The Role of Expert Witnesses in a California Wrongful Death Case

The role of expert witnesses in a California wrongful death case

Losing a loved one is heart-wrenching, and when that loss is due to another's negligence, the pain can be unbearable. A wrongful death case can provide some level of justice, but navigating the legal landscape can be complex. In these cases, expert witnesses can play a vital role in establishing facts and proving negligence.

We at Omofoma Law understand the profound impact of a wrongful death case. With years of experience and a dedicated team, we are committed to providing the best legal support possible. Expert witnesses are a crucial part of our strategy. They bring their specialized knowledge to strengthen your case.

We have seen countless wrongful death claims and would be glad to review your lawsuit. Take a closer look at personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits below. Then, give us a call to schedule a free case consultation.

Overview of a Wrongful Death Case in California

Overview of a wrongful death case in California

Wrongful death takes place when an individual loses their life due to the negligence or wrongful act of another. This type of case seeks to provide compensation to the victim's surviving family members for their loss. California's Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60 defines who can file a wrongful death claim. Usually, this includes spouses, children, and sometimes parents.

The goal of a wrongful death case is to establish negligence. We need to prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the individual who passed away. We also need to prove that they breached this duty. Then, we need to show that the breach directly resulted in death.

Compensation can include economic damages, such as loss of pay or income, and non-economic damages, like emotional distress, pain, and suffering.

To win a wrongful death case, strong evidence is essential. In many wrongful death cases, expert witnesses can provide this evidence. They explain complex matters and offer credible opinions. They bring their professional expertise to the courtroom. This turns technical jargon into understandable language.

Expert Witnesses in General

Expert witnesses are professionals who possess specialized knowledge in a particular field. Their expertise goes beyond what the average person knows. They can provide opinions, interpret facts, and help the judge or jury understand complex matters in legal proceedings.

The expert's role is not to advocate for one side or the other. Instead, they present an unbiased analysis based on their expertise. This impartiality adds weight to their testimony, making it a powerful tool in court.

Experts can come from many fields. From doctors explaining medical conditions to accident reconstructionists recreating crash scenes, their specialized knowledge can make or break a case. In wrongful death cases, their role becomes even more crucial.

Types of Expert Witnesses in Wrongful Death Cases

Types of expert witnessin wrongful death cases

Several types of expert witnesses may be involved in a wrongful death case. Each one brings unique insights that help piece together the whole story.

Medical Experts

Medical experts are fundamental to wrongful death cases. They possess the expertise to interpret complex medical information. They can offer detailed explanations of how and why death occurred, effectively linking it to the defendant's actions.

Their ability to dissect medical reports, autopsy results, and health records simplifies this complex data into understandable information. Importantly, their medical knowledge can also provide insights into the deceased's quality of life. This significantly impacts the jury's understanding of non-economic damages like pain and suffering. They can also speak on possible medical malpractice.

Accident Reconstruction Experts

Accident reconstruction experts are specialists in their field. They have expertise in re-creating accident scenes to show what led to wrongful death. By using advanced techniques, they establish a chain of events. They can recreate the circumstances of the accident and identify the contributing factors. Their findings often form crucial evidence, demonstrating the negligence that led to the fatal accident.

In vehicular accidents, they can analyze skid marks, vehicle damage, and more to piece together the events that led to the tragic incident.

Economic Experts

Economic experts come into play when understanding the financial ramifications of wrongful death. They meticulously analyze the deceased's earnings, the income they would likely have earned in the future, and the consequent financial burden on the family.

By quantifying these economic damages, they provide a tangible figure for compensation. This guides the court in determining a fair settlement. Their assessment can also take into account other factors. This includes the deceased's spending, saving habits, and the financial value of lost household services. This gives a comprehensive view of the economic impact.

Forensic Experts

Forensic experts play a crucial role in wrongful death cases by studying the physical evidence. Their scientific techniques can uncover critical details that a layperson's eye could miss. They help trace back the sequence of events leading to the death.

