Anaheim Wrongful Death Lawyer

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Losing a loved one to someone else’s negligent actions is a traumatic experience that no family should ever have to undergo. We understand what you are going through, and when you are ready, the experienced legal professionals at Katella Injury Attorneys are ready to provide our expertise in helping you seek justice. 

Please, schedule a free consultation to learn more about our services or if you’re looking for emotional support during this difficult time.

What Is Considered Wrongful Death?

In California, the term is directly associated with fatal accidents that resulted due to another party’s negligent actions. In this type of accident, surviving family members can file a claim with the courts to hold the liable party accountable for damages.  

Criminal cases are different from wrongful death cases, as a criminal case involves one party’s intentional actions to harm another person. In a criminal case that resulted in a death, the government files a case with the court to punish the accused party.

A Personal Injury Case

Accidents involving personal injury are also a result of another party’s negligent actions. If the victim sustained injuries or other damages, like pain and suffering, that person can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. 

Whereas, wrongful death claims arise when victims succumb to their injuries. When a wrongful death occurs, surviving family members can file wrongful death lawsuits to recover damages.


How an Anaheim Wrongful Death Attorney Helps

Working with a wrongful death lawyer for this type of case not only simplifies the legal process but also improves the odds of a successful recovery, as insurance companies are vigilant in their efforts to compensate families for as little as possible. 

Our Anaheim wrongful death lawyers are dedicated to helping families who have lost loved ones due to negligence or wrongful acts seek justice. When working with our law firm, we provide the following services:

  • Investigate the circumstances of the wrongful death to determine who is responsible and why that party is responsible
  • Gather evidence to support the wrongful death claim, such as medical records, police reports, and statements from witnesses
  • Complete and file the wrongful death lawsuit
  • Representation in court to negotiate a maximum settlement with the defendant
  • Case evaluation to confirm damages that are owed, such as funeral expenses, burial costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more

We understand that this is a difficult time for you, and we will fight tirelessly to get you the justice you deserve.

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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

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A common concern is determining which surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim. Generally, immediate relatives can file, but there are exceptions. Under California law, the following family members are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving domestic partner
  • Children
  • Parents of the deceased
  • Grandchildren
  • Step-children or other financial dependents
  • The estate of the deceased

Establishing which family member is legally permitted to file a wrongful death claim can be complicated, especially for relatives who are not blood-related. It will also be difficult for applicable family members, as they must prove they were financially dependent on the deceased person. 

For questions regarding eligibility in filing a wrongful death lawsuit, Katella Injury Attorneys offers a free consultation to discuss these matters and more. 

What Damages Can Be Recovered in Wrongful Death Cases?

Similar to filing a personal injury claim, the intent in filing a wrongful death lawsuit is to recover damages lost due to the victim’s passing. Here are some examples of the most common types of recoverable economic damages and non-economic damages in a wrongful death case.

  • Property damage
  • All medical bills for previously administered treatment
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Financial support, such as lost income
  • Future contributions, such as benefits and insurance
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of companionship

The monetary award that is paid in a wrongful death case will never fully compensate families for their loss, but what it can do is financially support them for the future. Therefore, it is important to speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer to discuss the value of your case and how much you are entitled to. 

The Statute of Limitations in Anaheim, CA

Like most personal injury claims, California’s statute of limitations for filing wrongful death claims is two years. However, the claim can be filed within two years from the date of the death, not necessarily the date of the accident. 

Therefore, if the victim passed at a later time due to sustained injuries, the statute would begin at the later date. Exceptions include the following:

  • Wrongful death claims against government entities must be filed within six months of the date of the incident.
  • Wrongful death claims involving minors must be filed within two years of the minor turning 18.

Under California law, if a wrongful death claim is not filed within the applicable statute of limitations, the claimants may be restricted from pursuing legal action. Again, there are exceptions. 

Other Factors That May Delay the Filing Period

There are circumstances where it is not initially known that the wrongful death was related to a prior personal injury accident. 

For example, if it is discovered that there was a correlation between the death and the injuries that were sustained years prior, the Orange County courts may allow the claim to be filed after the deadline. 

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or wrongful act of another party, it is important to speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you determine if you have a valid claim and can help you file the claim within the applicable statute of limitations.

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How Insurance Companies Handle Wrongful Death Claims

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Insurance companies are for-profit entities that are typically looking to minimize the settlement amount that they owe to claimants. Regardless of the severity of the circumstances, the insurance company will make it difficult to recover full and fair compensation for your wrongful death claim.

Insurance adjusters will also be aggressive in getting families to agree on their settlement offers before taking the opportunity to consult with an Anaheim wrongful death lawyer. This tactic cheats families out of the financial recovery that they are entitled to. 

The insurance carrier of the at-fault party will be responsible for compensating the victim’s surviving family members, but there will be strict regulations that must be followed. 

For instance, the claim must be filed within the statute of limitations to avoid complications and prevent delays in receiving compensation. Additionally, meticulous evidence must be provided that supports the wrongful death claim. 

An Anaheim wrongful death attorney can provide assistance by investigating the accident and negotiating with insurance adjusters. If an agreement cannot be settled out of court, the attorney can represent the claimant in a trial. 

How to Deal with the Insurance Company

Some recommendations for dealing with the insurance company include:

  • File the wrongful death suit early
  • Keep a paper trail of everything: witness statements, medical diagnoses, medical bills, e-mail conversations with insurance companies, etc. 
  • Do not accept the first offer from the insurance company
  • Be prepared to negotiate
  • Consult with an Anaheim wrongful death attorney for clarification

Family members who have lost a loved one due to the negligence or wrongful act of another party, deserve to recover compensation for their losses. An experienced wrongful death attorney can provide the services, knowledge, and resources necessary to bring them the justice they deserve.

Contact Katella Injury Attorneys - Wrongful Death Lawyer - Anaheim

Our Anaheim personal injury law firm can provide guidance in helping you and your family overcome the aftermath of a wrongful death accident. We never charge upfront legal fees, and clients will never be billed for wrongful death cases that do not result in an optimal outcome. When you are ready, contact our Anaheim office and schedule a free case evaluation.

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