Earlier this week, a Pasadena woman was killed when the car she was riding in was struck by a falling crane. Sarah Wong, 19, was just a few short weeks from finishing her freshman year at Seattle Pacific University. According to reports, the crane was being used on an active construction site in Seattle. The reason for the crane’s unexpected fall has not been disclosed. Police continue to investigate the accident.
Now Wong’s family in Pasadena, CA is forced to deal with their unexpected and devastating loss. When someone is killed in an accident, the family often has the right to demand compensation with a wrongful death lawsuit. While money will not bring their loved one back, it can help to alleviate some of the pain and suffering they experience.
Multiple Parties Can Be Liable
In California, anyone who contributes to an accident can be held financially responsible for any injuries or harm that result. This means that anyone who contributed to the crane accident in some way can be sued for their role in Sarah Wong’s death.
The Construction Company
The crane was being used on a construction site in Seattle. The company is responsible for overseeing that construction site may be liable for Wong’s death. When a company operates a construction site, it has an obligation to:
- Purchase safe equipment that is appropriate for the job
- Regularly inspect equipment for defects and problems
- Perform regular maintenance on construction equipment
- Hire, train, and supervise capable employees
- Ensure safety measures are carried out to prevent accidents and harm, and
- Seek out and comply with local state and federal permit requirements.
Failure to do any of these things can be considered negligence. Negligence can result in liability in the event of an accident.
The family may also choose to Target specific construction workers who were in charge of crane operations. If an investigation reveals that a worker was negligent, that individual can be liable for the accident.
It’s important to note that if t construction worker named in the lawsuit was an employee of the construction company, the company could also be liable for the tragic. However, it can be more challenging to hold the company responsible if the worker was simply contracted for that particular job. Employee classification is often critical in cases like this.
Sometimes accidents happen because equipment is defective or malfunctions. In these cases, the companies responsible for designing, manufacturing, and marketing those products can be held accountable. Manufacturers have an obligation to make sure that the products they sell are safe. If a company knows that a product is dangerous or that using it in a particular way could be hazardous, it must disclose that information. If the investigation reveals the crane was defective in some way, Wong’s family may be able to go after the manufacturer.
What Can the Family Recover With a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
It’s never easy losing someone you love in an accident. Under California law, family members generally have the right to ask for compensation to help offset family and financial losses.
This includes money for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses paid before the family member’s death
- Loss of companionship, support, love, and guidance
- Loss of financial support the family member would have provided
- Loss of gifts or household contributions a family member would have given had they survived.
Family members are not entitled to compensation for strictly emotional losses, such as pain and suffering or emotional grief.
Wrongful death lawsuit can be complicated. The family is going through a challenging time as they grieve the loss of their loved one. They will significantly increase the likelihood of getting the money they deserve if they work with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney.