Los Angeles Wrongful Death Attorneys
Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawyer. Local Accident Attorneys At Ehline Law Help You With Unbearable, Personal Loss!
I am Los Angeles wrongful death attorney, Michael Ehline. I am among the most successful and experienced wrongful death lawyers in Los Angeles, California. The amount of money you get in a wrongful death claim is directly related to how good your accident lawyer is in action. My law firm has won over $100 million in verdicts and settlements. We hold the death-causing individual, government agency, or insurance company accountable. Your loss and pain matters to us! Our goal is getting survivors the most money possible for their burdens and personal loss caused by the negligence or bad acts of another. Getting you just and adequate compensation is only part of what Ehline Law Firm offers those seeking expert our legal representation.
As one of Newsweek Magazine's "Premier Personal Injury Attorneys," I have the experience, authority, and trust to provide the best results for you and your family's personal loss and psychological trauma. Filing a wrongful death claim and aggressively pursuing justice after an accident is what our phenomenal partners and staff do best! Below you will find out more about me and how my law firm helps clients with their "life challenging" wrongful death insurance claims and lawsuits.
- First, I want to start by saying that I understand you probably landed on this page because you are suffering the immense burden of emotional trauma after losing a close, loved family member—my condolences. Rest assured, my staff of superior paralegals, wrongful death lawyers, and law clerks and I exist solely to help with your personal loss. "We feel your pain!"
No amount of empathy can take away the immense pain you feel as you and your loved ones grieve. And I can say without a doubt that a relative's death caused by the murderous, or negligent actions or inaction of another person is among the most bone-chilling personal loss and pain matters sufferable.
A loved one dying at the hands of another is one of the most horrific, traumatic things you can endure. Moreover, as you grieve in pain after an accident, you shouldn’t be forced to deal with the legal stress of funeral expenses and suing the killer. Someone else should be helping you get money for the medical bills, psychotherapy charges, and ordering police reports covering your unbearable, painful loss.
True, you deserve compensation for all this new pain and suffering, but you need a Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer near you with compassion and expertise. It would help if you had someone like this while you deal with everything else.
Isn't this what your deceased parents or children would want for you? Surely they would not want your sadness to spiral into more pain and loss as you suffer a financial downfall. But who, how, and what steps do you take to get the best wrongful death legal representation? Ehline Law Firm fights as a champion for those who need a helping hand with their potential case or insurance law dispute. Getting a wrongful death lawyer was never easier. Call us at (213) 596-9642 at no cost or risk, or continue reading more.
NOTE: Because losing a loved one is so painful and devastating,
- Most people fall into a deep state of depression, suffering deep internal pain matters after a bad accident.
- A harrowing wrongful death impacts all areas across all areas of your personal and business life. Bouts of crying, angry outbursts, and permanent sadness are part of the trauma experienced during the grieving process.
- Emotional trauma experienced from a family's loss after this type of accident can be an unbearable burden to the surviving relatives personally.
- The financial burden can become an insurmountable challenge leading to bankruptcy or even suicide, only making emotional pain matters worse.
Suppose someone else’s inattentiveness or reckless behavior caused or contributed to the accident that led to your family’s loss. In that case, our lawyers take all the stress off of you and pursue methods of monetary recovery, including filing a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. Suppose you elect to seek compensatory damages after your loved one's death. Specific financial award amounts will vary, as discussed below, under the damages section.
In that case, a superior Los Angeles wrongful death attorney at Ehline Law Firm can help you navigate the process, hold your hand, and instill confidence and faith. We will guide you through the confusing, traumatic time to help give you a better future. True, monetary recovery, large or small, cannot erase your terrible feelings of despair, loss, or pain. But a terrific settlement or jury award is the only resolution available under our justice system. Below, we will discuss wrongful death and public justice, as well as what makes Ehline Law Firm the best civil negligence firm nearby for your pain matters and compensation.
Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawyer Explains Negligent Killings 101.
One of the saddest, psychologically draining types of legal cases we deal with as accident lawyers is a wrongful death claim. In a nutshell, wrongful death happens because of someone else's stupidity or recklessness. So the entire family is placed into a sort of double state of despair.
First, those left behind are now missing someone, and second, the families must deal with a broad spectrum of emotions, knowing that another person wrongfully took their mom, dad, grandparent, or kids before their time. (The history of wrongful death - discussed here). The attorneys at Ehline Law Firm are specialists in determining the type of medical conditions our clients may have and affording them coverage for these new necessities.
Super Important - Immediately Gathering Winning Wrongful Death Evidence After The Accident.
