Wrongful Deaths in California – What Are the Causes?

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Anything can happen at any point of time in our life. Even the most cautious drivers meet with an accident sometimes. When any of your family members die due to the intentional acts or recklessness of others, you will have all the right to initiate a lawsuit on them. In California, wrongful deaths can occur due to medical malpractice, negligent driving, crimes and intentional acts.

For wrongful death cases, you must approach an experienced attorney in California always. Type ‘attorney near me’ in the search option online and you will see the list of attorneys available in your location, who handles the wrong death cases. Before you choose any attorney, it is very important to read their client reviews. Knowing their success rate is also important.

The main advantage of approaching such a law firm is they charge fee from you only if they are successful in fetching positive results in your case. Keep reading to know why it is important to hire an attorney for wrong death cases.

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  • Hiring a wrongful-death attorney helps you avoid making mistakes when filing a case against the opposite party. As they are well aware about the laws in California, they will try their best to bring positive results in your case.
  • When you hire a wrongful death attorney, he or she will get in touch with the insurance company of the deceased person and tries to get the maximum compensation possible. Your attorney will also help in estate settlement.
  • Losing someone you love can disturb you mentally. It can be difficult for you to complete the paperwork related to your case during such bad phase in your life. When you hire a wrongful death attorney, he or she will take care of everything. Simply share all the details and documents which your attorney requires, and your job is done.

Hire an attorney who listens to you patiently. Some attorneys do not hear to what their clients’ say. Hiring such attorneys may not help you in fetching the results that you are looking for. Here are some noteworthy causes of wrongful death that need legal representation.

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Causes of Wrongful Death in California

1. Medical Malpractice: When healthcare providers like doctors, nurses, or other medical personnel fail in their duty of offering correct care to their patients, which results in the death of the patient is determined as Medical malpractice. Fatal outcomes can be due to:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Surgical errors
  • Medication mistakes
  • Negligence in patient monitoring

2. Car Accidents: Fatal car accidents are another major contributor to illegal deaths in California. Negligent driving behaviors include:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Failure to obey traffic laws

All of these can lead to appalling collisions. Additionally, inadequate vehicle maintenance or defective automobile parts can contribute to fatal accidents.

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3. Workplace Incidents: Wrongful deaths can occur in workplaces when safety protocols are poorly followed, resulting in accidents such as:

  • Falls
  • Electrocutions
  • Machinery malfunctions
  • Exposure to hazardous substances

It is the legal responsibility of every employer to offer their employees a safe working environment. If they ignore then this can lead to fatal workplace incidents.

4. Product Liability: Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are responsible for the safety of the product they sell to consumers. Defective and dangerous products can also lead to wrongful deaths. If a product defect or lack of proper warnings leads to a fatal accident, the responsible parties are held accountable for unfair death.

5. Premises Liability: Property owners and tenants have an obligation to maintain safe conditions on their premises. Unfair deaths can occur due to:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Poor security leads to violent incidents
  • Other hazardous conditions that the property owner failed to address
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6. Intentional Acts: In some cases, intentional acts of violence can lead to wrongful deaths. Loss of life can be due to homicides, assaults, and other criminal activities. In such situations, legal actions are taken against the perpetrators in addition to criminal charges.

7. Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse: Elderly residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities can suffer wrongful deaths due to:

  • Neglect
  • Abuse
  • Substandard care
  • Improper medical attention
  • Poor hygiene
  • Deprived nutrition
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Technicalities to consider while pursuing a wrongful death claim

1. Burden of Proof: In a wrongful death case, the complainant is responsible to present the burden of proof. The burden of proof shows that the defendant’s action was responsible for the death. This will need you to establish a causal connection between the defendant’s actions and your loved one’s death.

2. Negligence or Wrongful Act: Claims for wrongful death have to show that the defendant was neglectful, reckless, or intentional, which caused the demise of the patient. Negligence involves showing that:

  • It was the duty of the defendant to care for the patient
  • Nevertheless, the defendant breached his/her duty to care
  • Consequently, this resulted in the patient’s death

3. Statute of Limitations: A statute of limitations is a pre-set time frame within which the plaintiff has to file the wrongful death claim. This timeframe varies from one jurisdiction to another. Besides timeframe, other factors to consider are:

  • The date of death
  • The discovery of the cause of death
  • The filing of criminal charges related to the death.

If you file a claim after the expiry of the statute of limitations, it can get dismissed.

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4. Evidence: Building a strong wrongful death case requires gathering relevant evidence. This might include:

  • Medical records
  • Accident reports
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Expert testimony
  • Any other claim-supportive documentation

5. Proving Causation: Establishing a direct connection between the defendant’s actions and the death is crucial. This often involves demonstrating that the defendant’s actions were a substantial factor in causing the death and those other factors were not the primary cause.

6. Settlement vs. Trial: Frequently wrongful death claims get settled outside the court via negotiations between involved parties. It is vital to have a lawyer because they are experienced negotiators and make you understand the difference between a settlement outside the court and going to a trial.

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Each wrongful death case differs. So, their specific technicalities and considerations can differ based on the situation and jurisdiction. It’s crucial to consult a legal professional to understand your rights and responsibilities while pursuing a wrongful death claim.