Depending on the specifics of the case, they can analyze various types of evidence, from blood spatter patterns to DNA. The information they uncover can directly support claims of negligence. This makes their input vital to establishing the defendant's liability.

Qualifications and Selection of Expert Witnesses

Selecting the right expert witnesses can significantly impact your case's outcome. Their qualifications, experience, and credibility are key factors in this selection process.

Expertise and Credentials

An expert witness should have a solid background in their field of expertise. A strong education, practical training, and impressive professional accomplishments validate their authority in the subject matter. This means their knowledge has been honed through extensive study and real-world application. Their credentials, like licenses, certifications, or awards, can significantly enhance their credibility in the courtroom.

Experience in Similar Cases

Having an expert witness with a history of involvement in similar cases is of significant advantage. This familiarity with the courtroom process ensures they understand how to navigate the legal landscape. They'll know what kind of questions to expect from the opposing counsel, how to present their findings in a way that's easy for the jury to understand, and how to remain composed under pressure. This experience can go a long way toward strengthening your wrongful death case.

Reputation and Credibility

A good reputation must be understated when it comes to choosing an expert witness. The ideal expert witness should have a track record of honesty, accuracy, and professionalism in their previous engagements. Their integrity should be unquestioned, and their peers should recognize them as a leader in their field. The respect they command in their profession can help boost the credibility of your case.

Screening and Selection Process

Choosing the right expert witness involves a meticulous screening and selection process. Lawyers must first review the expert's qualifications, ensuring they align with the case's specifics. Then they examine their track record in previous cases, checking if their testimonies have been compelling.

Finally, a face-to-face or virtual interview helps assess their communication skills, how they present complex information, and their overall demeanor. The goal is to ensure the expert can withstand the pressures of a courtroom and effectively support your case.

How Expert Witnesses Strengthen a Wrongful Death Case

How expert witnesses strengthen a wrongful death case

Expert witnesses can bolster a wrongful death case in several ways. From explaining technical information to assisting in case strategy, their contribution is invaluable.

Explain Technical and Specialized Information

In wrongful death cases, the evidence often involves complex, technical information. Expert witnesses have the critical task of making this specialized knowledge understandable to the court. They use their deep understanding of their respective fields to decode medical terms, engineering principles, or financial calculations. By breaking down these intricate details into plain language, they ensure that the judge or jury fully grasps the factual basis of the case.

Provide Credible Testimony

The testimony of an expert witness carries substantial weight in court. Their professional standing and depth of expertise in their field underpin their credibility. Judges and juries respect their statements, taking their educated opinions seriously. Expert witnesses can significantly influence the case's outcome when presenting their findings and conclusions in court.

Formulate Opinions Based on Evidence

Expert witnesses are not mere speculators. Instead, their role is to form solid, evidence-based opinions. They meticulously review, analyze, and interpret all relevant data and facts associated with the case. Then, they synthesize these findings into logical conclusions. These evidence-backed insights can significantly support the legal argument of a wrongful death case.

Assist Attorneys in Case Strategy and Presentation

Expert witnesses also play a strategic role in developing and presenting a wrongful death case. Working with the legal team, they can identify strengths and potential weaknesses in the evidence. They provide technical advice related to their field of expertise, guiding lawyers on how to approach certain arguments best. Moreover, they can help attorneys visualize and present complex facts effectively during the trial. Expert witnesses can significantly contribute to the overall case strategy by playing this supportive role.

It is important to ask the right expert to testify in your case. We will use our network of professionals to support your claims and sway the judge and jury in your favor. Reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you.

Importance of Expert Witnesses in Legal Proceedings

Expert witnesses are vital in legal proceedings. They bridge technical expertise and the legal system, turning specialized knowledge into understandable evidence.

Their role is especially crucial in wrongful death cases. They can help establish the link between the defendant's actions and the death, quantify damages, or refute the other side's arguments. Their testimony can provide the missing pieces needed to build a strong case.

Moreover, expert witnesses add credibility. Judges and juries put more weight on the opinion of a well-respected expert. This credibility can tip the scales in your favor in a wrongful death case, where emotions run high. For example, if we ask a medical expert to provide testimony, they may be able to explain what happened when the accident occurred in a way the injury understands.

