Wrongful Death of a Mother During Pregnancy

October 4, 2022 Wrongful Death Claims

If an accident, intentional action, or medical mistake causes the death of a mother during pregnancy, the grief felt by

If an accident, intentional action, or medical mistake causes the death of a mother during pregnancy, the grief felt by her loved ones is compounded by the loss of her unborn child. Unfortunately, California law does not automatically recognize that additional loss felt by the family who is left behind, but the work of a California wrongful death attorney can allow the mourning loved ones to hold those at fault accountable to the fullest extent permitted under the law.

Wrongful Death in California

Any intentional or accidental death caused by someone else’s wrongdoing can potentially be the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit. Some of the more common situations include auto accidents, medical malpractice, abuse, and accidents caused by defective products.

When a person is killed in an accident or intentionally, the family may pursue compensation against those whose negligence or other wrong-going caused the death. The compensation can include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of financial support and/or inheritance
  • Loss of the value of household services performed by the decedent
  • Loss of companionship of a spouse
  • Loss of care, comfort, guidance, and other non-economic impacts

To succeed, the victim’s family must be able to prove that the defendant owed a legal duty to the victim, that the defendant breached the duty, and that the defendant’s breach caused the victim’s death and the claimed damages. Proving some elements can be easy, but proving other elements can require some experience in complicated personal injury cases.

Wrongful Death of a Fetus

Unfortunately, while the plaintiffs may recover compensation for the death of the pregnant mother, California law does not recognize the additional loss that accompanies the wrongful death of a fetus. State statute provides for a wrongful death claim for the death of a “person,” but it also does not recognize an unborn baby as a “person.” 

If the baby was born alive before passing away, then it may be possible for loved ones to include a claim for the baby’s wrongful death. At the point of live birth, the baby meets the definition of a “person” under CA law.

Who Can Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim for the Death of a Pregnant Mother

Only qualified persons are permitted to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California. They include:

  • The decedent’s surviving spouse;
  • The decedent’s surviving children;
  • Other minor dependents living in the decedent’s household
  • Parents of the deceased victim
  • The decedent’s other heirs
  • Next of kin
  • The estate representative

Families come in many forms, so if you lost a loved one, it may not be clear who has standing to file a wrongful death claim. If multiple individuals may file the lawsuit, an estate representative may be the most effective plaintiff. The estate representative may also be able to bring a survival claim at the same time if the victim survived for even a small amount of time after the accident and would have had a personal injury claim of her own had she ultimately survived.

Consult with a California Wrongful Death Attorney

If you believe that the loss of a pregnant loved one was caused by someone else’s carelessness, consider speaking with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. At Salamati Law,  a compassionate lawyer will listen to your case and explain your legal options, from California wrongful death settlements to bringing a lawsuit to trial. Consultations are always free, and there is no fee unless we win your case.

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Common Wrongful Death Case Mistakes

August 19, 2022 Wrongful Death Claims

Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence can be very tough for you and your family. You might

Wrongful Death report and gavel in a court.

Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence can be very tough for you and your family. You might discover that you and your family are finding it difficult to cope and coming to terms with this sad reality. Since your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence you will likely file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party.

However, it is important to remember that during these sensitive and trying times there are some mistakes which you completely want to avoid, mistakes which we see too often, unfortunately. Such mistakes can harm your case and hence should be avoided at all costs.

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Mistakes to avoid in Wrongful death cases

One mistake which can be very costly is speaking publicly about the death of your loved one. When someone passes away in a disturbing manner it might be covered by the local, or even national news media, especially where the death was caused by someone’s negligence. While you may be tempted to speak publicly about our loved one’s untimely death, doing so can be a mistake, as you might reveal sensitive information, or even imply that your loved one was himself at fault for his death. The defendant or the defendant’s insurance company can later use any such information against you. It is also especially important at this point in time to maintain family unity and to avoid fighting within the family. Due to the stressful nature of this time period many people might not be coping well and therefore prone to start fighting with family members. However, such conflict might not just delay your wrongful death case, but also harm it in unimaginable ways. 

