Losing someone we love under tragic circumstances is one of the greatest sorrows we can suffer. When someone else caused the loss and it could have been avoided had the at-fault person acted more responsibly, the families of the victims understandably feel angry and frustrated. We are sensitive to the grieving process, and while the law cannot overcome the tragedy of a wrongful death or hasten the grieving process, it can provide an opportunity for surviving family members to hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligent actions and dangerous misconduct.
What is “Wrongful Death”?
Under California law, in order to be considered “wrongful,” the person who caused the death must have been negligent or engaged in some other type of actionable misconduct. When wrongful death occurs, certain family members have a legal right to obtain damages. In civil wrongful death cases, the burden of proof must be demonstrated by a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that the burden of proof to recover civil damages is less than the burden of proof to convict in the criminal court system.
Choosing the Right Lawyer
A wrongful death claim may be brought by the descendant’s surviving immediately family members; usually a spouse or children. Because locating and preserving evidence and witnesses is very important in these types of cases, you should hire an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable and who is committed to spending the time necessary with the loved one’s family to truly know who they were. It will be critical to present a vivid picture to the jury of who your loved one was, and what your loss of that person means to you and those she or he was closest to. We will get to know your loved one, through you and the rest of the family, and will work tirelessly to ensure the jury understands your loss.
The surviving family members of a wrongful death victim are entitled to recover a variety of damages, including emotional damages associated with loss of love, companionship, and affection, money for support or other financial benefits one would have received, financial support, and expected future income.
The attorneys at Ercolani Law Group are compassionate lawyers and experts at advocating on our clients’ behalf. We will protect your legal rights and work to hold the at-fault parties accountable. If you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence or misconduct, contact our law office today for a free consultation.