If you have lost a loved one in an Orange County accident, you and other surviving family members may be entitled to damages. Wrongful death actions can be extremely difficult and emotionally draining. As a result, you will want to work with an experienced Orange County wrongful death lawyer to help evaluate your claim and review your options.
How to Prove Liability in a Wrongful Death Claim
California wrongful death law requires you to show several elements to prove fault in an Orange County wrongful death action. Even if there is a direct link between an accident and death, there is no guarantee that you can collect damages. Some elements that you may need to prove include:
- Duty. The defendant must owe a duty to the Orange County victim such as the duty to keep the victim safe or away from danger. In other words, you will need to prove a relationship between the defendant and the victim
- Breach of Duty. The defendant must have breached his or her duty to keep the victim safe such as by acting carelessly or unreasonably given the circumstances
- Causation. The act by the defendant needs to have led to the Orange County accident
- Death. This may sound obvious, but you will need to show that someone died in a California wrongful death action. This is what separates an Orange County wrongful death from other types of negligence actions
- Relationship to Victim. You typically need to show that you are an immediate relative of the Orange County wrongful death victim to collect damages.
Collecting Damages With an Orange County Wrongful Death Lawyer
Your wrongful death lawyer can help you evaluate your claim and determine if you are eligible for damages. Some types of damages that you may be able to collect include:
- Medical Costs. You may be able to collect the costs of medical bills and hospital expenses relating to the Orange County wrongful death case. In addition, you may collect for the costs of any drugs and other medication
- Loss of Support. If you or other family members relied upon the deceased financially, you may be entitled to recover for the loss of financial support because of the Orange County wrongful death
- Punitive Damages. In extreme cases where the defendant acted egregiously or recklessly, you may be entitled to collect punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish the victim and can be significant.
More details about California and Orange County wrongful death cases (links, articles and videos) can be found at our popular blog post entitled, “Wrongful Death Lawyers in Orange County”
Contact an Orange County Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have a question about a wrongful death claim, please feel free to contact an Orange County wrongful death attorney at Jackson & Wilson by clicking here or calling 800.661.7044 for an evaluation of your claim.