One mistake from which there is no turning back is being late in filing your lawsuit. Under the pertinent California law you have 2 years to bring forth a wrongful death action, from the date of your loved one’s death. If you miss this 2 year deadline you will really be out of luck and will not be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Another common, and consequential, mistake is speaking to the insurance company of the negligent party. This should be on top of your list of things to avoid. You should never speak to an insurance company without speaking to a lawyer first, as the insurance company will use anything you say to devalue your case so they can put more money in their own pockets. You should also be careful not to accept the first settlement offer made by the insurance company, as more often than not that will not be an appropriate compensation for your claim. An experienced attorney will understand the tricks and maneuvers employed by insurance companies to avoid paying, therefore it is very important to speak with one before you might end up harming your case.

Have you been injured? Click here to call us for a FREE consultation!

Contact us for a free consultation

Therefore, if you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence then reach out to the experienced wrongful death attorneys of Salamati Law today. Our team of experienced attorneys is especially well versed in California wrongful death settlements and will try to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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What are the Most Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents?

November 25, 2019 Auto Accidents, Personal Injury Lawsuits, Wrongful Death Claims

Both throughout the nation and in California, far too many deaths are caused by car accidents. What are the most

Both throughout the nation and in California, far too many deaths are caused by car accidents. What are the most common causes of fatal car accidents? Read on.

The #1 Most Common Cause: Driving Under the Influence

Drunk driving, or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, is the cause of roughly 33% of all fatal car accidents through the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In most states, including California, a driver is considered to be DUI if they have a blood alcohol count (BAC) of 0.08% or above.

The #2 Most Common Cause: Speeding

Driving over the speed limit is estimated to be the second most common cause of deadly crashes, resulting in roughly 30% of traffic deaths.

It’s important to be aware that speeding is a contributing cause to multiple types of accidents. Side collisions, for example, are fatal 27% of the time, partly because that category of accident includes the type termed T-bones, where a car hits another directly in the side, impacting people sitting on that side.

T-bone accidents are frequently caused by a driver going too fast to stop properly at an intersection. The driver whose turn it is pulls out, not realizing the other driver isn’t stopping.

The #3 Most Common Cause: Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is the third most common cause of traffic fatalities. This includes failure to stop at intersections, passing improperly, following other cars too close, and violating other rules of the road. Rear-end crashes, which can be caused by following other vehicles too closely, cause 29% of all accidents.

Reckless driving also includes not paying attention to weather or climate conditions. Rain can make southern California roads very dangerous, increasing the risk of hydroplaning. Smoke or fog can affect visibility, which increases the risk of collisions. Drivers need to take into account weather and climate conditions.

The #4 Most Common Cause: Distracted Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving caused 10% of all fatalities in 2015. Distracted driving can be caused by using smartphones while driving (to message, read, or talk on the phone). It can also be caused by a driver paying more attention to passengers or the passing scene than the road.

Distracted driving has been an increasing threat to motorists for at least a decade.

When You Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles

Fatal car accidents are a tragedy, especially because so many are easily prevented.

If you or a loved one was the victim of a car accident, Sean Salamati can help. Please call the expert Los Angeles auto accident attorneys at the Salamati Law Firm at 800-957-9898 today to discuss your case. We are experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys in Los Angeles.

Your case will be reviewed by seasoned professionals and there is no charge to you for an initial consultation.

Additional Resources:

  1. Campanella, Joe. 5 Common Causes of Car Accidents and How to Avoid Them. The Allstate Blog. https://blog.allstate.com/common-causes-of-car-accidents/
  2. King, Laiza. “Top 15 Causes Of Car Accidents And How You Can Prevent Them.” Huffington Post. August 31, 2016. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/laiza-king-/top-15-causes-of-car-accidents_b_11722196.html
  3. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Motor Vehicle Safety. Impaired Driving. Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving State Fact Sheets. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/states.html
  4. United States Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted Driving 2015. https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/documents/812_381_distracteddriving2015.pdf
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What Is the Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death in California?

