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Wrongful Death

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Wrongful Death Victim? VBV Law Group will Represent You in California!

Wrongful death cases occur when someone’s negligence, intentional actions, or recklessness leads to the death of another person. In California, like in other states, wrongful death claims are governed by specific laws and regulations.

Wrongful Death Claims in California

Who can assert a wrongful death claim?

Close relatives or beneficiaries of the deceased person typically bring forward a wrongful death claim in the United States, including California. The specific laws governing who can assert a wrongful death claim can vary from state to state. In California, the individuals who are allowed to file a wrongful death claim are defined by the state’s statutes.

What parties are generally eligible to assert a claim, Under California law?

  • Spouse: The surviving spouse of the deceased person is entitled to bring a claim.
  • Domestic Partner: A registered domestic partner who meets the criteria under California law may also bring a claim.
  • Children: The children of the deceased person, including biological, adopted, or stepchildren, can assert a claim.
  • Dependent Minors: If the deceased person had any dependent minors (children under the age of 18) living with them, those children may have the right to bring a claim.
  • Putative Spouse and Children: In some cases, a putative spouse (someone who had a good faith belief that they were legally married to the deceased) and their children may be eligible to assert a claim, even if the marriage is later found to be invalid.
  • Financial Dependents: Any person who was financially dependent on the deceased person at the time of their death, such as a parent or a stepchild, may have the right to bring a claim.
wrongful death

How Can a Wrongful Death Occur?

Wrongful death cases can arise from a wide range of circumstances where a person’s death is caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another party. Some common causes of wrongful death cases include:

Top 10 Common Causes for Wrongful Death Claims:

  1. Car Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents, including car, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian accidents, are a leading cause of cases. These accidents may result from speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, or other forms of negligence.
  2. Medical Malpractice: Wrongful death claims can occur when medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, or hospitals, fail to provide the expected standard of care, leading to a patient’s death.
  3. Workplace Accidents: If an employer’s negligence or unsafe working conditions cause a fatal workplace accident, the deceased person’s family may have grounds for a wrongful death claim.
  4. Product Liability: If a defective or dangerous product causes someone’s death, authorities may hold manufacturers or sellers responsible for wrongful death.
  5. Premises Liability: Property owners may face a wrongful death lawsuit if a fatal accident occurs on their property due to unsafe conditions or inadequate maintenance.
  6. Criminal Acts: If a person’s death results from a criminal act, such as murder or manslaughter, the perpetrator can be subject to both criminal charges and a civil wrongful death lawsuit brought by the victim’s family.
  7. Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse: Claims can arise if a nursing home resident dies due to neglect, abuse, or inadequate care provided by the facility or its staff.
  8. Aviation Accidents: When an airplane or helicopter crash leads to fatalities, the victims’ families may have grounds for a wrongful death claim against the airline, manufacturer, or other responsible parties.
  9. Dangerous Drugs:  A prescription or over-the-counter medication that causes a fatal reaction.  Additionally, with adverse side effects, the pharmaceutical company or healthcare provider can be held liable.
  10. Police Misconduct: In cases where a person’s death occurs due to excessive force or misconduct by law enforcement, the victim’s family may pursue a wrongful death claim against the officers or the police department.

When should you consult with an attorney?

Remember, each personal injury case is unique, and the process may vary depending on the specifics of your situation. VBV Law Group will provide you with the most accurate and relevant advice for your specific case.

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