It’s reasonable to expect that we’ll lose a loved one at some point due to old age or illness. However, it’s a complete shock to suddenly lose a loved one due to an accident, and it’s even worse if the accident was someone else’s fault and could have been prevented. If you’ve lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident in Anaheim, you and your family may be entitled to compensation.

Contact the Anaheim personal injury lawyers at OnderLaw to handle your case. We encourage you to give our firm a call or get in touch with us online through our website to schedule a free consultation. You won’t have to pay us any money upfront. We don’t get paid unless we obtain compensation for you.

What Is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is when someone dies due to the negligence or malicious intent of another person. Wrongful death claims allow the immediate family of the decedent (spouse, children, or parents) to pursue legal action against the individual responsible for the death of their loved one.

A wrongful death claim is relevant in situations where the decedent otherwise would’ve filed a personal injury claim but was killed because of someone else’s negligence or willful intent to cause harm. Some common examples of instances in which a wrongful death claim is appropriate include:

  • When a victim is intentionally killed
  • When a victim dies due to medical malpractice
  • Car accident fatalities due to negligence

Who Could Be Held Responsible?

Immediately following the wrongful death of a loved one, one of the many questions you’re likely to ask yourself is “Who is responsible?” Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death, there are several parties that could be held accountable.

If your loved one was killed on the operating table during surgery, we would look to see if they were killed due to the negligence of the physician operating on them. If the circumstances of their death were preceded by a lack of due care by the physician, such as if the physician was ill-prepared to perform the surgery and went through with it anyway, or if there’s sufficient evidence that the death of your loved one was caused by the physician’s malicious intent, you could seek to recover damages from the hospital on the physician’s behalf for the wrongful death of your family member.

If your loved one was killed in a head-on collision, we would look to the other driver to see if the accident was due to that person’s negligence or malicious intent. If the other driver was on their phone, neglecting to pay due attention to the road, and collided with your loved one’s motor vehicle, killing them instantly, the other driver could be held responsible for the wrongful death of your loved one. In this case, you would seek compensation from the insurance provider of the driver who caused the collision that killed your family member.

If your loved one was killed due to the negligence or intent of another person to cause harm under any circumstances,  the other person who caused their wrongful death could be held responsible for this tragic occurrence.

Who Is Eligible to Bring a Claim?

The people who are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim are family members. However, not everyone in the family is welcome to file a claim. “Family” in the case of wrongful death includes the spouse, children, grandchildren, or parents of the decedent. Other people who may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim if they can prove they were financially dependent on the decedent include the putative spouse, children of the putative spouse, stepchildren of the decedent, parents of the decedent, or legal guardians of the decedent (if the parents of the decedent are deceased). Friends and acquaintances don’t have the right to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one.

Compensation Available for Wrongful Death

  • Medical expenses. You can pursue compensation for the medical expenses incurred due to your loved one’s accident prior to their death, such as doctor and hospital visits, x-rays, prescriptions, surgeries, and more.
  • Loss of income. If you were reliant on the decedent for financial support, you could seek damages for the income lost as a result of the wrongful death of your loved one. This includes past, present, and future lost income as a result of your loved one’s accident.
  • Loss of benefits. You may have had insurance through the decedent. Due to their wrongful death, you may have lost access to insurance and other benefits associated with their job or paid for by the decedent. You can receive compensation for the loss of benefits you and your family experience due to the wrongful death of your family member.
  • Cost of funeral and burial. When your loved one is killed in a wrongful death case, you and your family may be entitled to receive compensation for the cost of the decedent’s funeral and burial.
  • Loss of consortium. You and your family may be entitled to receive compensation for the loss of the decedent’s love and companionship, otherwise known as the loss of consortium.
  • Loss of training and guidance. You may be able to seek damages for the guidance, support, and training your loved one would have provided over the years.

Assessing a value for non-monetary losses can be a challenge for someone who isn’t well-versed in wrongful death cases. Your attorney from OnderLaw has a solid grasp on how to quantify your intangible losses. Let us help you figure out what amount of compensation you should pursue in your claim. We will fight to obtain the financial recovery you deserve.

Proving Negligence in California

In order to prove negligence in California, you’ll need to provide sufficient evidence that the death of your loved one came about due to the action (or inaction) of another person. You’ll need to show that the other person failed in their obligation not to harm others by their acts, that their failure caused the accident, that the accident caused the injury, and that the injury led to your loved one’s death.

For example, if your loved one was killed in a head-on collision caused by another driver’s failure to heed traffic laws, the other driver is responsible for the death of your family member. In this situation, the other driver failed to obey known traffic laws, and this was the cause of the accident that resulted in your loved one’s death.

Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Lawsuits

As with most personal injury cases in California, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death. Should you and your family fail to file a wrongful death claim within the given timeframe, your claim may be dismissed altogether. This is one of many reasons why it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your team as they will make sure that any deadlines regarding your claim are observed.

California Fatal Accident Statistics

Thousands of people die in accidents across the U.S. each day. Here’s what the numbers look like in the state of California:

  • According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 3,606 California residents died in accidents on the road in 2019.
  • The Office of the Attorney General in California reported 2,202 total homicides in the state in 2020.
  • According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), 972 pedestrians were killed in car accidents in 2019.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

A lawyer can be an asset and a relief to you and your family in a wrongful death case. An experienced lawyer can take on the responsibility of investigating your claim, obtaining all the documents and other evidence required, and speak with insurance adjusters on your behalf to try to secure the compensation owed to you and your family following the wrongful death of a loved one. Additionally, a skilled lawyer can take your case to court should your claim be denied.

Why Choose OnderLaw ?

OnderLaw is a trusted resource for those disabled, injured, or killed in accidents in Anaheim and throughout the continental U.S. We’ve been successful throughout the 19 years we’ve been in practice, collecting over $3 billion in compensation for victims of personal injury accidents of all types. Our team is composed of skilled and experienced lawyers who are ready to fight for your rights and to secure the full amount of compensation owed to you.

We’re proud members of several reputable legal organizations, such as Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Super Lawyers, and Rue Ratings Best Attorneys of America. If you choose to have OnderLaw go to bat for you, you can rest easy knowing that you have top-notch legal representation from a top-notch law firm.

Another reason to choose OnderLaw is this. We believe that everyone is entitled to the best possible legal representation, regardless of the condition of their bank account. We know that you may be in financial difficulties just now since the passing of your loved one. When you hire us, you will not be required to pay a deposit or a retainer fee. Should we choose to accept your case, we will work diligently to obtain the compensation you deserve. When we get money for you, we get paid. If we get you nothing, you owe us nothing. Ever.

Contact an Anaheim Wrongful Death Attorney

If you’ve lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident in Anaheim, contact the team at OnderLaw today. Call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.