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Law Offices of Fernando Vargas
Law Offices of Fernando Vargas

Wrongful Death Trial Lawyer

Wrongful Death Trial LawyerYears ago, under traditional “common law”, wrongful death actions did not exist. At that time, it was believed that a legal claim of an injured person died when the injured person died. State legislatures recognized that this failed to compensate the family members who suffered economic and non-economic damages due to their loved one’s death, so wrongful death statues were enacted to correct this. A wrongful death lawsuit is brought on behalf of the Deceased’s beneficiaries and alleges that the Deceased’s death was caused by the wrongful or negligent act of another person or entity.

If a loved one has suffered a wrongful death in an accident, it is important that you choose an attorney who thoroughly understands California’s laws and statutes regarding wrongful death claims. California Wrongful Death Lawyer Fernando D. Vargas is an experienced trial lawyer who, since 1987, has effectively litigated thousands of personal injury cases including wrongful death claims throughout the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange, with an emphasis in the cities of Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Claremont, Montclair, Upland, Ontario, Chino, Fontana, Riverside, and San Bernardino. The Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas, which is located in the city of Rancho Cucamonga, has recovered millions of dollars in personal injury verdicts and settlements for their clients.

What is the difference between a Wrongful Death claim and a Personal Injury or Survival claim?

What is the difference between a Wrongful Death claim and a Personal Injury or Survival claim? 

shutterstock_115423765A wrongful death claim is different than a personal injury or survival claim. Personal injury and survival claims are intended to compensate the injured person for the pain, suffering, and economic damages the injured person suffered. A personal injury lawsuit is filed when the injured person is living. If the injured person dies, state statutes allow the injured person’s personal injury lawsuit to survive the injured person’s death, and the injured person’s lawsuit is brought through a survival cause of action.  A wrongful death lawsuit is intended to compensate the Deceased’s beneficiaries for their pain, suffering, and economic damages suffered as a result of their loved one’s death.

Who has the right to file a Wrongful Death lawsuit? 

In general, any person who would inherit under the state’s probate code would be eligible to file a lawsuit for wrongful death. California Code of Civil Procedure §377.60 provides a list of those persons who may be entitled to assert a wrongful death cause of action, including:

  • The Deceased’s surviving husband or wife; 
  • The Deceased’s registered domestic partner; 
  • The Deceased’s children; 
  • The Deceased’s stepchildren who were dependent on the Deceased; 
  • The Deceased’s parents who were dependent on the Deceased; 
  • Minor children who were living in the Deceased’s household for at least 180 days and were dependent on the Deceased for at least half of their support. Under this statute, more than one person can be a qualified survivor entitled to assert a wrongful death lawsuit.

What damages are recoverable in a Wrongful Death lawsuit?

What damages are recoverable in a Wrongful Death lawsuit? 

California Code of Civil Procedure §377.61 permits a plaintiff in a wrongful death claim to recover damages that, “under all the circumstances of the case, may be just.” Such damages include both economic damages and non-economic damages. 
Economic damages include: 

  • Financial support the Deceased would have contributed to the heir during the life expectancy of the Deceased or the heir; 
  • The loss of gifts the heir would have expected to receive from the Deceased; 
  • Funeral and burial expenses of the Deceased; and Reasonable value of household services that the Deceased would have provided to the heir.

Non-economic damages include the monetary value of the following: 

  • Loss of the Deceased’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, and society; 
  • Loss of the enjoyment of sexual relations, if applicable; and 
  • Loss of the training and guidance of the victim, if applicable.


How soon does a Wrongful Death action need to be filed?

How soon does a Wrongful Death action need to be filed? 

In wrongful death actions, time is of the essence. There are many factors to considerin a wrongful death case, including: 

  • Identifying all the potential defendants; 
  • Preserving the evidence; 
  • Determining whether an Estate should be created; 
  • Proving and explaining liability; 
  • Proving and determining the amount of economic damages; and 
  • Proving and determining the monetary value for non-economic damages.

shutterstock_87196504In general, juries in California are not allowed to consider the sadness, grief, and mental anguish of the heirs, the wealth or poverty of the heirs, or the victim’s pain and suffering in a wrongful death claim. In some cases, if an heir witnesses the injury or death of the Deceased, that heir may also be able to recover for emotional distress. 

Wrongful death cases are complex and require a great amount of skill and expertise to litigate. Therefore, it is important that you retain a skilled and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will obtain the necessary documents and retain the investigators and expert witnesses necessary to prove your case. You should not delay hiring an experienced California wrongful death attorney.

 


Free Consultation! 

If a loved one has suffered a wrongful death due to the negligence of another, the Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas can help. Mr. Vargas has the skill, expertise, and experience necessary to successfully litigate your wrongful death case.

In addition, attorney Vargas has a team of experts that will work with him to prove your injuries and damages in order to fight the insurance companies and get you the maximum compensation you deserve. During your free consultation, Mr. Vargas will personally discuss the facts of your case, review the details about your injuries, and advise you about your rights. 

Since 1987, California Wrongful Death Attorney Fernando D. Vargas has successfully litigated thousands of personal injury accident cases including wrongful death claims throughout the Inland Empire and the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino with an emphasis in the cities of Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Claremont, Montclair, Upland, Ontario, Chino, Fontana, Riverside, and San Bernardino. 

No Recovery, No Fee! 

Wrongful death cases can be expensive to litigate. However, the Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas, which is located in the city of Rancho Cucamonga, takes all of the firm’s wrongful death cases on a “contingency fee” basis. This means that you will pay nothing up front and Mr. Vargas will advance all money necessary to prepare your case for either settlement or trial. If Mr. Vargas is unsuccessful in resolving your case, you pay absolutely nothing.  The Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas, which is fully staffed with bi-lingual personnel that are fluent in Spanish, has successfully championed the rights of personal injury victims by wining millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for their clients since its foundation in 1995. 

If a loved one has suffered a wrongful death, it is vital that you consult with a reputable and experienced California Wrongful Death Lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909 / 982-0707 or contact us online to schedule a free. consultation. If your injuries prevent you from coming to our Rancho Cucamonga office, we can arrange to visit you at your home or the hospital to ensure the timely investigation of your claim.

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