February 8, 2019 Wrongful Death Claims

A loved one’s death may always seem “wrong,” but in the eyes of the law, a wrongful death is defined

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept, blue tone

A loved one’s death may always seem “wrong,” but in the eyes of the law, a wrongful death is defined as one that occurred as a result of another person’s negligence or wrongful conduct. A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed by a personal injury lawyer on behalf of surviving family members.

While it can’t bring the decedent back, a wrongful death claim may help the surviving family seek closure for their loss and justice on behalf of their loved one. Like other civil lawsuits, wrongful death claims are subjected to statutes of limitations.

What Is a Statute of Limitation?

A statute of limitations is a regulation that prohibits legal claims made after a certain period of time. There are statutes of limitations for both criminal and civil actions. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action.

Statutes of limitations are established by the states, and so the time limits can vary from one state to the next. Within one state, there are different statutes of limitations on different types of legal actions. For each, the clock begins ticking on the date that the incident happened, the date it was discovered, or the date on which reasonable efforts could have discovered it.

If your loved one lost his or her life due to the negligence or misconduct of another person, the statute of limitations places a deadline on your legal right to file a lawsuit. It is crucial to understand the deadline for this type of legal claim because you will forfeit your right to file a lawsuit unless you consult an attorney in a timely manner.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Lawsuits in California

The California legislature has determined that surviving family members may only file a lawsuit against a negligent party for the wrongful death of their loved one if they do so before two years have passed. This two year statute of limitations is applicable for all types of wrongful death claims in California. It includes wrongful death stemming from car accidents, a slip and fall accident, medical malpractice, product liability, toxic substance exposure, and work-related deaths.

How Long Should Family Members Wait to File a Claim?

Two years might seem like a long time, especially in the wake of a loved one’s death when grief and mourning take priority. However, it is in the best interests of the family to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Long before a lawsuit is filed, the lawyer must conduct a pre-filing investigation. Since evidence can degrade over time and the memories of eyewitnesses can become unreliable, it’s best to begin the evidence collection process for your wrongful death lawsuit right away.

Protect Your Legal Rights

Due to the risk of the statute of limitations expiring, it’s in the best interests of surviving family members to contact a Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer at the Salamati Law Firm as soon as possible. We will review your case free of charge, with no obligation to you. Every case is important to us, and every client receives the same caliber of uncompromising care and attention.

We understand that the loss of a loved one is a devastating tragedy that can never truly be mitigated. However, we sincerely hope that holding accountable those who are responsible for your loved one’s death will bring your family peace. For the vigorous legal advocacy services you need and the compassionate care you deserve, reach out today.

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How Do You Prove Wrongful Death in California?

February 5, 2019 Wrongful Death Claims

When the sudden loss of a relative or loved one is caused by the negligent actions of another party, litigation

Wrongful Death report and gavel in a court.

When the sudden loss of a relative or loved one is caused by the negligent actions of another party, litigation cannot alleviate your pain, heartache and suffering. However, legal action may provide the financial resources for surviving family to surmount the enormous economic burdens imposed by an untimely and unjust passing. Every state has different rules pertaining to wrongful death claims. In California, family members of the decedent can pursue damages in a wrongful death claim with the aid of a knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles. Effective representation in Los Angeles is available at Salamati Law, where our legal team is committed to educating clients about their rights, and the elements necessary to prove a wrongful death.

