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wrongful death lawsuitThere is no amount of financial compensation on Earth that can make up for the preventable loss of a loved one. Yet, it remains essential for surviving loved ones to explore their legal options after suffering such a loss. Depending upon the circumstances that lead to the death of someone who has been injured or fallen ill due to circumstances that were (at least partially) beyond their control, that victim’s surviving loved ones may be entitled to significant compensation as a result of their loss. They also may be in a position to file a so-called survival action on behalf of the suffering that their lost loved one endured before their death. 

If you’ve recently lost a loved one due to an accident, medical mistake, product defect, work-related circumstances, murder, or another scenario in which another’s recklessness, negligence, or intentionally dangerous conduct contributed to the cause(s) of that loss, please connect with our firm today. We offer risk-free consultations at no cost so that any surviving loved one interested in learning about their rights and options under the law may do so in a pressure-free environment. 

Why Take Legal Action?

Before addressing whether you do or don’t have grounds upon which to file legal action, consider the issue of why you may want to file a legal action in the first place. Often, loved ones who are grieving are, and very understandably, uninterested in pursuing legal action due to their loss. Generally, they are overwhelmed by what has happened and by caring for others who are grieving the same loss. 

Yet, many have realized that seeking legal and financial justice for what happened is essential. First, taking legal action can bring some people a sense of closure that they cannot otherwise achieve. Others find themselves craving accountability. And all start to wonder why their family’s finances are shouldering the burden of loss when that weight belongs on the shoulders of at least one other party. Waiting until medical bills, funeral costs, and the impact of lost income has begun affecting your family’s life to seek compensation via a lawsuit isn’t ideal. Acting before those pressures add to your burdens may take significant effort, but you may thank yourself later for making it. 

Do You Have Grounds Upon Which To File Legal Action?

Wrongful death lawsuits may generally be filed when an injury victim would have had grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit on their behalf if their injuries had not been fatal. A representative of the deceased’s estate and certain closely-related loved ones are generally empowered to file wrongful death lawsuits in California.

Your loved one would have likely been in a position to file a personal injury lawsuit had they lived if their injuries were caused totally or in part by the negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous conduct of another. The “another” in question could be an individual, company, or government agency. 

It’s important to understand that you may remain entitled to compensation even if your loved one was partially at fault for their dangerous circumstances. California is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that the surviving loved ones of injury victims may pursue compensation against others whose conduct unreasonably contributed to the causes of their loved one’s death, even if their loved one also contributed to the cause of their death. As a result, you will be entitled to less compensation than you would have been had your loved one been blameless.

Survival Actions

In California, a survival action may also be filed if the injury victim who died suffered from their harm before they passed away. Meaning if your loved one was killed instantly in a crush accident, you wouldn’t be in a position to file a survival action. But, if your loved one suffered for two weeks in the hospital due to harm caused by a truck accident before dying due to their injuries, you may file a survival action in addition to a wrongful death lawsuit. When you file a survival action, it will be (in a manner of speaking) absorbed into your more significant wrongful death case so that both legal concerns can be argued simultaneously. 

When Fatal Harm Is Work-Related

If your loved one’s fatal injury or illness was (in any way) work-related, their surviving dependents might be eligible to receive workers’ compensation death benefits. As long as your loved one was eligible for workers’ compensation coverage when they sustained their work-related harm, their dependents should be eligible for this compensation. 

The compensation award available to your family may be significant, so don’t wait to connect with an attorney if your loved one’s death was work-related. Unlike the personal injury lawsuit process, which doesn’t need to be initiated for some time following a death, the workers’ compensation process is notoriously time-sensitive. If you don’t act quickly, you could be barred from receiving compensation that would otherwise be rightfully yours. 

Schedule A Free Consultation With A Dedicated California Wrongful Death Attorney To Learn More

If you’re not yet ready to make any big decisions about your legal options, that’s okay. Connect with our firm to tell us your story, and we’ll provide you with personalized, pressure-free legal guidance to make decisions when you’re ready. Just keep in mind that some compensation opportunities – like workers’ compensation death benefits – are especially time-sensitive, so you may need to act more quickly with regard to some options than others. 

You do not need to navigate your loss’s legal and financial consequences on your own. For knowledgeable guidance and compassionate assistance, connect with The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC, by calling (888) 848-5084 or contacting us online. We look forward to speaking with you and learning about your loved one. 

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