Any death brought about through the negligence or recklessness of another individual may qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit. The families of victims can typically file a lawsuit to seek compensation for the loss of a loved one, especially if the death was caused by preventable circumstances. If a loved one was killed in an accident, died because of poor medical care, or passed away because of a defective product or other negligence, contact the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today.
Our Ventura wrongful death lawyers explain some of the common causes of wrongful death lawsuits and how these claims can proceed under California law. To schedule a free legal consultation after the death of a family member, contact our law offices today at (805) 643-5555 to schedule a free consultation.
What Types of Cases Can Lead to Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
A wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the deceased’s spouse, children, or other heirs to recover damages for their loved one’s death. These lawsuits usually work to recover compensation for the end of life medical care, funeral and burial expenses, and the financial harms the family suffered because of their loved one’s death.
Loved ones who die before their time usually do so under four potential circumstances:
- Death from natural causes due to a heart attack, cancer, or other serious health problems
- A deadly accident or other incident
As much as we would love to seek justice for a loved one who died to illness or suicide, we typically have no legal recourse. However, if a loved one was killed because of someone else’s intentional or negligent actions, you typically have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes negligence in treating illness or mental health issues that ultimately led to their death. More specifically, the following are all common causes of death that can lead to wrongful death lawsuits:
One of the most common causes of death for certain age groups, car accidents claim the lives of thousands of Californians each year. If a loved one was killed in a car crash, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver. If the at-fault driver was also killed, you may be able to file the claim against their estate instead. Fatal car accidents often include serious negligence, such as drunk driving, reckless driving, drowsy driver, or distracted driving, which can help you prove the at-fault driver’s negligence.
If your loved one was undergoing treatment for an injury or illness, the medical care should meet certain standards to ensure that it is helpful. If the doctor failed to diagnose an illness or waited too long to diagnose a condition, that delay may have contributed to the severity of the condition and caused the death. Additionally, surgical errors and other negligent healthcare could directly lead to death. These kinds of medical malpractice cases often lead to wrongful death lawsuits.
Defective Product and Medication
When you use a tool, appliance, or medication, you expect that the manufacturer designed and manufactured a product that was safe for use. If a product is used for another purpose, it may become dangerous – but when products are used as instructed and lead to catastrophic or deadly accidents, the manufacturer should be held liable. When children or other family members pass away because of defective products or pharmaceuticals, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
Murder and Violence
Although the criminal justice system will usually seek to punish people who commit murder, this system is not perfect. When someone intentionally takes the life of another, the criminal justice system works to punish them, but it may not work to support the victim’s surviving family. A wrongful death lawsuit can be used to get compensation for the death of a murdered loved one separately from the criminal case. In these cases, the burden of proof is lower than “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and you may be able to win your case even if the criminal trial does not lead to conviction.
Dangerous Property Defects
Many deaths are caused each year by uncovered pools, balcony collapses, porch collapses, falls down stairs, collapsing ladders or scaffolding, or other injuries caused by dangerous property defects. If your loved one was killed because a property owner failed to repair or warn about a danger on the property, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. These cases commonly include drowning deaths, falling deaths, or electrocution deaths.
If a loved one was killed at work, the case might be complex. Holding an employer liable in a wrongful death suit requires working outside of the workers’ compensation system, and you should always speak to an attorney about whether your case qualifies for a wrongful death suit.
Ventura Wrongful Death Lawyers Offering Free Legal Consultations
If your loved one was killed in an accident or otherwise taken before their time because of an avoidable issue or an incident caused by someone else’s negligent or intentional actions, contact the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today. Call our Ventura wrongful death lawyers at (805) 643-5555 to set up a free legal consultation.