California wrongful death claims – a civil case for damages

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that seeks monetary reparations for the passing of a loved one. This legal procedure is different than a criminal prosecution for wrongful death, which does not award damages to surviving relatives. The individual or people who file the wrongful death claim are known as the “plaintiffs.” The plaintiff is usually the surviving spouse, children, parent or legal civil partner of the deceased. In some situations, a court-appointed executor of the decedent’s estate or personal representative will act as the plaintiff.  Damages awarded in a wrongful death case will account for the loss of love, guidance, companionship and financial support as well as compensation for emotional suffering, sorrow and grief. Plaintiffs can seek to recover both economic and non-economic damages for the wrongful death of a loved one, and while the majority of claims are resolved through pre-trial settlements, others may go before a jury.

Elements necessary to prove a wrongful death

In order to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must present certain legal elements. The plaintiff must also supply adequate evidence to meet the burden of proof in California, which supports your allegations that the willful acts or negligence of another party caused or contributed to the wrongful death.

These four elements are:

  1. A Duty of Care Existed – the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the decedent a “duty of care.” As an example, all motorists have a duty of care, or obligation, to follow the rules of the road to avoid accidents and injury.
  2. The Duty of Care is Breached — the plaintiff must also prove that the defendant failed to adhere to their duty of care to the decedent. A person who drives while texting or under the influence of alcohol is breaching their duty of care to other drivers, pedestrians and bystanders.
  3. Causation – This element is perhaps the most critical. Plaintiffs must also show that this specific breach was responsible for the death in question. Even if the defendant was driving while drunk, if the decedent was killed because his car’s brakes failed, there is not a valid claim for damages.
  4. The Death Resulted in Hardships for the Survivors – the plaintiff must also show that surviving family members have suffered physical, emotional and financial losses because of the wrongful death.

Sufficient proof of negligence will hinge on the circumstances of the accident that caused the death. A breach of duty can be negligent property maintenance, surgical errors, violating traffic laws or even failing to warn consumers about a product’s side effects or risks.

Statute of limitations for wrongful death actions

Under California law, surviving family members and members of the estate have just two years to take legal action after the wrongful death of a loved one. When tragedy strikes and a fatal crash leaves you bereft of a mother, father or child, your first step should be consulting a car accident attorney at Salamati Law for sound legal guidance.

No matter what the circumstances, proving liability for a wrongful death is no simple task. Although your legal counsel is not required to present a preponderance of evidence to prevail, they must have compelling evidence that bolsters the credibility of a claim.  For this reason, among others, it’s best to align yourself with a reputable Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at Salamati Law. Call today to schedule a free case review. Our team is available to take your call 24/7.

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Anniversary of Las Vegas Shooting Marked with Memorials

October 5, 2018 News, Personal Injury Lawsuits, Wrongful Death Claims

Monday, October 1, 2018, marked the one-year anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting that took the lives of 58 attendees

Group of people holding candle vigil

Monday, October 1, 2018, marked the one-year anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting that took the lives of 58 attendees of the Route 91 Harvest music festival. Hundreds more were injured in the attack. People in and around Las Vegas marked the event with memorials. Meanwhile, investigations have still not revealed a clear motive for the massacre.

Shooting anniversary marked by memorials and homecoming

Officials throughout Nevada recognized the enormity of the anniversary. Governor Brian Sandoval ordered that all state and federal flags fly at half staff from sunrise to sunset. The Las Vegas Portraits Project, a display of artwork of the victims, is on display at the Clark County Government Center through October 19. A shooting survivor from Los Angeles, Dennis Guerrero, started a nonprofit called LoveWins and it is raising money to help the families left behind by the 58 who died.

Remarkably, just a few days before the anniversary, Rosemarie Melanson was released from the hospital. There were over 800 people injured in the shooting and Melanson was the last of the victims to remain hospitalized. She suffered bullet wounds to several organs and was placed on life support immediately after the shooting. Miraculously, she survived, and after nearly a year in the hospital, she finally returned home.

Federal court denies request of venue owner MGM

More than 20,000 people were attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival when Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more. Since then, more than 2,000 people have either sued or threatened to sue those connected with the venue or the shooter.