Contact Our California Wrongful Death Lawyer at Omofoma Law to Help You With Your Case

Contact our California wrongful death lawyer at Omofoma Law

A wrongful death case can be a daunting endeavor. It involves navigating a complex legal landscape while dealing with profound grief. However, you don't have to face it alone. At Omofoma Law, we're committed to providing your support and guidance. We can use expert witness testimony that can support and explain technical aspects and the circumstances surrounding your case.

We understand the vital role expert witnesses play in such cases. We have a network of trusted professionals, and we know how to utilize their expertise to build a strong case. With our team by your side, you can focus on healing, knowing that we're fighting for the justice your loved one deserves.

Don't wait. Contact us today for a free consultation.

How to Prove Fault in a California Car Accident Case

How to prove fault in California car accident case

Being involved in a car accident can be stressful. It gets more complicated when you try to figure out who's to blame for the damage. Determining fault is crucial because it's linked to how damages get paid. This task becomes easier when you understand the legal aspects of proving fault in a California car accident case.

Omofoma Law is a seasoned legal firm based in California. Our expertise spans a variety of areas, including car accident cases. We've helped countless clients navigate the complex process of proving fault in car accident cases. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Learn more about car accident claims. Seek medical care for your auto accident injuries. Then, contact us for a free case consultation.

Negligence as the Legal Basis for Proving Fault in a California Car Accident

Negligence as the legal basis for proving fault in California car accident

To understand how to prove fault in a motor vehicle accident, it's essential to grasp the concept of negligence. Common law negligence is a legal term that refers to a person's failure to drive with the care of another prudent driver. In car accident cases, negligence often forms the backbone of fault determination.

The basis of any negligence claim under California law in a car accident is that a driver did not take reasonable care on the road. This can be a failure to observe traffic laws, like speed limits or stop signs, or a lack of attention, such as distracted driving. This failure leads to an accident and potentially makes the driver legally liable for any resulting damage.

If you can prove that another driver's negligence caused your car accident in California, you have a strong claim for compensation. It's important to note that negligence doesn't just apply to other drivers. It could also apply to a municipality for failing to maintain safe road conditions or a vehicle manufacturer for a car defect. The critical factor is proving the negligent party did not act safely or appropriately.

Elements of Negligence

Before diving into the details of negligence, it's crucial to understand its four key elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damage. Each of these elements is necessary for building a successful negligence claim. We need to prove negligence to win your car crash claim.

Duty of Care

In a car accident case, the duty of care refers to the responsibility each driver has to act in a way that doesn't put others at risk. This involves obeying traffic laws, paying attention to road conditions, and generally acting reasonably under similar circumstances. Every driver has this legal duty to others on the road.

Breach of Duty

A duty breach occurs when the other driver fails to uphold their duty of care. This could involve actions like texting while driving, speeding, or running a red light. If a driver does something a reasonable person wouldn't do or fails to do something a reasonable person would do, they've breached their duty of care. Police reports can help us with this.


This is the link that joins the breach of duty and the damage suffered. To prove causation, you must show that the accident wouldn't have happened if not for the other driver's actions. In other words, the other driver's negligence directly led to the accident and the resulting damage.


Finally, damage refers to the losses you suffered from the accident. This can include physical injuries, damage to your car, and emotional distress. You need to provide proof of these damages—like medical bills or car repair receipts—to build a successful negligence claim.

Comparative Negligence in California

Comparative negligence in California

California operates under "pure comparative negligence" (California Civil Code 1714). Under this system, you can still recover damages in a car accident case, even if you're partially at fault. But, your settlement will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

For instance, if you're found to be 20% at fault, you may only recover 80% of the total damages. This allows for a fair distribution of responsibility. It means that even if both parties contributed to the accident, they could recover some of their losses.

It's also important to understand that the other party's insurance company will try to blame you as much to reduce their payout. This is where having an experienced car accident attorney from Omofoma Law Firm can make a significant difference. We know how to fight these tactics and ensure that you're not unfairly blamed for the accident.

