There is not an effective way to calculate the average wrongful death settlement in Los Angeles. Every case is unique and makes it difficult to compare one case to another. The awards from a case can be very different as well. The best way to develop an estimate of what you can expect to receive in a wrongful death case is to look at very similar cases.
One factor that stands out more than the others is who the person collecting the compensation is. Not all family members have the right to collect compensation. It depends on where you are and what your relationship is to the deceased. For example, spouses of federal employees can claim injury compensation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This is slightly different in other states since every state determines its own criteria for collecting wrongful death compensation.
Criteria for Wrongful Death
To qualify as a wrongful death lawsuit, a case must meet specific criteria. There must be provable negligence or wrongful acts by the person that caused your loved one’s death. The family members that are filing the case must have the standing to do so. Otherwise, it will not be possible to take legal action.
Wrongful death cases are often the result of bad decisions, like driving while intoxicated. Although the intention is usually not to kill someone, these decisions can still contribute to the death of another person. In these cases, where bad decisions contribute to a death, it could be possible to file a wrongful death suit. You can speak with a wrongful death lawyer to see if they would recommend filing a civil lawsuit in your case.
Under civil law, you have the right to sue anyone that causes you harm, including someone that kills a loved one. When your lawsuit is heard before the court, one of the first things that the judge will try to determine is liability.
If a company caused your loved one’s death, the company may be held financially responsible. The company must be responsible for addressing the problem, and it must have failed to do so even though it knew about the problem. Because the company did not take the appropriate action, it is liable for your related expenses.
Lawyers examine liability in a case as one of the first steps to building a lawsuit. You can only file a lawsuit against parties that are liable for your expenses and your injuries. Once a party that you can sue has been identified, the legal process can begin.
Settlement vs. Trial
If you file a lawsuit, you may be offered a settlement agreement by the opposing party. Settlement agreements are an effective tool for handling liability claims without having to go to trial. Insurance companies prefer to use them over trials since it can be advantageous for both groups.
For you, a settlement agreement is a chance to end your lawsuit and claim compensation without having to go to trial. Settlement agreements also take less time to resolve than trials, so you can collect compensation and get your finances in order sooner. This is particularly important for accident victims that have a lot of related expenses to deal with.
You are not obligated to accept any settlement agreement that you are offered. You did have the option of working with your lawyer to renegotiate a better deal. However, you can decline all offers to take your case to trial. Unless the case is dismissed or you decide to accept the agreement, your case will proceed to trial. Most companies do not want this to happen because it raises the chances that they will pay more in compensation and fees. This may make it easier for you and your lawyer to negotiate a better settlement.
Wrongful Death Laws in California
There are several laws surrounding wrongful death claims in the state of California that can impact your case and how it proceeds. The one law that will have the biggest impact on your case is the statute of limitations or the amount of time that you can legally file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.
According to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1, you only have two years to file a wrongful death claim in Los Angeles. You cannot go over this amount of time and start your legal case.
Consider a Lawyer for Help with Your Case
There is no real way to calculate the average wrongful death settlement in Los Angeles, as every case is different, from the parties held responsible to the factors and level of negligence in the case. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 223-5115 to get a better idea of what you can expect. You can discuss the details of your particular case.