When a loved one dies due to the negligence or intentional actions of another party, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim. This can help hold the responsible parties accountable and may provide financial compensation. Working with an experienced San Diego wrongful death attorney is key to building a strong case.
Determine If You Have a Valid Wrongful Death Claim
Types of Wrongful Death
There are two main categories of wrongful death – negligence and intentional harm. Negligence claims involve accidents, medical malpractice, unsafe premises, etc. Intentional harm claims involve violent crimes, use of excessive force, etc.
Elements of a Claim
For a valid claim, there must be proof of the following:
- Duty of care was owed to the deceased
- That duty was breached
- The breach of duty caused an injury/death
- Damages and losses resulting from the death
An attorney can evaluate the unique details of the case to determine if these elements can be established.
Find an Experienced San Diego Wrongful Death Lawyer
It’s important to find an attorney who specializes specifically in wrongful death law. Key credentials to look for include:
- Strong track record with similar cases
- Membership in professional associations
- 10+ years handling wrongful death lawsuits
- Willingness to go to trial if necessary
The right San Diego wrongful death law firm will be skilled at calculating and documenting all damages to successfully prove and win your claim.
Gather Relevant Documents and Evidence
The attorney will investigate what happened and gather crucial documents and evidence, including:
- Medical records
- Incident reports
- Police records
- Autopsy findings
- Eyewitness statements
- Expert testimony
Thorough evidence gathering and documentation build a robust case.
File the Claim and Follow the Legal Process
The attorney handles all aspects of filing the claim in court and guiding it through the legal process, including:
- Name plaintiffs and defendants
- Specify causes of action
- Calculate damages amount
- Collect evidence discovery
- Take depositions
- Negotiate possible settlement
- Go to trial
Having an excellent attorney ensures proper filing and management of your claim.
The legal process can be complex, but the right San Diego wrongful attorney has the compassion and expertise to handle your wrongful death claim correctly. Consider consulting with an attorney to discuss your options.
Seek Compensation for Financial Losses
A successful wrongful death claim can lead to compensation for a variety of financial losses suffered by the victim’s family. These damages may include:
Lost Income and Benefits
- Calculation of the deceased’s future lost earnings and benefits
- Value of lost services, protection, care, guidance, etc.
Burial and Funeral Expenses
- All expenses related to burial, funeral services, plots, headstones, etc.
Medical and Incident-Related Expenses
- Hospital bills, ambulance fees, damage to property or vehicles, etc.
Pursue Justice and Accountability
Filing a claim is emotionally difficult but can provide a sense of justice and closure. Key steps the attorney takes include:
Investigation of Incident
- Thorough inquiry into how and why the death occurred
- Track down additional witnesses, evidence, records
- Reconstruction of the sequence of events
Direct Negotiation and Settlements
- Confront the liable parties directly
- Demand fair compensation via a settlement
- Avoid lengthy litigation when possible
An attorney levels the playing field and pursues full accountability.
The death of a loved one can be extremely difficult to cope with, especially when it is preventable. Working with an experienced San Diego wrongful death attorney is crucial for families seeking accountability and compensation. Key services a quality lawyer provides include determining the validity of your claim, gathering evidence, navigating the legal process correctly, and pursuing the maximum compensation you deserve.
Though no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, holding the negligent parties responsible and recouping damages can promote justice. An attorney also provides legal guidance so families can focus on healing during an enormously challenging time.
If you have questions about a potential wrongful death claim in the San Diego area, reach out for a consultation. An attorney can help you understand your rights, options, and the best path forward, given the unique details of your case. While the legal system cannot undo the tragedy that occurred, the right lawyer can help secure you the maximum compensation as you process your grief.