Hundreds of victims have joined in five lawsuits in state courts in California and Nevada, naming as defendants MGM Resorts International for allegedly not having proper security procedures and trained staff; concert organizer Live Nation for allegedly not having adequate exits and trained employees; and the estate of shooter Stephen Paddock.

MGM, the owner of Mandalay Bay, took a highly unusual step and filed a federal lawsuit naming about 2,000 people who were have sued or threatened to sue the company, requesting that the court issue a declaratory judgment stating that MGM is not liable, and requesting that all of the lawsuits against it be pooled together in multi-district litigation (MDL). Earlier this month, MGM’s requests were denied, allowing existing and future lawsuits against it to proceed in state courts without being transferred to an MDL docket.

Fighting for rights of injury victims in California

Los Angeles personal injury attorney Sean Salamati understands the legal battle that the shooting victims and their families face. The Salamati Law Firm has dedicated the past two decades to fighting for the rights of personal injury victims in LA and around Southern California. If you have been injured and believe someone else bears legal responsibility, call today to schedule a free confidential consultation.

Additional resources on Las Vegas shooting updates:

  1. Bloomberg, MGM Resorts Can’t Centralize Mass Shooting Lawsuits Panel Rules, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-03/mgm-resorts-can-t-centralize-mass-shooting-lawsuits-panel-rules
  2. Fox News, Las Vegas shooting: Memorial events mark 1-year anniversary as massacre motive still shrouded in mystery, https://www.foxnews.com/us/las-vegas-shooting-memorial-events-mark-1-year-anniversary-as-massacre-motive-still-shrouded-in-mystery
  3. Fox News, Las Vegas massacre survivor leaves hospital year after shooting, https://www.foxnews.com/us/las-vegas-massacre-survivor-leaves-hospital-year-after-shooting
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October 4, 2018 Wrongful Death Claims

Suffering the loss of a family breadwinner is one of the most difficult situations we can encounter in life. Grief

Wrongful Death report and gavel in a court.Suffering the loss of a family breadwinner is one of the most difficult situations we can encounter in life. Grief may make you physically ill, depressed, or anxious. You and your friends and family may miss the deceased person every day.

A Painful Challenge

You also may suffer financial duress. The family breadwinner may have been responsible for all or the greatest proportion of your family’s income. In the aftermath of the breadwinner’s death, you may have to make major changes in your life, such as moving from the home you shared, if it has become unaffordable. You may become unable to pay bills, or become fearful of them mounting up.

You may need to retrain yourself for a job, or a higher-paying position. You may also be left with medical bills and funeral or burial expenses.

If the Family Breadwinner Died Due to Negligence

All of this can be hard enough, but if your family breadwinner died due to the negligence of another party, it can make your pain feel that much worse.

There is a potential solution to the financial duress, however. A wrongful death suit claim can seek financial compensation associated with the death of a breadwinner. Wrongful death compensation can be awarded to replace some or all of the support a family received from a breadwinner, both financial and emotional, for example. It can pay for medical bills related to the cause of death, and for funeral and burial costs.

Wrongful death claims can also seek financial compensation for loss of companionship and consortium, loss of guidance and training, and loss of household services.

Wrongful death claims in California may be brought if the death was caused by a wrongful act or the negligence of another party. Negligence means that the other party knew a condition or event was unsafe, had responsibility to ensure that it was safe, had enough time to make it safe, and did not.

A person who died from falling off a beam on a construction site, for example, may have fallen because safety equipment or training was not provided or was not adequate to prevent the fall.

A wrongful death claim is a civil suit asking for financial compensation. It is not a criminal suit asking for the negligent party to be punished. However, wrongful death suits can also serve as a deterrent to negligent parties for their future actions.

Under California law, wrongful death claims may be brought by a breadwinner’s spouse, domestic partner, next living descendent or heir (parents or siblings), or financial dependents, such as partners, children, stepchildren, or parents.