So my first goal here is to help you lucidly understand how precarious your financial situation could be right now as you grieve. Although acting fast after an accident causing a death probably goes against your emotional grieving clock, you must! Yes, your pain matters to us. But it doesn't matter to the statute of limitations or the insurance claims adjuster. I can't stress enough how important it is to strike while the iron is hot in a death claim.
Evidence gathering after an accident often makes or breaks a wrongful death case. If you have no evidence or not enough proof of fault, you can lose any chance of getting paid for a wrongful death case. A truly great Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer will emphasize the need to discover evidence of fault and damages.
And this is not always just about you. You could have a depressed relative who will lose everything if they don't get legal aid now! Failing to investigate the accident case early on makes things worse, only adding to your pain. For example, valuable evidence, like video surveillance, could be lost. Think about skid marks in a car accident or motorcycle collision.
A fresh rain, a city water sprinkler, or new traffic days can quickly conceal, wash away, and destroy fresh roadway evidence. Emails related to the accident could be wrongfully deleted, and "bleach bit" could be wrongly used to erase hard drives. Bad people destroy evidence. And this is why our aggressive Ehline Law Firm attorneys rush to protect the evidence as soon as you retain our legal services for your civil case.
TIP: Ask your potential new lawyer questions about their specific investigative steps. For example, Ehline's aggressive wrongful death attorneys will immediately attempt to track down the killer. And we zealously try and get statements before any deceitful bad actors "lawyer up." Often, this will be the only person who was there when the accident went down. True, most of the time, they will embellish and embroider things in their favor, which is fine.
Because now, if they try and change their story later, we can show they are dishonest and self-serving. Ehline Law Firm are experts in evidence law rules and evidence gather in a civil case.
Or, for example,
- What if my legal team or I hit the streets and find a new witness or videotape that contradicts the killer's sworn statement about the accident?
- What if our investigation of tread mark measurements at an accident scene fails to support the statements in the killer's sworn testimony?
- Well, he is no longer believable; that's what.
- And if a smart wrongful death plaintiff seeks to preserve later destroyed evidence, the less powerful evidence provided in the defense shall be viewed by the court and jury with distrust. (See also CA Evidence Code Section 412).
Acting swiftly to investigate witnesses is critical because their memories about the accident may fade over time. Or other things can tank your case, such as witnesses passing away from natural causes. (A good lawyer would promptly seek signed, sworn declarations from witnesses, measure and photograph skid marks and debris fields, just in case).
As an aside, you should at least send out a demand for preservation of evidence letter if you are too depressed to speak with a lawyer now. (A great discussion about this preservation of evidence letter is here). All of these things you do now will help our engineers and biomechanical experts determine how and why the death took place and who is more likely responsible than not. Just make that important call, and Ehline Law Firm will make it happen with better service and better outcomes. Call now at (213) 596-9642.
Victims Of Wrongful Death - Who Are They?
Many potential victims of wrongful death exist.
- First, there is the decedent who was a close loved one.
- The decedent could be your child, wife, civil partner, domestic partner, or parents.
- Then there is you, the survivor, and perhaps your siblings.
These are generally victims entitled to sue on their behalf or the decedent's estate in a survivor's action, with few exceptions.
Surviving A Los Angeles, California Wrongful Death.
First, let's talk about surviving a wrongful death, money, myself, experiences, and how it all works. Although the prospect of inheritance may help cover some of the losses, you may be tied up in probate court. And you may already be broke from the loss of monthly income the breadwinner was bringing in to the family. Each case's circumstances and pain will be unique and different per the victims' age, status, and role. Below I will explain everything in layman's terms as a wrongful death survivor.
Afterward, I will explain how an accident lawyer can and will be necessary as you make the vital end of life decisions (for those in a coma, for example) and figure out how to adjust after the tragic loss emotionally. Not everyone in these cases needs a lawyer to hold their hand, but many do.
- Money is the Remedy: And although "wrongful death" is not a synonym for money, sometimes life insurance doesn't fill the income gap. After an accident like this, you may not be in a position to work as you grieve and seek counseling. Most of all, in some accident cases, you have no choice but to sue for that compensation. Various accident personal injury damages are available to survivors as detailed below. Ehline Law Firm has expertise in wining windfall-like payouts to our past clients, so we are well suited to discuss these matters.
For example, what if your husband passed away and left behind business overhead, medical bills, and a house payment? What if you and your late spouse were partners in rearing your "special needs" kids with autism? So you homeschooled the little ones, and he toiled away in an office as the breadwinner.