Finally, keep in mind that the court or insurance adjuster will decide on the percentage of fault. They'll consider the evidence and arguments from both sides before making a decision. If you're dealing with a car accident claim, don't try to figure out comparative negligence alone. Let Omofoma Law guide you through the process and fight for your rights.

Gathering Evidence to Prove Fault: Types of Evidence to Gather

Evidence plays a vital role in proving fault in a car accident. This can strengthen your claim and help you establish the other party's negligence. Let's delve into the different types of evidence you should collect.

Police Report and Accident Scene Documentation

The police report is a crucial piece of evidence. It contains the officer's observations and sometimes even their opinion on who's at fault. If you called the police after your accident, make sure to obtain a copy of this report. Any other documents from the accident scene, like traffic citations, can also be helpful. We may also use the California Vehicle Code to help us with this.

Witness Statements and Contact Information

Witnesses can give an unbiased account of the crash. If there were any witnesses, try to get their statements and contact information. Their testimony can support your claim and provide additional evidence of the other party's negligence.

Photos and Videos of the Accident Scene

Photos and videos can paint a visual picture of the accident scene. They can show the position of the cars, road conditions, and any visible injuries or damage. Make sure to capture as many details as possible, as these images can help reconstruct the accident and identify the at-fault party.

Medical Records and Bills

Medical records and bills prove that you suffered injuries and incurred expenses due to the accident. They can give an overview of the severity of your injuries and the extent of your financial losses. Be sure to keep a detailed record of all medical treatments related to the accident.

Vehicle Damage Documentation

Damage to your vehicle can shed light on how the accident happened and who is at fault. This includes mechanic's reports, repair bills, and photos of the damage. This documentation can be vital in establishing the other party's negligence.

Role of Expert Witnesses in a Car Accident Case

Role of expert witnesses in a car accident case

Expert witnesses can lend authority to your car accident claim. They can provide professional insights that clarify complex aspects of your case. Expert witnesses come from various fields, like medicine, accident reconstruction, and economics.

Medical experts can explain your injuries, the treatment required, and how these injuries will impact your future. They can join your injuries to the collision, which is crucial in proving damage in a negligence claim. This professional opinion can be instrumental in convincing the jury of the extent and seriousness of your injuries.

Accident reconstruction experts can analyze the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any available video footage. They use scientific principles to recreate the accident and explain how it happened. Their testimony can help establish the sequence of events before the crash and identify the at-fault driver.

Economic experts can quantify your financial losses and future expenses. They consider medical costs, lost wages, and potential future earnings. Their input can ensure that you claim all possible damages related to your accident.

Expert witnesses can enhance your case, but they also bring additional costs. That's why consulting with a seasoned car accident attorney from Omofoma Law is crucial. We can help you decide if hiring expert witnesses will be beneficial for your case.

Handling Insurance Companies and Legal Proceedings

Negotiating with insurance providers after a motor vehicle collision can be tricky. They often try to minimize payouts to protect their bottom line. They might offer a quick, low settlement or try to blame you for the accident. Insurance companies are not your allies in this process.

Legal proceedings in a car accident case can also be complex. You need to adhere to strict timelines and rules. One small misstep could jeopardize your claim. That's why having an experienced car accident attorney on your side is so important.

An attorney from Omofoma Law can represent your best interests and defend your rights. We know their tactics and how to counter them effectively. We'll also guide you through the legal proceedings, ensuring that your case complies with all procedural requirements.

Types of Damages in Car Accident Cases

Types of damages in car accident cases

In a car accident case, you can claim various types of damage. These damages aim to compensate you for your losses and restore you to your position before the accident. Let's explore these different types of damage.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to your financial losses due to the accident. These include:

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages compensate you for non-tangible losses. They include:

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are rare. They are not meant to compensate you but rather to punish the at-fault party for extremely reckless or malicious behavior. They serve to deter similar conduct in the future. If you believe the other party acted with extreme negligence or malice, discuss the possibility of punitive damages with your attorney.

Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Attorney at Omofoma Law for an Initial Consultation

Contact our experienced car accident attorney

Car accidents can have far-reaching impacts on your life. They can lead to physical injuries, emotional distress, and significant financial losses. But you don't have to face these challenges alone. At Omofoma Law, we have the expertise to guide you through the process of proving fault in a car accident case.

Our team is here to fight for your rights and push for the compensation you deserve. We understand the complexities of negligence law and how to gather and present evidence effectively. Don't let the stress of a car accident claim to overwhelm you.

Contact Omofoma Law today, and let us take the burden off your shoulders.

What You Need to Know About Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases in California

What you need to know about statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in California

Losing a loved one is a tragedy beyond measure, leaving survivors with a deep sense of sorrow and loss. When that death occurs due to another party's negligence, it can add layers of frustration, anger, and confusion to the grieving process. Understanding your rights and the legal pathways available during such a devastating time can be overwhelming. At Omofoma Law, we're committed to guiding you through this challenging time with empathy, care, and legal expertise, striving to seek justice for your lost loved one.

A wrongful death lawyer from our team would be happy to review your case to see if we can file a wrongful death suit on your behalf. Learn more about the process of a wrongful death action below, and reach out to us if one of your family members has passed away unexpectedly. We are always here for you during your time of need.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases in California

In the legal world, the 'statute of limitations' is a legal provision that sets a time limit within which a lawsuit must be filed. This rule varies depending on the type of case and the jurisdiction. In California, the law, particularly the California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, mandates a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death cases. You have two years from your loved one's death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

This time frame may seem long, but it is crucial to act promptly. Gathering evidence, conducting investigations, and preparing a robust case can take significant time. Failing to initiate the lawsuit within these two years generally results in the court dismissing the case, thereby forfeiting your chance to seek legal justice and potential compensation. Make sure you get your opportunity to pursue justice.

Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Most common causes of wrongful death

Wrongful death can transpire under numerous circumstances, commonly due to another party's negligent, reckless, or intentional behavior. They can occur anywhere - on the roads, at work, on the sea, or even in what should be the safety of someone's home. Here are some of the most common causes of wrongful deaths:

General Statute of Limitations Period

The general statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit in California is two years from the date of death. This period is more than a simple deadline; it's crucial in pursuing justice for your loved one. This timeline ensures that potential lawsuits are initiated while evidence is still fresh and available, promoting fair and accurate outcomes.

However, it's also important to recognize that every wrongful death case is unique. Different factors can influence the complexity and length of your case, from the circumstances of the death to the parties involved. Therefore, beginning your legal proceedings as early as possible is vital to ensure ample time for thorough case preparation.

The Discovery Rule in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

The discovery rule in wrongful death lawsuits

There are times when the cause of death isn't immediately evident or when a connection between a party's actions and the death only becomes apparent later.

For such scenarios, California law employs the "discovery rule." This legal provision allows the statute of limitations to begin not from the date of death but from the date the plaintiff discovers or should have reasonably discovered the cause of death. This rule is particularly relevant in cases involving medical malpractice or industrial diseases, where the link between the negligent act and the death may not be readily noticeable.

Tolling of the Statute of Limitations

In certain circumstances, the statute of limitations clock can be paused or "tolled," effectively extending the time for filing a lawsuit. This provision ensures fairness when proceeding with a lawsuit within the prescribed timeline is impractical or impossible.

Plaintiff Is a Minor

If the individual entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit is a minor, the statute of limitations does not commence until that individual turns 18. This consideration protects the rights of minors, acknowledging that they may not have the legal capacity to initiate a lawsuit independently.

Plaintiff Has a Mental or Physical Incapacity

The law also provides for instances where the plaintiff suffers a mental or physical disability that prevents them from pursuing the claim. In such cases, the statute of limitations can be tolled during the period of incapacity, acknowledging the plaintiff's inability to commence legal action.

