If you have lost a loved one due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, company, or entity, you should seek legal assistance immediately. At Montgomery Steele Law, our compassionate and qualified attorneys are ready to help you get through this difficult time. We will investigate what happened and work towards securing the compensation you deserve. An unexpected death can turn your world upside down. When you need an Ontario wrongful death lawyer, we are here. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your wrongful death suit and review your legal options.
Why Choose Montgomery Steele Law?
Finding a compassionate attorney you can trust after losing a loved one is important. At Montgomery Steele Law, we believe in putting our clients’ needs first. We understand this is a difficult time for you, so let us help with the emotional and financial burdens.
Our law firm has a track record of success. We obtain settlements and payouts that cover all of your needs, not just some of them.
At Montgomery Steele Law, we specialize in personal injury and wrongful death cases. We understand what it takes to be successful.
You will always have access to an elite attorney. We care about our clients too much to put them off onto a paralegal or a caseworker.
What Will an Attorney Do for This Case?
Wrongful death cases often involve many different parties, including insurance companies and legal teams. These cases can become complex, and your Ontario wrongful death lawyer will properly investigate the entire incident. This could involve:
Gathering all evidence of the incident, including photos and video surveillance, eyewitness statements, and more.
Working with healthcare and economic professionals to properly calculate the losses expected due to the wrongful death, including lifetime earnings lost, the deceased person’s pain and suffering, etc.
Negotiating with the insurance company and all parties involved to reach a fair settlement offer while also preparing the case for trial if necessary.
Wrongful Death Cases Are Devastating for Survivors
When a loved one loses someone unexpectedly, their lives are irrevocably changed. They are going to miss out on the companionship of their loved one as well as the income and benefits they would have provided during their lifetime. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that nearly 170,000 people died from unintentional injury deaths in the latest reporting year.
Individuals, companies, non-profits, and other entities can all be held accountable if their careless, negligent, or intentional actions cause the death of another person. California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60 allows the following people to file claims for wrongful deaths:
Immediate family members of the deceased (surviving spouse, children)
Losing a loved one due to the actions of another person, company, or individual is extremely difficult. You may be entitled to compensation, so please seek legal representation from our Ontario personal injury lawyers today. According to California laws, wrongful death claims (as well as any personal injury claims) must be filed by two years from the date of a loved one’s death. At the law offices of Montgomery Steele Law, our Ontario wrongful death attorneys are ready to fight on your behalf. Our goal is to secure the financial compensation you need, which can include:
Pre-death medical expenses
Loss of financial support/future income and benefits of the deceased
Funeral costs and burial expenses
Mental anguish and emotional trauma damages
Loss of consortium, emotional support, or household services
Loss of companionship damages
Punitive damages against the responsible party
What is a Survival Action?
A survival action is going to be different than a wrongful death claim, though these claims are both typically filed together. A survival action is a lawsuit that the deceased person would have been able to file had they survived. For example, if a person loses their life in a vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another driver, the wrongful death claim filed by the family will likely be against the negligent driver. However, suppose the deceased person had survived but sustained significant injuries. They would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver themselves. A survival action is essentially the personal injury lawsuit that the deceased would have filed, but instead is filed on their behalf since they are unable to do so.
How Are Damages Divided Between Multiple Heirs?
Any person who suffered and paid a price due to the untimely death of another individual will want their share of the settlement and closure in the aftermath. However, when there are multiple heirs, this can get complicated.
In California, a family who receives a settlement from a wrongful death claim will be given a chance to divide the proceeds amongst themselves. Often, this is done in equal shares regardless of any other factor. Sometimes, families may divide the damages according to various criteria. For example, they could determine that the person who suffered the most (perhaps a spouse or a child) should receive more compensation. As long as every party agrees, the state of California will likely approve the decision.
However, if there are disagreements amongst heirs, then the court will likely have to decide how to distribute the funds. In doing so, the court will likely look at some of the following factors:
The financial needs of each claimant
The future losses of each claimant
The pain and suffering experienced by the claimants
The expenses the claimant has already spent without reimbursement
Compensatory Damages vs. Punitive Damages
When we discussed the damages that may be paid out in a wrongful death claim above, we mostly discussed compensatory damages. This includes both economic and non-economic losses their family members sustained as a result of their untimely loss. Compensatory damages refer to all economic damages added up, such as funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical expenses, loss of financial support, as well as any type of pain and suffering damages.
Punitive damages, on the other hand, are often referred to as exemplary damages. These damages are not awarded in every situation and are reserved for cases in which the alleged negligent party’s actions are found to be grossly negligent, egregious, or intentional. These damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer while also sending a signal to others that this type of behavior is unacceptable and will be punished harshly.
How to Prove a Wrongful Death Case
If you have lost a loved one due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual or entity, proving liability for the claim is incredibly important. If you are unable to prove liability in the death of your loved one, it is unlikely that you will receive the compensation and closure you are entitled to. A skilled wrongful death lawyer in Upland will use their resources in the legal expertise to prove liability by:
Obtaining any photo or video surveillance showing what happened.
Obtaining any employer or property owner safety records if the incident happened on another person’s property or in the workplace.
Gathering statements from eyewitnesses who can testify about what they saw.
Working with trusted medical professionals who can uncover the cause of death.
Enlisting the assistance of accident reconstruction experts who can provide evidence to insurance carriers or injury.
When you need a team of experienced Ontario wrongful death attorneys, you can contact us for a free case evaluation by clicking here or calling us at (909) 310-8510. We can do the heavy lifting while you work through the grieving process. Get the legal advice you need today.
We serve clients all over Southern California, including San Bernardino County, the Inland Empire, Los Angeles County, Chino Hills, Beverly Hills, and Rancho Cucamonga.