence was a significant factor in causing your loved one’s death.
It’s important to know that you can file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover damages even if your loved one contributed to the fatal accident. However, your financial award will be reduced by your loved one’s degree of fault. For example, if it is determined that your loved one was 25 percent responsible for their fatal accident, your ability to recover compensation will be reduced by 25 percent.
Which Actions Can Be the Basis for a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death claims can be filed after any West Covina accident that results in a victim’s death. At Joshua W. Glotzer, APC, our attorneys can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit based on a fatal:
- Car Accident
- Boating Accident
- Motorcycle Accident
- Pedestrian Accident
- Bicycle Accident
- Truck Accident
- Slip and Fall Accident
- Defective Product Injury
- Medical Malpractice Injury,
- Construction Accident, and more.
Contact our West Covina wrongful death attorneys to find out how we can help you get the money you need after the unexpected loss of your loved one.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Only certain people will have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California. Generally speaking, those closest to the victim will have priority when filing a wrongful death claim:
- Spouses and domestic partners
- Grandchildren, if the victim’s children are no longer living
- Stepchildren and other minors who were dependent on the victim for at least half of all support
- Any individual who would be entitled to the victim’s property under California law.
When Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in West Covina?
While you may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the state of California limits the amount of time you have to file a claim. The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is generally two years from the date of the accident or the victim’s death, whichever occurs later.
If you do not file a claim within the applicable statute of limitations you will likely be prevented from getting the money you need and deserve. Call the West Covina wrongful death attorneys at Joshua W. Glotzer, APC for immediate legal assistance.
Damages Available in Wrongful Death Cases
What kind of damages are available in wrongful death cases? In California, family members can request both economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are typically not available to family members in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Economic damages are paid to compensate family members for the verifiable financial costs that are related to the loss of their loved one. Examples of economic damages that may be available in a wrongful death case include those for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills incurred before a victim’s death
- Financial support the victim would have contributed to the family had they survived
- Loss of gifts and benefits the victim would have likely given, and/or
- Value of household services the victim would have provided.
The loss of your loved one will also cause you to suffer considerable emotional stress. The emotional and psychological losses we suffer are difficult to value in terms of dollars and cents. Non-economic damages can be awarded to compensate for these losses. Examples of non-economic damages that may be available in a wrongful death case include those for:
- Sexual relations
- Moral support
- Training, and
Contact Joshua W. Glotzer, APC to speak with our experienced West Covina wrongful death attorneys. We will fight to make sure that you are able to recover all damages to which you are entitled.
Call Our West Covina Wrongful Death Attorneys
Have you recently suffered the unexpected loss of a loved one in a West Covina accident? Our West Covina personal injury attorneys can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages from the person who is responsible for your loss. Call Joshua W. Glotzer, APC today to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more.