You gave up your career for the greater good. Saddled with two kids who just lost their father and not enough money, you need help fast. Are you getting this so far? To recap, the surviving family members can file a lawsuit following a loved one's death caused by a neglectful or reckless person. But Los Angeles presents many unique challenges to filing a lawsuit for wrongful death in its court system.
How Do You Sue A Killer For A Wrongful Death - What About Double Jeopardy?
Double jeopardy is not at play when comparing a civil and criminal case arising out of the same set of facts as the accident itself. So the D.A. can still jail the evildoer who caused the accident. But that doesn't compensate those left behind for their stacks of bills and sorrow. A civil negligence lawyer at Ehline Law is the one that seeks money for the plaintiff. Picking up the pieces is the hardest part. And without money, it's even more challenging.
- Contrasting Wrongful Death Cases With Murder Cases:
Although a wrongful death can arise from crime and vice versa, the remedies and parties are slightly different. So even though the defendant may be looking at jail time for the killing, the Los Angeles District Attorney does not get you money beyond criminal restitution under California Penal Code Section 1202.4. His client is the People of the State of California.
And garnishing an imprisoned felon's paycheck is meaningless to their broken and impoverished victims of crime. Also, the criminal fines, penalty assessments, etc., go to the State to pay back society itself, not to compensate the victims. But insofar as financially protecting you goes after an accident, if the DA files a charging document, we will accompany you to the criminal hearings if you are called a witness.
And we can also attend the criminal trial. So that way, we can keep an eye on the DA to make sure he or she is doing their job right and that we have evidence for use in your wrongful death civil claim.
- Show Me The Money.
Most of all, the focus in an Unlimited Jurisdiction civil wrongful death case, unlike a criminal trial for murder, remains about money as a form of financial restoration. And this is in the form of monetary compensation. Moreover, its function is to cover unavoidable damage to family members who just lost a dear loved one from an accident or intentional conduct. For example, the benefits of filing a claim could be an award to help pay for your child's tuition at a private school. And the forms and types of money, such as for psychological care and counseling, are discussed more below under the topic, "What are the Specific Types of Compensation, We Seek for You?"
What Is The Negligent Wrongful Death Burden Of Proof?
The proof burden is much lower in a tort action than beyond a reasonable doubt standard in a criminal court action. It will typically be a preponderance of the evidence standard instead of the clear and convincing evidence standard unless punitive damages are issued. Conversely, in civil accident cases, proof beyond a reasonable doubt (as required in criminal cases) is not the standard. Generally, your Los Angeles accident attorney will have a lessened burned called the evidence standard preponderance. But
No matter what the case, only a trained legal professional can accurately size up each situation. A firm like EhlineLaw.com can build your case brick by brick. Hence, we make sure that we can try to fill the large gap in your life in any way.
What About The Negligence Per Se Presumption?
In some cases, the civil defendant may be presumed to be negligent when the defendant violates a statute designed to prevent the type of harm to a particular kind of defendant that was harmed by that statute or code violation. Examples could include running a child over in a cross-walk while speeding faster than 25 MPH in a school zone. If the municipal code was designed to protect kids in crosswalks from racing cars, the defendant is negligent per se. Civil courts allow this type of inferred negligence when the criminal jury convicts the defendant. Although a defendant has a chance to shift the burden of proving negligence back to the wrongful death defendant, these are all crucial details that can help verify a winning wrongful death lawsuit in court.
What Types Of Accidents Lead To Wrongful Death?
Almost any incident that results in death due to some other individual's negligence may form the basis of a wrongful death claim. We have all seen it on Channel 7 Evening News. Some idiot ran a grandma or baby over in the crosswalk, or a landlord let little kids sneak into an insecure public pool. That's how people die.
The remedy is a civil suit in a court of Unlimited Jurisdiction for money damages. But there are some hurdles and facts you should know before speaking to the other side. The below tips are by attorney Michael Ehline. Hopefully, they will help you out. Also, statistically, Los Angeles, on average, is a much more dangerous place to live, work, and travel than a more rural city or County (Read more here). Most of all, Los Angeles tops the list for some of the most dangerous traffic intersections. And statistically, you are more likely to be injured in a bicycle or motorcycle accident in LA than in other large towns.
And it is also a place where older people are slipping and tripping on misleveled or elevated sidewalks. And one of the top four injuries in LA arises from flying and falling objects hitting people in the head. But tripping and slipping elders remain at particular risk for head injuries, coma, and death. For example, if they fall on an unrepaired City of Los Angeles sidewalk, they can fall and crack open their skull and die.
