The Complexities of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Q: When and what type of damages can a surviving family member sue for in a wrongful death action?

There are a number of factors that go into determining whether or not a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate in the wake of a person’s death at the hands of another person or entity.

A wrongful death lawsuit is brought by the close surviving family members of a victim who died as a result of the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of someone else. It’s necessary to prove that said conduct occurred and that that action or inaction caused the death of the victim.

Damages recoverable by survivors in a wrongful death lawsuit may include the final medical and funeral expenses of the victim, as well as lost financial support, care, and companionship depending on each particular case.

Recently, a California soccer practice went terribly awry and phone calls flooded police headquarters reporting that a man at the Huntington Beach Sports Complex was charging towards the crowd wielding a baseball bat and broken bottle. Responding officers reportedly shot and killed him under the bleachers and “as dozens of children and parents watched in horror”.

Just two days later, the victim’s mother was allegedly filing a wrongful death claim against the police department for the loss of her 29-year-old son.  This is the same son court records show she had been granted a temporary restraining order against in 2013 after claiming he would “threaten his family members with knives, baseball bats, pool sticks, pool balls, chairs, and basically anything he can get his hands on”.  The son was reportedly forced by the court to move out of the mother’s house as well.

Because wrongful death actions are very complex, seeking legal counsel from an experienced wrongful death and personal injury attorney is advisable. Whether you may recover at all—and the amount and type of damages you’re entitled to–depends on your relationship to the victim and varies based on the particular circumstances of your case. In addition, if your claim is against a government or municipality, your time to file a notice of claim and preserve the right to sue is very short, so do not delay in seeking legal counsel.

If a loved one has been killed as a result of the actions of another person or entity, the Law Firm of J&Y can help. Call us at 888-806-6722 for a free consultation. With our headquarters in Los Angeles and 21 offices across California, compassionate and aggressive representation is always nearby. We represent clients throughout the state as well as those injured while visiting California.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.