Elements of a Successful Death Claim in California

Wrongful Death
Wrongful Death Claim

Anyone would most likely want to march into the court and demand the party responsible for wrongful death if your loved one has died because of their fault. The law of California allows the surviving family members to recover for their loss, financially. Stating this can seem like a very simple process, but doing the needful to receive the compensation is not as easy as it seems. The state law and the court have strict procedures that are needed to be followed, and also legal burdens of the proofs to be shown.

To prove a death as wrongful, you must need facts that show certain legal elements. In California, you will have to prove that the death has occurred due to the fault/ neglect/ wrongful act of another party, along with pieces of evidence to meet the burden of proof that is required by the court and the state law. A burden of proof is the total evidence you should present supporting your assertions for convincing a judge that a wrongful death had occurred.

Even though these are necessary, you will not need to prove the wrongful death beyond a reasonable doubt that has to be cleared. However, you will have to prove that bit is likely fifty-one percent likely to be the death to be wrongful, and the burden of proof is legally called “preponderance of the evidence.”

Legal terms like this can often be very confusing for normal citizens, but an experienced legal death attorney can fully understand the ways to prove the necessary elements of the wrongful death case you are dealing with. Here is brief information about some elements of wrongful deaths in California.

Adequate Proof of Negligence

If the death of your loved one was caused due to the negligence of another party, you must satisfy all the legal elements of negligence. Duties of care can change depending on the type of accident that has taken place. Here are some examples of duties of care and the breaching of it.

Medical professionals are expected to provide the levels of care other trained professionals are likely to provide in similar situations.

The duty of care is breached when a medical professional’s care falls below a standard and when a mistake is been made.

Similarly, property owners must ensure that their premises are free from dangerous hazards. Owners who do not fix it or warn the visitors after knowing about it would breach the duty of care.

Companies must sell products that are safe to use. They should warn their customers about the potential risks of the products as well, and if it doesn’t happen, it can be a breach of duty.

Proving Intentional Harm

Some wrongful death cases in California do not happen out of negligence but from intentional violence. Here are some of the major elements to prove intentional harm for wrongful death.

You will have to prove that the person had the intention to commit the wrongful act; you will have to prove that another person has made a non-consensual act with the demised; you will have to prove that another person has caused fatal harm to you and your family.

In most cases, wrongful and violent deaths result in criminal cases mainly for manslaughter or homicide, and it will be handled separately from the wrongful death case. An experienced and highly skilled wrongful death lawyer knows the ways to use criminal cases for helping your recovery from a wrongful death.

Proving Damages

After establishing the cause of death of your close one as a wrongful one, you must show that you have undergone damages as part of the losses. It is important to know that the courts in California have held that damages for emotional stress are not recoverable in the actions of a wrongful death. Therefore, anyone claiming a wrongful death may asset an intentional cause of emotional distress claim against the party.

Some of the common damages that are sought in the cases of wrongful deaths in California include the loss of future income, loss of financial support, cost of funeral and burial of your loved one, loss of services, loss of the companionship of the decent, etc.

Establishing the damages that are caused due to wrongful death is often very difficult as it requires serious expert analysis. For instance, it is necessary to consider the number of factors like the life expectancy of the victim, the course of the advancement of the victim in her position, education, skills and abilities of the victim, etc. Therefore, the trial and demonstration of the damages you have incurred during negotiation of the settlement require the presence of considerable evidence. For this, the assistance of an experienced wrongful death attorney can be very valuable.

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