Serving Orange County

How Is a Wrongful Death Claim Handled?

How do I know if I have a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case brought by the victim's family. If the death was criminal in nature, the state may also bring criminal charges against the accused, penalizing their actions with incarceration, fines, probation, community service, and more, such as in DUI accidents. Since these are two separate issues, both a criminal and a civil case for damages can proceed for the same incident.

Wrongful death claims must have the following points:

  • A person's negligence, reckless actions caused another person's death
  • The loss of this person has caused the family undue suffering
  • This suffering deserves to be compensation

Depending on the case in question, the plaintiff will likely be responsible for showing the court the burden of proof that the actions of the defense caused a wrongful death. For example, in a wrongful death case caused by medical malpractice, it must be proven that the doctor owed the patient a reasonable standard of care that would be provided by other medical professionals in a similar situation.

If a wrongful death claim is proven, the surviving spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, or other financial dependents may be entitled to financial compensation. This compensation is usually meant to cover any funeral and burial expenses, lost income that the family relied on, medical bills, value of household services, and the loss of the person's presence in their lives.

Are you wondering if you may have a wrongful death claim following the loss of a loved one? You only have two years to take action. Schedule a consultation with the Gill Law Group, PC to learn how we can help you pursue the damages you deserve. ​