Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawyers
At MKP Law Group, LLP, our attorneys exclusively represent victims. For years we have fought on behalf of clients who have lost family members in accidents caused by the negligence of another party. These wrongful death cases can be complex, expensive, and difficult to take on for families. That’s why our California wrongful death lawyer team in Los Angele always works on what is known as a contingency fee basis, meaning WE DON’T GET PAID UNLESS WE WIN.
There are no upfront, out-of-pocket costs to our clients. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys have recovered millions on behalf of our clients and will fight hard on your behalf to ensure you get maximum compensation for your family’s loss.
Our team of renowned attorneys represents families suffering from the wrongful death of loved ones. We work on wrongful death cases throughout the state of California. MKP Law Group, LLP’s team strives to make the process as easy and quick as possible for you. The experienced team at MKP is attentive, dependable, and tenacious, so call us today at 310-285-5353 to schedule your 100% free consultation.
Why Hire Our Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawyers?
Unfortunately, accidents are an inescapable aspect of life. Worse yet, many accidents can be fatal. If an accident has resulted in the tragedy of a fatal loss to one of your family members, we know there is no greater trauma. It is especially painful when caused by another’s negligence.
We at MKP Law Group, LLP, understand that losing a loved one is an unfathomable tragedy, and we use this as motivation to work diligently on behalf of our clients.
Our legal system has developed a section of law called “Wrongful Death” designed to compensate families who have lost a loved one. Aside from the invaluable loss of love and companionship, a family also loses both monetary and non-monetary household contributions from a deceased loved one.
The death of a loved one often leaves the grieving family in a tight financial situation. They find that they have many additional expenses, such as substantial medical bills, funeral costs, and burial expenses. These expenses place a heavy burden on the already suffering family. These are the types of financial damages that surviving family members can recover by bringing a wrongful death action.
Wrongful death actions are often fiercely contested by the at-fault party and require complex litigation skills most attorneys do not possess. Our team at MKP Law Group, LLP is skilled in maximizing a family’s recovery in these types of cases. Our lawyers have extensive experience in handling wrongful death actions from inception to completion, and with great success.
MKP Law Group, LLP knows how to properly prepare such cases to maximize the chances of a large recovery. If you or someone close to you has recently lost a loved one, contact us at 310-285-5353 immediately to schedule your 100% free consultation with our attorneys.
Examples of Wrongful Death Cases
As opposed to a personal injury claim, a family or surviving family member must file a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death claims indicate that the person who died from the accident was killed due to another person’s negligence. Though deliberate acts can lead to wrongful death claims, these claims are often the result of a fatal accident.
Examples of wrongful death cases include:
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Vehicle or Truck Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Unsafe/Defective Products
- Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
- Workplace Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The California wrongful death law allows families to recover damages when a loved one has died due to wrongful act, or negligence, of another person or entity. Some wrongful death claims involve intentional or willful acts, while others result from negligent actions.
Generally, under California law, a child, parent, spouse, or personal representative of the estate of the victim is authorized to file a wrongful death claim via a civil lawsuit. Sometimes the deceased person dies without children, a spouse, or surviving parents. In this scenario, it may be possible for a sibling or another relative to bring the claim if they are the personal representative of the victim’s estate.
The law regarding who can file a wrongful death claim is governed by the California Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 337.60. California law recognizes the following individuals as having the standing to file a wrongful death claim:
- Surviving Spouse
- Domestic Partners
- Putative Spouse (someone who had a good faith belief they were married to the deceased person)
- Grandchildren (if the deceased person’s children are also deceased)
- Stepchildren (who were financially dependent on the deceased person)
- Anyone else who would be entitled to the deceased person’s property by intestate succession (intestate succession occurs when the victim dies without a valid will)
Because circumstances vary case-by-case, it is best to seek legal representation. Our team at MKP Law Group, LLP can help you determine whether your situation qualifies you or your family to bring a wrongful death claim.
What is a Wrongful Death vs. a Survival Claim?
Wrongful death claims and survival claims each can win different types of damages.
Wrongful death claims allow the estate of the deceased to win damages on behalf of the beneficiaries of the deceased. It is a claim for the losses suffered by the surviving family members.
Survival claims award damages to the estate that the deceased could have claimed if he or she had recovered. So, a survival claim is for the pain and suffering sustained by the victim before dying.
Under the California Code of Civil Procedure 377.30, the survival law intends to compensate the victim for the damages sustained after the wrongful act and until their death.
The wrongful death claim is brought on by and for the surviving family members to recover their own losses. In contrast, the victim’s estate brings a survival action on behalf of the victim for his or her personal injuries, damages, or losses before death.
Survival actions are appropriate when the victim did not die instantly after the wrongful act.
If there was any gap between the wrongful act and the victim’s death, then a survival action can be brought on behalf of the victim. To bring a survival action, a family member of the victim must be appointed by the court as a personal representative of the victim’s estate. Generally, surviving heirs are not entitled to an award of punitive damages in wrongful death claims, subject to minor exceptions such as if the victim was killed as a result of elder abuse or felony homicide.
Wrongful Death Claim Process and Time Limits
Following the untimely death of a loved one, the last thing you want to do is deal with insurance companies, police investigators, and medical bills. Unfortunately, these issues persist after a wrongful death regardless of whether you have had enough time to grieve the loss of a loved one.
