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Wrongful death

In California, wrongful death refers to a civil lawsuit filed against a person or entity responsible for someone’s death due to negligence or intentional harm. Wrongful death claims are typically brought by surviving family members or beneficiaries of the deceased person seeking compensation for the damages resulting from the death.

Here are some key aspects of wrongful death in Orange County, California:

  1. Legal Basis: The legal basis for a wrongful death claim in California is found in the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60-377.62. This statute allows certain family members or beneficiaries to bring a civil lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for the death of their loved one.
  2. Causes: Wrongful death can result from various circumstances, including but not limited to car accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, premises liability, and intentional acts such as assault or murder.
  3. Damages: Damages that can be sought in a wrongful death claim may include medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of income, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before death.
  4. Statute of Limitations: In California, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is generally two years from the date of death. However, there may be exceptions to this rule depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
  5. Defense Strategies: Attorneys defending against wrongful death claims in California may employ various strategies to protect their clients’ interests. Some common defense strategies include:
    • Challenging liability: The defense may argue that the defendant was not responsible for the death or that their actions did not constitute negligence or wrongdoing.
    • Comparative negligence: California follows a comparative negligence system, meaning that if the deceased person was partially at fault for their own death, the damages awarded in a wrongful death claim may be reduced proportionally. Defense attorneys may seek to prove that the deceased’s actions contributed to the accident or incident.
    • Lack of causation: The defense may argue that the defendant’s actions were not the direct cause of the death or that intervening factors were responsible for the outcome.
    • Lack of damages: Defense attorneys may challenge the extent of damages claimed by the plaintiffs, disputing the amount of financial loss or emotional suffering alleged.

In summary, wrongful death in California refers to a civil lawsuit brought against parties responsible for someone’s death due to negligence or intentional harm. Attorneys defending against wrongful death claims may employ various legal strategies to challenge liability, mitigate damages, or assert other defenses on behalf of their clients.

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