And Los Angeles is not just a place with dangerous pedestrian pathways. LA remains notorious for poor roads, riddled with potholes. However, several types of mishaps are more common causes of wrongful death and warrant a close look.
We help people with deaths arising out of:
- Toxic Smoke and Chemical Inhalation.
- Police Shooting Cases.
- Motorcycle Wrecks.
- Metro Bus Crashes.
- Dangerous Foods.
- Death by Suicide.
- Fires and burns.
As discussed thoroughly here, the top four reported accidents in Los Angeles are:
- Slips, Trips, and Falls.
- Car Accidents.
- Falling and Flying Objects.
What Is The Most Common Cause Of Fatal Car Accidents?
Driver distraction is number 1. At least one study revealed 65,000 fatal vehicle accidents over two years. The study showed that 1 out of 10 driving accidents resulted from driver distraction. And remarkably, a large percentage of driver distraction was drivers lost in wandering thoughts or from daydreaming.
FARS’ statistics showed that in 2008 alone, 34,017 people died in motor vehicle accidents, with others killed each successive year.
How Do Most Fatal Auto Accidents Happen?
Wrongful death from a car accident occurs when another driver or someone in control of that driver fails to abide by their duty to drive reasonably for the conditions presented, and someone you love is killed. It's that simple. Many LA commuters have had to swerve at one time or another while driving. For example, drivers may have to take evasive actions to avoid public road construction and repair debris. If it's raining, drivers may not even see the sinkhole or pothole filled with water. All of these things can very easily lead to early death, even when using the utmost care. But good luck suing the City of LA for this mess unless you have a lot of experience dealing with government claims and sovereign immunity.
Car accident injuries can range from mild to fatal, with an enormous space in between. Unfortunately, even low-speed collisions can cause significant injuries. According to the national Fatality Analysis Reporting System, or FARS, thousands of serious accidents from another's negligence occur each year.
Millions of travelers head to work, school, or vacation in their passenger cars every day. Sadly, there are thousands of motoring accidents every year. Every 12 minutes, a fatal car accident takes place somewhere nationwide. Ehline Law Firm has diligently gathered relevant statistics below to help you weigh your options to stay safe while driving in Los Angeles.
There are many reasons for these tragedies, including:
- Distracted drivers
- Poor roadway conditions
- Poor weather conditions
- Mechanical failure
- The use of alcohol or drugs causes driver impairment.
Remarkably, only 12% of recent studies' total fatalities blamed iPhones or Android devices for accidents.
What Happens After A Fatal Auto Accident?
After such a disaster, the living members of the family could face severe, life-altering issues. Beyond the evident emotional trauma caused, there could be unforeseen issues with insurance companies and their shift tactics. Most of all, insurance claims adjusters and agents try to withhold or reduce your due payments to mere peanuts of their true worth in the marketplace. But we fight fortune 500 companies like Farmers, Geico, Infinity, State Farm, and Allstate Insurance. You're in "better" hands with Ehline Law.
Also, large medical bills could be piling up as you starve while healing and out of work. Most relevant here, the insurance company for the other driver who caused the injury should step up. But fighting a large insurance corporation alone is a daunting task. So what's the answer? Simple, speak to a lawyer near you before you blow your chances of a good recovery.
Any of the above accidents can lead to wrongful death. Even a wrongdoer with no intent to cause harm can still be civilly liable to pay for causing a wrongful death. The law only requires you to prove to a jury that the defendant acted with negligence, carelessness, or a reckless manner that caused death. So the wrongdoer can't look the other way if he or she owed the decedent a duty of safety. Even a close family member may have to pony up to the other survivors if found civilly liable. And as stated above, merely not acting all can form a basis for legal liability.
Also, don't count on the LAPD to give you an accurate Traffic Collison report or other documentation. And don't think Cal OSHA will be correct in its reporting of the cause of workplace death.
What Are The Specific Types of Compensation We Seek for You?
Was someone you love killed due to negligence, gross negligence, or intentional conduct? In that case, the wrongful death survivors can sue for their losses of love, companionship, society, and even lack of sexual relations in some cases. So this is the intangible, psychological trauma you can get. But you can also sue for loss of income and education that would have been provided had the defendant's not killed your husband, wife, child, parents, etc. And this is called "compensation" under our tort law system.
First of all, being domiciled in LA means you pay more on average for taxes, rent, and everything else. And a smart lawyer has to hire the right experts to get all of these expenses covered. Or it could just be that you want to set up a trust or a memorial fund for your child. Either way, you need to break down and classify the various types of legal compensation.