If You Need a Southern California Wrongful Death Attorney

If you think that negligence contributed to the death of your loved one, call experienced Los Angeles wrongful death attorney Sean Salamati today. Se habla español. We will fight to see that justice is done.

If you agree to work with Salamati Law Firm’s team, you owe us nothing unless we win your case, and payment will come from the final jury award or settlement amount.

Additional Resources:

  1. Brody, Jane L. “When a Spouse Dies, Resilience Can Be Uneven.” New York Times, September 26, 2016. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/27/well/family/when-a-spouse-dies-resilience-can-be-uneven.html
  2. Manning, Margaret. “Losing a Partner: How to Recover from the Loss of a Loved One.” Huffington Post, October 2, 2013. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/margaret-manning/losing-a-partner-how-to-recover-from-the-loss-of-a-loved-one_b_4029121.html
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How Much Does It Cost to Die in California?

October 26, 2017 Wrongful Death Claims

Other than cars and homes, funerals are among the most expensive purchases consumers make in the United States, says the

Headstones in a cemetary with many red tulipsOther than cars and homes, funerals are among the most expensive purchases consumers make in the United States, says the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Cemetery and Funeral Bureau. Over the past decade, the average cost of a funeral has spiked nearly 40 percent, pushing some families, who are already mourning the loss of a loved one, into dire economic straits.

When a death is sudden and traumatic, families often make buying decisions based on pure emotion, wanting to purchase the finest casket and grandest service for their relative, without thinking about the bills.

Then there are those who suffer from protracted illnesses or degenerative diseases, tallying up massive bills for hospital stays, doctor visits and treatments before they pass. The underlying problem is that people don’t like to talk about their own mortality. It’s a depressing, morbid topic that tends to be avoided until it’s time to call the funeral home and make arrangements.

Given that every person must eventually face this difficult part of life, the costs of dying should not be overlooked. One of the best ways to ensure your loved ones don’t have to make these decisions during periods of tremendous emotional distress is to plan ahead.

It can also help save money. Cremation or burial? What type of flowers, casket or car service? How much does a burial plot cost in southern California?

By understanding the costs associated with dying, families can plan and budget accordingly.

Costs of dying in California

  • Transfer of remains to the funeral home: $200-$300
  • Cremation: Roughly 70 percent of Californians chose cremation over burial. This generally equates to lower costs, compared to other states. The median cost for a “basic” cremation in Los Angeles County ranges between $550 and $2,000.
  • Immediate burial (not including casket cost): Transfer to the funeral home, placement into the casket, and transfer to the grave site without formal viewing. From $650 to more than $4,300.
  • Casket: Funeral homes make big profits on caskets, marking them up nearly 300 percent above cost. The least expensive wood caskets average about $600, while metal caskets sell for between $1,500 and $4,000.
  • Funeral transportation: Use of a service car or hearse will cost between $150 and $320.
  • Embalming:  Embalming is necessary for open-casket funerals and usually costs between $500-700. Additional cosmetics, hairdressing or preparations will cost an extra $200-$400.
  • Viewing and ceremony:  Funeral homes charge, on average, $420 for viewing, and $500 for the funeral ceremony.
  • Burial plot: land scarcity in CA is driving up prices. At Whittier’s Rose Hills Memorial Park, plot prices start at $3,500 and go up. A crypt in Inglewood Park Cemetery comes with a price tag of $10,000.
  • Gravestone: Between $800 and $3,000 depending on size and adornment.
  • Clergy honorarium: Between $200 and $300
  • Basic service fees charged by funeral home: Includes filing paperwork, ordering death certificate, proper storage of the remains and overhead fees: $1,000 – $2,500
  • California death certificate: $14

According to data from the National Funeral Directors Association, the average funeral today costs between $8,000 and $10,000. In 2013, California Senate Bill 658 was passed, requiring funeral homes to post detailed price lists online. Those without websites are legally required to present all options and price points to consumers.

