Have you lost a family member in an accident or other personal injury incident in La Jolla, CA? If so, you and your family could be entitled to compensation for your damages from the party who caused your loved one’s death.
At Mission Personal Injury Lawyers, our La Jolla wrongful death lawyers are committed to helping families like you seek justice for their loss. Our California personal injury lawyers have over 43 years of collective legal experience. Our attorneys provide personal services to each of our clients because we aim to treat them like family.
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How Mission Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You With a Wrongful Death Case in La Jolla
You and your family have suffered an unimaginable loss. Our lawyers and legal team at Mission Personal Injury Lawyers are sensitive to your situation. We handle all aspects of your legal case so you can focus on your and your family’s needs.
Our goal is to help you find some peace as you see the party responsible for your family member’s death held accountable for their actions. We are a family-owned personal injury law firm that will treat your case with the utmost importance.
At Mission Personal Injury Lawyers, numerous local and national legal organizations have recognized our top-rated personal injury attorneys for their legal services. Attorneys Rosalio Munoz and David Munoz have both been included in the list of Super Lawyers for several years. The National Trial Lawyers, Expertise.com, and Best Lawyers have also recognized our lawyers.
When you hire our La Jolla personal injury lawyers to handle your case, you can trust that we will:
- Complete a comprehensive investigation to determine how your family member died
- Identify all parties who played a role in your loved one’s death
- Document damages to determine how much your case is worth
- Work with expert witnesses when appropriate
- File insurance claims and negotiate settlements
- Have a seasoned trial lawyer your case at trial, if necessary
The emotional toll of a wrongful death might never go away. However, a wrongful death action can provide a monetary award that helps your family recover from the financial consequences of losing a family member.
Call us to schedule a free consultation with one of our wrongful death attorneys in La Jolla, California.
What Is a Wrongful Death Action in La Jolla, CA?
A wrongful death occurs when a party causes the untimely death of another person because of negligence, intentional torts, or other wrongdoing. A wrongful death action entails filing a claim against the at-fault party seeking compensation for damages. A person, company, or government entity could be sued for wrongful death.
Wrongful death claims can arise from almost any type of personal injury case. Our La Jolla wrongful death lawyers at Mission Personal Injury Lawyers handle all types of wrongful death claims, including cases involving:
- Car accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Defective products
- Commercial truck accidents
- Premises liability
- Motorcycle accidents
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Bus accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Train accidents
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Pedestrian accidents
- Assault and criminal acts
- Bicycle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Construction accidents
- Boating accidents
Criminal charges could be filed against the party who caused your loved one’s death. However, it is not necessary to be charged with a crime to be legally liable for damages caused by a wrongful death. The wrongful death lawsuit and the criminal case are separate and handled by different courts.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in La Jolla?
Only specific people can file a wrongful death action. California wrongful death laws provide that close family members can file a wrongful death claim, including:
- The surviving spouse
- A domestic partner
- Grandchildren (if the victim’s children predeceased them)
Other family members, including parents, stepchildren, and a putative spouse, could qualify to file a wrongful death claim. However, they must prove they were dependent upon the deceased for support.
If none of the above people exist, anyone who could inherit from the deceased’s estate under intestate laws may be able to file a wrongful death action.
What Damages Can I Recover for a La Jolla Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The damages available for wrongful death cases include reimbursement or compensation for economic damages, including:
- Medical bills between the injury date and date of death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost financial support
You can also recover compensation for your non-economic damages. These damages include the loss of love, affection, household services, and consortium.
Our La Jolla wrongful death attorneys carefully review all cases to determine the damages our clients can receive. We work to maximize the amount you receive for your claim.
What Happens if My Family Member Was Partially To Blame for the Cause of Their Death?
Being partially at fault does not bar a person from recovering damages for a personal injury in California. The state’s pure comparative negligence law does hold the victim accountable for their fault.
If your loved one is partially to blame for the cause of their death, the compensation for a wrongful death action can be reduced. The reduction equals your family member’s percentage of fault.
For example, suppose a jury finds your loved one is 20% to blame for the cause of a car accident. They award damages of $500,000. Your damages award would be reduced by 20 percent.
Insurance companies often use contributory fault to avoid paying a claim. We understand this tactic and are prepared to fight against unjust allegations of fault.
However, you can help. It is best to avoid making any statements to insurance adjusters before you meet with a lawyer to discuss your claim. Any statements you make could be used in the case.
Therefore, never agree to provide a written or recorded statement. Always ask if your telephone case is being recorded and decline to speak on a recorded line.
How Do I Prove Negligence for a Wrongful Death Claim in La Jolla, CA?
Most wrongful death actions are based on negligence claims. If the person would have had a personal injury claim had they survived the traumatic event, you likely have a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
For a wrongful death claim, you must prove the following to establish negligence:
- The party who caused your loved one’s death owed them a duty of care
- The defendant breached the duty of care through their actions or omissions
- The breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your family member’s death
- You experienced damages because of your loved one’s death
Our legal team uses the evidence we collect to prove the above elements. Evidence in a wrongful death claim can include the following:
- Physical evidence from the accident scene
- Testimony from eyewitnesses
- Video of the accident or injury
- Police and accident reports
- Medical records
- Opinions of expert witnesses
- Photographs of the accident scene
The level of proof for a wrongful death lawsuit is by a preponderance of the evidence. The burden of proof is not as high as in a criminal case. Instead of proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the party killed your family member, you only need to convince a jury there is more than a 50% chance your allegations are true.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a La Jolla Wrongful Death Lawyer?
We understand that you might be concerned about how to pay our attorney’s fees. Unfortunately, many families experience financial hardship after the death of a family member.
Our La Jolla personal injury lawyers accept cases on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, we do not charge any upfront attorney’s fees when you hire our law firm.
Instead, our attorney’s fees are a percentage of the amount we recover for your case. We only make money if we secure compensation for you.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in La Jolla, CA?
A statute of limitations is a deadline for filing lawsuits. In most cases, you must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date of death. However, if the death was caused by medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is three years.
If you miss the deadline, you lose the right to take the party to court for the death of your loved one. The best way to avoid this problem is to contact our La Jolla wrongful death lawyers now to discuss your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our La Jolla Wrongful Death Attorneys
No amount of money will bring back your loved one. However, you deserve compensation for the damages and losses caused by another party’s negligence and wrongful acts. We are here to help you hold the responsible party financially liable for their actions.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced La Jolla wrongful death attorneys.