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Date Modified: June 8, 2023

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that almost 90% of Americans have a treatable mental illness.

Yes, You Can Sue For Suicide

These terrible conditions can cause them to commit suicide and become a decedent when left untreated. Approximately 98 people die by suicide daily, with close to six suicide cases happening in hospitals. The state of California understands that there are instances where suicide can be a wrongful death due to someone else’s negligence.

In certain foreseeable situations, families can sue the party to blame for causing turmoil that causes people to take their own lives.

A good example is when a hospital treating mentally ill patients prematurely discharges a patient who may just be your close loved one. Wrongful death claims and survival actions are quite sensitive and complex, making them hard to prove than other cases.

Death Certificate

In some circumstances, surviving family members can file wrongful death lawsuits to hold the responsible party accountable for the tragedy that befell the survivors. Claimants should, therefore, discuss their situations in a free consultation with an experienced lawyer to determine their next course of action, including litigation.

The statute of limitations for California wrongful death law can bar surviving family members from pursuing a wrongful death claim if they wait for too long – call Ehline Law Offices today at (833) LETS-SUE. Even heirs, like grandchildren, may have the right to sue or seek a settlement.

Suicide Prevention Measures

After making alarming death-by-suicide findings, the U.S Department of Health and Human Health Strategy suggested that one way of curbing this growing menace is going through suicide prevention training. Therapists, clinicians, and other mental health professionals should recognize the importance of education in treating mental illness.

Unfortunately, mental health professionals continue to provide services unheeded to these recommendations. Once a patient dies due to suicide, insurance companies will try to pin it on the victim to evade paying surviving family members. Therefore, plaintiffs trying to file a wrongful death claim should partner with a wrongful death attorney to secure compensation for damages. Call Ehline Law Firm in Los Angeles at (213) 596-9642 to schedule a free consultation to determine your legal options to pursue after suicides in certain situations.

What Is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a legal term referring to death caused by negligent behavior or intentional actions of a mental health professional. An estate representative is allowed to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of family members. Experienced attorneys will never erase a family member’s suicide, but they’ll assist a plaintiff in securing monetary awards for medical expenses and funeral costs.

It may also cater to the loss of income the deceased provided to the family. Moreover, it’ll hold a therapist accountable in terms of punitive damages for a loved one’s suicide and prevent similar tragedies from occurring. It’s, therefore, wise for a surviving spouse to seek formal legal advice from awarding winning wrongful death lawyers of Ehline Law Offices to start their legal recourse. The lawyers will bring objectivity and knowledge to your case, enabling family members to focus on other things.

When Can a Plaintiff File Wrongful Death Claims?

An immediate family member of the deceased person may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit when:

  • A medical expert owed the deceased patient special duty of care and was negligent in a way construed to cause death.
  • Someone engaged in a wrongful act or intentional act like taunting, which causes individual emotional distress and leads to the person committing suicide.

Various relationships raise a type of duty of care that leads to wrongful death liability. A good example is mental health experts, who are obliged to determine if patients suffer from mental health issues that cause suicidal thoughts. If they don’t take the initiative to evaluate their clients who have a good chance of taking their own life and offer some basic protection, they’ll be held liable.

This is medical malpractice, and a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against them when their patient commits suicide. Bullying and taunting don’t require any type of relationship. The claimant must seek the services of an experienced attorney from Ehline Law in Los Angeles as they’ll be in a position to assist them in determining the liability of a case. Call them today at (833) LETS-SUE for a free case evaluation.

What Do Claimants Need to Prove in a Wrongful Death Claim?

A lawyer providing legal representation to a claimant must prove four elements of negligence in a law court when determining liability, even if the wrongful death action is evident. It’s the only way plaintiffs can secure monetary awards for financial support to a domestic partner.

The legal experts must prove the following:

  • Duty of care: The defendant had some form of duty of care to the plaintiffs. They’re supposed to show care while interacting with other people.
  • Breach of duty: After proving the duty of care, a lawyer will then show the court the defendant breached his duty.
  • Causation: A plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s wrongful acts caused the deceased person to commit suicide. An injury attorney has to prove that the breach caused the death. If the defendant’s conduct wasn’t negligent, it could prevent suicide from happening, and he will not be held responsible.
  • Damage: The remaining family members incurred losses due to the death of their loved ones.

A doctor or a therapist has a special relationship with a patient and is, therefore, required by law to provide the minimum standard of care to patients, including moral support; failing to meet the minimum standards can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit in a civil procedure.

What Compensations Are Plaintiffs Likely to Acquire from the Suit?

A reputable lawyer from Ehline Law Offices will provide compassionate representation to their clients in a valid claim. They’ll ensure their client gets maximum compensation for damages. Here are some of them:

Economic Damages

It covers losses with direct monetary costs like lost wages of the deceased, medical bills, and funeral costs, among other things.

Non-Economic Losses

This type of compensation normally covers the physical and mental pain the accident had on the family.

It includes:

  • Lost companionship
  • Emotional anguish caused by the death
  • Loss of consortium.

Special Considerations Regarding Suicide Cases

When minor children or adults die by suicide, more often than not, sensitive issues arise. In a negligent lawsuit, the plaintiff’s side must prove that the deceased person showed suicidal tendencies and the defendant knew beforehand. However, proving this element in court is difficult since suicide is sudden and unexpected.

Moreover, a defendant who’s a doctor or therapist is bound by the rules of confidentiality even after death. The plaintiff is also burdened to prove that the likelihood of harm outweighs the patient’s confidentiality rights. An expert witness, like a psychiatrist, will be present in court to help determine a breach of professional duty.

Statute of Limitations Problems

Don’t risk blowing your time to sue or make a government claim. You must seek timely assistance from experienced personal injury attorneys before it is too late to sue or make a government claim and get justice. California’s statute of limitations may give you less than two years to sue for wrongful death. But for sure, unless an exception applies, two years is the max to get your claims filed over the decedent.

And it could be less time afforded depending on who you are trying to protect and sue. If you wish to recover the compensation you need, we offer efficient, reliable representation when you call us at (213) 596-9642 for a free initial consultation.

Discuss Your Case with Experienced Wrongful Death Suicide Lawyers in Los Angeles

Life after the death of a loved one is complicated and confusing, especially if they committed suicide. If you know someone’s wrongful actions caused the suicidal death, then speaking to a Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer is vital. They have lawyers specializing in different practice areas under personal injury law for cases like wrongful death or car accidents.

They will help ensure the responsible parties are held liable for their mistakes to siblings, parents, and other close family members. Ehline Law Firm offers representation that the plaintiffs need when a loved one is killed in a pretextual suicide. Contact the dedicated warriors for guidance today. Please phone us at (833) LETS-SUE to schedule a free consultation in any Southern California city to begin the legal process and end your suffering, which is what you’re entitled to as a survivor.


Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
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Michael Ehline

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