But you also have to show your life expectancy. Why is that? Well, proving how long you will live is important because you are suing for lifetime money and intangibles. All of this is what you would have gotten but for this unwanted death. So if you are a drug abuser or will be dying soon, your case will be seriously derailed as far as future compensation. It's all very complicated and requires the expertise of the authoritative and knowledgeable staff at Ehline Law Firm to get the most bang for your buck as a customer.
The types of potential compensation are as follows:
- Intangible Losses: Your pain matters. Thus, survivors can get money for loss of love, comfort, affection, marital and sexual relations, and psychological problems like PTSD. And you can also seek money for the loss of comfort or companionship provided by your father, mother, or child, not just a spouse or civil partner.
- Economic Losses: These will include benefits like losing your husband's disability check from the VA and his health insurance. You heard, right. Household contributions for specific award amounts are also on the table. What if you and the kids were covered under the VA due to your husband's military disability? What if the $3,000 a month he got for being a PTSD victim in combat was being set aside for your children's college fund? But now he is gone, and with him went your kid's education and free health care with zero deductible. And as discussed above, you are still entitled to compensation for loss of other income and wages.
- Also included are costs for funeral and burial expenses.
- Sometimes a loss of inheritance claim also lies.
- Other Damages: In survivor's claims, sometimes families can recover money for their loved ones' past medical bills, past lost earnings, and even damage to their car or other property. Even the value of household contributions by the decedent is included in your damages award. However, survivors rarely pursue this type of damage or loss suffered before death claims. The least awarded damages for a personal injury are "punitive damages."
But these extraordinary awards only remain available if you can meet the plaintiff's burden of proof. Most of all, you will have to show the defendant maliciously, wantonly, or flagrantly disregarded the safety of others by exposing them to known dangers. Sometimes proving a case depends on your lawyer's extensive knowledge of federal and California State Law as well. But our crack staff comes equipped with all this expertise and more. So we can help you expertly explore and develop your specific facts. And we will guide and advise you as to the upsides in getting paid the most and not settling for less.
And since our high caliber lawyers remain up to date on recent case law and stare decisis decisions, we can reliably lead your injury matter at the highest levels of professionalism. Moreover, we promise to give you solace, encouragement, and a listening ear to help with your inconceivable loss. Ehline Law Firm has the authority, trust, and expertise you need.
Who And Where Do I Sue For My Los Angeles Wrongful Death?
Good question. For one, Los Angeles has special rules discussed here on the site, for what specific LA courts allow the filing of wrongful death lawsuits. You can't just sue in LA unless the defendant, his business, or the death took place in LA. Assuming those elements are present, now you are greenlighted to sue in the Unlimited Jurisdiction court listed on the LASC website. And the person who acted or failed to act is the "civil defendant." And there are many other potential defendants in a Los Angeles death claim. They could be state actors or private actors.
- For example, a city worker, a private company, and just about anyone could have played a role in the killing.
TIP: Don't forget that suing the City or County of LA for a wrongful death will mean shortened times to complain and sue, discussed here on my website.
So assuming you made it this far, California law allows only immediate family members who had decent relationships to sue for wrongful death.
Plaintiffs Can Include:
- Civil partners.
- Surviving spouses.
- The decedent's children and dependent grandkids remain typical wrongful death lawsuit plaintiffs. Interestingly, any dependent minor child residing with the decedent for at least six months can seek a claim of at least partial support.
- In some cases, brothers and sisters may become entitled to compensation for wrongful death.
To recap, Ehline Law Firm has a proven track record as a top winning Los Angeles civil negligence law firm. Above, we addressed financially and emotionally surviving a Los Angeles wrongful death, my experience as a top-gun injury lawyer in LA. And will also covered what you need to do and why you need to do it quickly. No matter what, you and the survivors deserve to get paid for your tragic losses.
Where Can I Hire A Top Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawyer For My Pain Matters And Financial Losses?
No matter what, our loyal and honest lawyers near you will give you the straight scoop about your case. And we will work hard to protect you during this difficult, confusing time. Now is the time to avoid conflicts of interest and strained familial relationships. And a well-trained lawyer can help you do it right by fighting with the insurance companies and other parties on your behalf.
In recognition of the terrible, unfair burden you face after an unexpected loss, my staff and I recommend you call us right now. My firm has several convenient locations nearby, including Downtown Los Angeles and neighboring locales like San Diego, Torrance, Long Beach, and more. As always, we provide cost-free case evaluations. And our talented wrongful death attorneys will do a phone consult right now about your potential injury claim. So don't delay, call Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC at (213) 596-9642! We are here to listen and help you through your grief and despair.