Life thrives under the golden sun of California, with its bustling cities, stunning beaches, picturesque parks and breathtaking coastal landscapes. People from all layers of society and different corners of the globe are eager to live, vacation and even retire in the Golden State. It is no wonder it is the most populated state in the nation. Yet amidst this vibrancy, there are unexpected and tragic events that can ruin our dreams and change our lives forever: the sudden and preventable loss of a loved one.
When the waves of grief hit, they often carry a storm of questions with them. Perhaps the most troubling question is, did someone’s actions lead to your loved one’s death? In the world of law, this introduces us to the heart-wrenching yet critical concept of ‘wrongful death.’
Wrongful death in California
A person’s death is wrongful if it is a consequence of the legal fault, wrongdoing or liability of another individual or organization. It is usually the result of someone’s negligence, recklessness or intentional actions. A wrongful death can happen in a variety of circumstances, including the following:
- Accidents and incidents that happen because of another party’s negligence (Examples: car accidents, slip-and-falls, dog bites, defective products and dangerous premises)
- Medical malpractice (Examples: surgical errors, misdiagnosis, nursing errors, medication errors and improper treatment)
- Intentional acts (Examples: murder and manslaughter)
In California, eligible parties or the decedent’s personal representative can file a wrongful death claim to hold the person(s) or entity who caused the death liable for their actions. It is like a personal injury claim, except that the victim is no longer alive to seek justice for the injustice that happened to them.
Justice for your loved one
Unraveling the complex layers of a wrongful death claim requires patience and a thorough understanding of the law. It begins by determining whether a death was actually wrongful, which often entails careful investigation and legal consultation.
However, losing a loved one to preventable and avoidable circumstances is unfair. The party who caused the death should have been more careful or acted more reasonably. A wrongful death lawsuit is one way you can honor your loved one and work towards preventing similar tragedies in the future.