If you are authorized to file a wrongful death lawsuit for a deceased accident victim, you can file that case even if they were partially at fault. Under California’s pure comparative negligence laws, surviving family members can recover some damages even if the victim was 99% responsible. However, in California, that damages award will be reduced in proportion to the decedent’s contribution to the accident.
An experienced wrongful death attorney in Los Angeles from Salamati Law Firm will use the facts and evidence about the accident to minimize any reduction and to recover the largest available damages award for the deceased party’s survivors.
How are comparative negligence laws applied in California wrongful death lawsuits?
Consider, for example, a head-on car accident where one car crosses into a lane in front of a second car, and the second car’s driver dies in the crash. That driver’s family files a wrongful death lawsuit against the motorist who crossed the lane. That motorist might then argue that the deceased driver was speeding or failed to take evasive action to avoid the crash and was partially at fault. If a California jury finds that the deceased driver was 50% at fault for the collision, any wrongful death damages award will be reduced by 50%.
A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney will use all available evidence to reconstruct the accident to show that the deceased accident victim was driving at speeds that were safe and reasonable under the prevailing conditions, and they didn’t have an opportunity to avoid the crash. With persuasive arguments, that attorney will convince a jury that the accident victim bore little or no responsibility for the crash and their survivors deserve to recover the full measure of their damages.
What type of damages can survivors recover in a wrongful death lawsuit?
California law enables an accident victim’s survivors to recover both economic and non-economic damages for wrongful death. Economic damages are objective amounts for actual expenses survivors incur, including funeral costs, lost income, and benefits. Non-economic damages reimburse survivors for their loss of companionship, consortium, counsel, and mental and emotional anguish. Your lawyer’s skill and ability to describe these damages are critical to the success of your case.
Call Us at Salamati Law to Recover Maximum Damages for a Wrongful Death
We understand the trauma and disruption following a fatal accident. Please call our Los Angeles offices at your earliest opportunity to schedule a free consultation. If you retain our services and we accept your case, we will fight to recover the damages you deserve so you can focus on healing. We also work on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront legal fees.