As veteran wrongful death attorneys in Los Angeles, the team at Salamati Law encourages families to plan ahead and discuss their wishes for burial or cremation, before you’re confronted with a crisis situation.

Additional Resources on Cost of Dying in California:

  1. Orange County Register, What’s the price of death? In Orange County, funeral prices vary widely http://www.ocregister.com/2015/11/02/whats-the-price-of-death-in-orange-county-funeral-prices-vary-widely/
  2. HuffPost, This Is How Much An Average Funeral Costs https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-much-does-a-funeral-cost_us_5804c784e4b0f42ad3d264de
  3. US Funerals Online, Arranging a Funeral or Cremation in California http://www.us-funerals.com/funeral-articles/funerals-and-cremations-in-california.html#.WfD4z2hSxPY
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Coping with the Accidental Death of a Loved One

July 14, 2017 Wrongful Death Claims

We all realize that death is inevitable down the road, but the sudden loss of a loved one or family member

image of a graveyard.We all realize that death is inevitable down the road, but the sudden loss of a loved one or family member can leave you grief-stricken and paralyzed with feelings of despair. We simply assume that our mothers, fathers, siblings and children will reach old age. Yet unforeseeable accidents, illness and disease can cause death to come much sooner than expected. The traumatic, accidental death of a loved one can shatter the world as you know it, leaving you bewildered and shaken. Survivors are quickly thrust into a new, frightening reality, one which may seem to have no rhyme or reason.

How do bereaved survivors cope with the death of a loved one? The grieving process is different for everyone. It is not uncommon to experience intense feelings of guilt, remorse, anger, depression and hopelessness. Feelings of sadness, anger and disbelief often come in waves, usually triggered by small reminders that the deceased is forever gone.

During these emotionally challenging times, it’s important to allow yourself plenty of time to process this loss and assimilate it into your daily life. It’s equally important to reach out to friends, family or church for support.

Coping with accidental death

There is certainly no “right” way to grieve, but many find it helpful to have some support along the way.

There are many short and long-term coping methods that can help survivors through the painful grieving process and move forward with their lives.

  • Focus on one day at a time, and give yourself the time and space to grieve.
  • Be accepting of your own feeling and emotions, and be prepared for everything from numbness and fear to disabling sadness.
  • Don’t bottle up your feelings – allow yourself to experience the pain and cry.
  • Don’t isolate yourself. It’s important to speak with friends, relatives or spiritual mentors about your loss.
  • Encourage yourself to take part in social activities and engagements. Isolation only encourages sadness and depression.
  • Take some time to consider those who are important in your life.
  • Try and maintain a normal routine, whether it’s taking the kids to school or going to your weekly yoga class.
  • Get enough sleep and take care of your physical well-being– this will go a long way to helping you feel emotionally stable.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs as crutches to get relief.
  • Engage in physical activity that gets the heart pumping, which naturally helps combat depression and relieves stress.
  • If you need to process the loss with others, seek out a support group in your area or try counseling with a therapist.
  • Pursue activities that comfort, sustain and recharge. Consider learning a new skill or taking up an interesting hobby.

The Salamati Law Firm is here to help

The accidental death of a loved one is a sudden loss that brings sudden grief. Here at the Salamati Law Firm, we offer compassionate, effective representation in wrongful death cases throughout Southern California. We invite you to schedule a private consultation with Sean Salamati, a compassionate Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer who is on your side. Call 888-259-4060 to learn more.

Additional resources for coping with grief:

  1. Journey of Hearts, Dealing with Sudden, Accidental or Traumatic Death http://www.journeyofhearts.org/grief/accident2.html
  2. Focus on the Family, Moving Forward: Dealing With Grief http://www.focusonthefamily.com/lifechallenges/emotional-health/moving-forward-dealing-with-grief
  3. Everett Clinic, Coping with the unexpected death of a loved one http://www.everettclinic.com/blog/coping-unexpected-death-loved-one
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What Evidence Is Needed in a Wrongful Death Case in California?

