EXPERIENCED LOS ANGELES FUNERAL HOME ABUSE LAWYERS
When a family has lost a loved one, they put their trust in the funeral home they choose to perform the necessary services with care, honesty, and respect. Yet, some funeral homes fail to provide those services, whether intentionally or through negligence, and it occurs more often than you might think in Los Angeles and the US.
Funeral home abuse can result in emotional suffering and financial loss to a family that is already grieving, leaving them feeling defenseless and helpless. When funeral home abuse occurs, the families affected by the abuse need a strong advocate by their side to help them seek damages against the at-fault party. They should seek the counsel of an experienced Los Angeles funeral home abuse attorney to explain the laws, answer their questions, and advise them of their legal options.
Do you believe that you or a loved one has been a victim of funeral home abuse? The Los Angeles funeral home negligence attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can help! Our personal injury lawyers have extensive knowledge and experience in handling funeral home abuse cases. With multiple offices located in Los Angeles, El Segundo, Irvine, Anaheim, Riverside and San Diego, our funeral home abuse attorneys represent grieving families across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with an experienced Los Angeles funeral home abuse lawyer, please call 949-873-0755.
Common Acts of Funeral Home Abuse
When a loved one has died, friends and family members rely on funeral home directors and staff to treat the deceased with the respect and care that he or she deserves. They also trust that staff members won’t take advantage of the difficult situation and distracted family members. Too often, funeral homeowners and staff betray that trust by willfully deceiving grieving families. Here are some common abuses committed by funeral homes:
- Overcharging for services or charging for services not performed
- Stealing jewelry and other personal items
- Placing more than one body in a closed casket
- Removing and selling body parts
- Failing to properly secure a burial site
- Failing to correctly embalm a body
- Failing to properly store a body
- Cremating the incorrect body
- Losing a body or ashes
- Dropping or mishandling a body
Can you sue the Funeral Home?
Funeral home negligence, or willful abuse, results from such things as incompetence, greed, and corruption. If you have evidence that a funeral home has been negligent or deliberately engaged in abuse against your deceased loved one, resulting in emotional or psychological trauma or financial loss to you and your family, you can sue the funeral home for damages.
The first step in the process is to hire an experienced funeral home abuse attorney. Your lawyer will help you build a case to recover the amount you deserve from the funeral home. Make sure you have solid evidence against the funeral home before filing your case. Lack of evidence may result in a judge dismissing charges against the funeral home.
Can you sue a Funeral Home for Emotional Distress?
In order to prove funeral home abuse, you must provide evidence that the entity being sued was contracted by you for services, and that they did not perform those services per the terms of the contract. This might include neglecting to perform a service, overcharging for one or more services, or engaging in illegal acts, such as fraud, abusing the deceased’s body, or selling organs, that resulted in emotional and/or financial injury to you or your family.
If you believe a particular funeral home employee is responsible for your loss, your attorney will help you file a lawsuit against them as well, under the presumption that the employee acted as an agent of the funeral home—you may receive a settlement from both.
Who can sue the Funeral Home?
Individuals who are entitled to sue for damages following funeral home abuse include the following:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving children
- Surviving parents
- Any heir mentioned in the decedent’s will
What are Funeral Home Responsibilities?
Funeral homes services may vary depending on the cultural or religious observances surrounding the deceased or the family. Whereas a full-service funeral home handles all aspects of care from death to burial, other funeral homes might outsource such things as chapel facilities or only offer certain services such as cremation. Although different funeral homes may offer different options to families, most of them provide a set of basic services. Here is a list of services you can expect from most funeral homes:
- 24/7, 365 days a year availability to respond immediately when a death occurs.
- Removal and transfer of the deceased from the place of death (home, nursing home, hospital, etc.) to the funeral home and the crematory if necessary.
- Exercising professional care in handling the deceased, as requested by the family, which may include washing, embalming, restorative art, dressing, casketing, hairdressing, and cosmetology.
- Consulting with the family to gather necessary information necessary for completing paperwork (certificate of death, etc.) and to arrange the details of the funeral service.
- Filing of all necessary paperwork, including certificates of death, or other permits and authorizations, and acquiring the requested number of certified copies of the certificate of death for the family.
- Writing an obituary that includes the date, time, location, etc., for the service, as well as biographical and survivor information provided by the family and sending it to the newspapers requested by the family.
- Offering a choice of the clergy, other officiants, musicians, and singers if requested, and make arrangements with any special groups, such as military or fraternal, to be present at or participate in funeral services.
- Providing necessary details, fees, regulations, and other requirements for the cemetery, crematory, or other places of disposition.
- Helping families with questions about veterans affairs, Social Security benefits, insurance claims, and other related inquiries.
- Providing memorial products, which may include a guest register book, acknowledgment cards, thank-you cards, memorial folders, prayer cards, and more, as requested by the family.
- Helping families arrange flowers, framed photos, photo collages, and other memorial pieces in the chapel during services and/or visitation.
- Directing all requested funeral services in a professional manner.
- Delivering all items (flowers, guest register book, photos, etc.) back to the family at the conclusion of the services.
- Assisting the family with other needed arrangements after the service, including adding death dates to existing monuments or purchasing new monuments.
How long can a body be kept at a Funeral Home?
Although most funerals take place 3 to 5 days after death, there is no restriction on how long after the death a funeral must take place. Cremations or burials can sometimes take place up to 4-6 weeks after a death, especially if friends or family are traveling from out of state or out of the country. If the funeral is likely to be delayed more than 3 or 4 weeks, embalming of the body may be advisable.
Contact an Aggressive Los Angeles Funeral Home Abuse Attorney
It’s unacceptable that people in positions of trust and responsibility steal from grieving families and take advantage of them, but it happens too frequently in Los Angeles County. When it does, families need an aggressive Los Angeles funeral home abuse lawyer to answer their questions, explain California and federal laws, explain their legal options, and proactively pursue damages from those responsible for the abuse.
The Los Angeles funeral home abuse attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can help! Our legal team has the knowledge and extensive experience in handling funeral home negligence cases. We have a long and verifiable record of success assisting area families in these profoundly difficult cases and helping them achieve closure. If you think you or a loved one has experienced abuse by funeral home staff members, contact our law firm to protect you and your family’s legal rights.
With multiple multiple offices located in Los Angeles, El Segundo, Irvine, Anaheim, Riverside and San Diego, our funeral home abuse lawyers represent grieving families across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with an experienced Los Angeles funeral home abuse attorney, please call 949-873-0755.