San Diego Wrongful Death Attorney
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?Each year, thousands of people in California are killed in preventable deaths. The sudden loss of a family member in an accident is unexpected, shocking and devastating. When an accident is preventable, questionable, or caused by the negligent actions of individuals, or a business or even government agency, surviving family members may be able to recover damages in a lawsuit. A wrongful death claim may arise from the loss of life in a traffic accident, workplace accident such as a fall, explosion, or machinery malfunction, or from medical negligence or malpractice. Family members of children or elderly individuals who are killed while in the care of others may also be entitled to damages in a claim.
Understanding California Wrongful Death Laws & the Statute of LimitationsCalifornia, like every state, has a specific time limit, known as a Statute of Limitations, that limits the amount of time a family has to file a claim in court. This is almost always two years, although there are a handful of clearly outlined exceptions, which may shorten or lengthen that period. Additionally, all possible claimants must join in one suit, filing a single wrongful death action. Under CA law, the heirs who file suit have a mandatory duty to include all known heirs in their claim. First in line are the surviving spouse, children, and surviving children of any deceased children of the decedent. If these do not exist, the next eligible heirs include parents of the decedent, siblings, children of deceased siblings, grandparents, and other lineal descendants. Finally, minors who can prove they lived with descendant 180 days prior to the death and were dependent on the decedent for at least 50% of their support at the time of death.
Proving Your Case and Recovering DamagesDamages awarded for a death will be dependent on numerous factors, including but not limited to the defendant’s liability insurance coverage, and financial assets. Wrongful death cases have “elements” that must be proven, such as the breach of a duty, the link between the breach of duty and the fatal accident (causation) and that harm was caused (damages). An experienced wrongful death lawyer will understand these important elements, and what must be done to obtain the best possible result for your claim.
Jim Brown: Unparalleled Experience and Compassionate Client CareIn searching for an attorney, you wont find a shortage of options. However, very few attorneys have the unparalleled understanding, knowledge and skills that come with more than three decades of experience. Attorney Jim Brown has handled hundreds of wrongful death cases over the past 35 years, including many successful jury verdicts in Southern California. His experience and history of results has earned him respect in the legal community. Jim is a go-to attorney for many other lawyers seeking assistance with trial preparation for challenging cases. His ability to compassionately connect with his clients makes him a top choice for past clients to refer cases to, as well as a true “lawyer’s lawyer.” Jim Brown has received numerous awards and accolades for his work, including:
- Best Attorney: Lifetime Charter Member
- Consumer Attorneys of San Diego: Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award
- Consumer Attorneys of San Diego: Trial Lawyer of the Year
- San Diego Daily Transcript: Top Attorneys Awards
- Super Lawyers San Diego
- Top One Percent: National Association of Distinguished Counsel