March 16, 2017 Wrongful Death Claims

“Wrongful death” is the name the law gives to a death that resulted from another party’s negligence. If the negligence

Wrongful DeathWrongful death” is the name the law gives to a death that resulted from another party’s negligence. If the negligence had resulted in an injury, it would be termed personal injury. If it results in death or conditions that lead to death, however, it is termed wrongful death. If your loved one has died from a car accident due to another driver’s carelessness or violation of traffic laws, for example, you may be able to bring a wrongful death suit.

Wrongful death cases also need to show that the other party, whether an individual or a business, knew or should have known that the actions or conditions that caused the death were dangerous and that they should have acted responsibly.

What types of evidence do you need to file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Your wrongful death attorney will need certain pieces of evidence in order to obtain justice for you and your family. Evidence required by the court in wrongful death claims includes:

A Death Certificate

Death certificates are official documents that contain the cause of death as determined by the coroner. If a slip and fall caused fatal injuries, these injuries will be noted on the death certificate.

Police Reports

If the wrongful death of your loved one was due to an accident or other circumstance in which the police were called, the police reports will be needed. Be sure to obtain and keep copies of any police report in connection with an accident or investigation as soon as possible.

Medical Records

Some causes of wrongful death may be found in medical records. If your loved one died as a result of being given the wrong medication in a hospital, for example, all medications would be noted as part of the medical records. Medical records can also help determine if notations in the records were falsified or removed, or changed at a later date.

Autopsy Reports

If you believe that medical malpractice caused your loved one’s wrongful death, you need to request a full autopsy. Only this can indicate whether medical error was the cause. Surgical errors, for example, are indicated by a thorough examination of the body. If an error in medication, whether type or dosage, caused the death, a toxicology report will provide evidence.

Evidence of a Duty of Care Relationship Between Negligent Entity and Deceased Person

In order to bring a wrongful death suit, it must be shown that the negligent entity and your loved one had a relationship in which the former owed a duty of care to your loved one. A doctor is always to do no harm, for example; that is a doctor’s duty of care. All citizens need to drive safely; they have breached the responsibility if they’ve done otherwise.

In other cases, proving duty of care may be slightly more complicated. If your loved one’s car was hit by another vehicle, and that vehicle had a manufacturer’s defect that caused it to brake improperly, the duty of care might be owed by the manufacturer of the vehicle. Manufacturers must abide by safe practices in making and recalling products.

Tax Returns and Financial Records

Loss of financial support and loss of value of household services are among the financial damages that can be sought in a wrongful death case in California. Tax returns and other financial records are the best way for your attorney to estimate this loss. Other financial records, such as pay stubs, will help the court determine the financial loss. Records of investments and their returns, especially if the deceased person handled all the investments, are also needed.

Family Records

The documentation required for a wrongful death case is in part needed so that potential damages can be estimated. In California, one can receive damages awarded by the court for medical expenses related to the final illness or condition, loss of companionship and consortium for spouses, loss of training and guidance for children, funeral expenses, and burial expenses. Any and all records related to these should be gathered and given to your attorney. Loss of companionship and consortium can depend on length of the marriage, so a marriage certificate should be part of the documentation.

If you need a wrongful death lawyer

If you feel your loved one was the victim of wrongful death, call us today. The compassionate Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys at Salamati Law can help protect your legal rights after the unthinkable happens. We will review your case at no charge to you. Payment will come from any final jury award or settlement amount.

Additional wrongful death lawsuit resources

  1. Justia, California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI), 3921. Wrongful Death (Death of an Adult), https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/3900/3921.html
  2. California Legislative Information, CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE – CCP, ARTICLE 6. Wrongful Death [377.60 – 377.62] https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=377.60.&lawCode=CCP
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