An experienced law firm can handle these issues on your behalf, but there are several things to consider when first opening a wrongful death claim:
- Obtain the police report or investigative findings
- Request Medical Records & Bills
- Hire an Experienced Law Firm
There is a time-limit, also known as a statute of limitations, to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California. Wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within two (2) years from the date of the victim’s death.
Some situations can extend the general statute of limitations, but those situations are rare. Not filing a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, can lose you and your family the right to recover monetary damages forever. One exception to the 2-year statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is for deaths caused by medical malpractice. In the case of a wrongful death caused by medical malpractice, there is a one (1) year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit.
Because there is a time limit on filing wrongful death claims, it is imperative you seek legal advice from a California wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. Often the at-fault party will go to great lengths to hide or destroy evidence of wrongdoing. Hiring a law firm like MKP Law Group, LLP that has the experience, resources, and dedication to handle your wrongful death claim from start to finish makes all the difference in obtaining maximum compensation for your losses.
What Losses Can a Family Recover?
While no amount of money can heal the emotional wounds and grief caused by the unexpected death of a loved one, the most common losses in California’s wrongful death claims are monetary. These damages fall into two primary categories.
Damages that compensate the victim’s estate are losses stemming directly from the individual’s death. The main types of damages available to the victim’s estate in wrongful death claims might include:
- Medical Bills
- Loss of Loved One’s Financial Support
- Burial Costs
- Funeral Costs
- Physical Pain & Suffering Experienced by the Victim Prior to Death
Damages that compensate the surviving heirs are losses suffered by the surviving family as a result of the wrongful death. The possible types of damages suffered by the victim’s surviving family can include the following:
- Loss of Inheritance
- Loss of Love, Support, and Companionship
- Loss of Household Services
If you have lost a loved one because of another person or entity’s wrongful acts, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover the damages listed above. The attorneys at MKP Law Group, LLP provide 100% free consultations to review the circumstances surrounding a loved one’s death and discuss whether filing a lawsuit is appropriate.
Proving Negligence in Wrongful Death Cases
Proving negligence in a California wrongful death claim is complex, but similar to proving fault in any claim based on negligence. To prevail, you must show that the at-fault party (or “defendant”) was:
- Negligent, meaning they acted wrongfully or unsafely;
- The at-fault party’s negligence caused the victim’s death (breach of the duty of care); and
- The victim had surviving relatives who suffered financial harm as a result of the victim’s death.
Wrongful death claims aim to ensure that the victim’s surviving family members receive compensation for the financial losses experienced due to the victim’s untimely death.
When an individual or entity breaches a duty of care owed to the victim, for example, failing to drive safely and at a reasonable speed, and it results in someone’s death, California law allows for the victim’s family to bring a wrongful death claim. The victim’s surviving family member(s) (or “plaintiffs”) must show evidence that it was more likely than not that the victim died as a result of the wrongful or negligent act of another individual or entity. This standard, or burden of proof, is lower than the standard used in criminal cases, which requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Insurance companies only see dollars and cents, regardless of the tragic circumstances surrounding a loved one’s untimely death. Because they see your loved one only as another claim number amongst thousands of claim numbers, the insurance company or companies will try and settle the wrongful death claim for the least amount of money possible. That is why it is crucial to hire an experienced Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer to represent your interests and fight the insurance companies on your behalf.
How a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
Losing a loved one due to an accident caused by another party’s negligence is a traumatic experience and often very confusing. If you lost a loved one due to another individual or entity’s wrongful acts, you likely have many questions about your legal rights and the claim process. The attorneys at MKP Law Group, LLP understand that no amount of money will fill the void caused by the loss of a loved one, but we are here to fight on your behalf so that you can focus on finding some peace of mind.
The practice area of wrongful death is a complex one. Every case is different, with different hurdles to overcome.
Frequently the defendants are sophisticated entities like trucking companies, corporations, or product manufacturers who will do everything they can to avoid responsibility. That is why hiring an experienced California wrongful death lawyer to navigate the complexities and represent your best interest is so important.
The sooner you call MKP Law Group, LLP, the sooner we can get to work. We will thoroughly investigate the incident, hire experts to prove fault, and build a strong case to get the full compensation you deserve.
Our consultations are confidential and complimentary. This gives us the chance to explain what you can expect when filing a wrongful death lawsuit. More importantly, it allows our team to learn more about your family and case and take the appropriate legal action.
Contact MKP Law Group, LLP Today for Your Own Experienced California Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you suspect the negligence of another party caused a loved one’s death, wrongful death may have occurred. Speaking with a lawyer well versed in the laws and complexity of wrongful death claims is a good place to start.
Our experienced wrongful death lawyers in Los Angeles, California, are ready to conduct a thorough investigation for you. We have the knowledge, compassion, and the conviction needed to get you the best possible outcome when it comes to your case.
If you or someone you know has recently lost a loved one, taking legal action as soon as possible can help you get through this challenging time more quickly by bringing a sense of closure. The sooner you act, the sooner we can get to work on fighting for your family’s rights and getting you the compensation you deserve.
MKP Law Group, LLP has a team of experienced trial attorneys who will hold the at-fault party responsible in a court of law. If you or someone you know is grieving after losing a loved one due to the negligence of another party, contact or call MKP Law Group, LLP today at 310-285-5353 to make an appointment for a free legal consultation with one of our attorneys.
We proudly service clients in the city of Los Angeles and other cities in Los Angeles County including Santa Monica, Westwood, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Pasadena, Glendale, and more. We also represent clients in Orange County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County as well.
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