Orange County wrongful death attorneys file suits in courts of law when the loved one of a recently deceased person believes that the death was wrongful — in other words, that it was caused by someone else’s irresponsibility. The survivors often hire a California law firm specializing in wrongful death (or, more generally, personal injury) lawsuits in order to have the best chance at collecting the damages that are rightfully theirs.
The first thing a wrongful death attorney will explain to the suing survivors is whether or not they have valid grounds for a suit. Even if your loved one’s death has adversely affected your family financially and emotionally, if there’s no evidence that someone else was at fault, there’s no case, sadly.
If the filers are able to bring evidence that their loved one did not die of his or her own action or inaction, and that another person was reckless, negligent, or deliberately endangered their loved one, they’re halfway to having a suit. The next part — and the much easier part in most cases — is to prove that they have actual damages (i.e. monetary loss or emotional suffering) that were inflicted by the death.
A talented wrongful death attorney will guide you through these pre-trial questions, and if they come out right, will file the suit. Once the case comes up in the local court dockets, you’ll have to attend the trial, where your attorney will fight for a settlement or a verdict in your favor. Most such cases end in a settlement, where the defendant makes an offer and the plaintiff accepts it — verdicts are relatively rare, because there’s usually some amount that both sides can agree on.
Am I able to file?
If someone you love recently died wrongfully in the state of California, you may or may not be able to file a wrongful death suit. In general, if a spouse/domestic partner or child of the deceased is alive, they have the right to file — if they decline, no one else has the opportunity. If the deceased has neither spouse nor child, then a parent, grandparent, or sibling has the opportunity to file — if they decline, no one else has that right.