Defendant Leaves the State of California

When the defendant leaves California after causing the death but before a lawsuit can be initiated, the time they spend outside the state typically doesn't count toward the two-year limit. This provision prevents defendants from escaping justice merely by fleeing the jurisdiction.

Government Claims

Claims against government entities, whether local, state, or federal, have a separate set of rules. These wrongful death claims usually must be filed within six months of the death, significantly shorter than the standard two-year timeline. Given the complexities and unique rules associated with government claims, consulting with a knowledgeable attorney is essential to properly handle your case.

The People Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California

The people who can file a wrongful death claim in california

California law permits specific individuals, primarily the close relatives of the decedent, to file a wrongful death claim. These typically include the decedent's spouse, domestic partner, children, and sometimes, grandchildren if the decedent's children are also deceased.

However, under certain circumstances, the law also extends this right to others financially dependent on the deceased, such as putative spouses, stepchildren, or parents.

Exceptions to the California Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

While the two-year rule is a fundamental cornerstone of California's wrongful death law, there are a few exceptions. For instance, when a wrongful death results from a homicide, the statute of limitations may not apply, allowing the decedent's family to file a lawsuit regardless of when the death occurred.

Understanding these exceptions and determining whether they apply to your case requires a deep knowledge of California's wrongful death law and often the assistance of a seasoned attorney.

Your Attorney's Role in Navigating the Statute of Limitations

The role of an attorney in a wrongful death case extends beyond simply presenting your case in court. An experienced wrongful death attorney can guide you through the legal labyrinth of statutes, rules, and exceptions, ensuring you file your case within the relevant time limits. They can identify if any tolling provisions or exceptions apply, gather essential evidence, and construct a compelling case while you focus on grieving and healing.

Contact Our Omofoma Law Experienced California Wrongful Death Attorney Today

Contact our Omofoma Law experienced California wrongful deaath attorney today

At Omofoma Law, we strive to be more than just legal professionals. We're committed to being compassionate partners, guiding you through one of life's most challenging experiences. We understand that no amount of money can make up for losing your loved one, but seeking justice and accountability can often provide a sense of closure and peace.

If you believe you have a wrongful death claim, please don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Our dedicated and empathetic team will listen to your story, answer your questions, and explain your legal options. Together, we can navigate this complex journey toward seeking justice for your loved one.

Give our team a call today.

What Is Wrongful Death in California and Who Can File a Claim

What is wrongful death in California who can file a claim

In California, wrongful death is defined as a fatal event arising from negligence or wrongful act committed by another individual or entity. It is a harrowing circumstance that brings tremendous pain, leaving the deceased person's family with deep emotional scars, severe financial hardship, and an array of unanswered questions that resonate within their lives.

In these times, Omofoma Law stands as a beacon of support, guiding you through the complex maze of legal processes, ensuring you comprehend your rights fully and know how to exercise them to safeguard your interests and seek justice.

We understand that the process can be confusing for surviving family members. Instead of focusing on a wrongful death suit, you should prioritize remembering the memory of your loved one. Therefore, let us handle your wrongful death case on your behalf. Learn more about filing a wrongful death action below, and give us a call today to schedule a free consultation.

What You Need to Know About California Wrongful Death Claims

A wrongful death claim in the Golden State is fundamentally a civil lawsuit separate from any criminal charges that might be concurrently filed in connection to the death. This distinction is critical as the primary objective of a wrongful death claim is to secure compensation for the deceased's family members or their estate to alleviate the financial burdens caused by their loss.

In the realm of California wrongful death claims, the burden of proof is remarkably lower than that in criminal cases. In the civil lawsuit context, the plaintiff is required to establish their case by a "preponderance of the evidence" rather than the stringent "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard as per the California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) No. 200.

Common Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Common types of wrongful death lawsuits

Wrongful death claims in California can be initiated from diverse situations, each carrying its unique complexities, legal intricacies, and potential compensation. Some of the most common types of wrongful death lawsuits we handle cover the following:

Regardless of the scenario, the undercurrent remains the same — the devastating loss of a loved one as a result of the negligence or wrongful action of another party. We will do everything we can to ensure that we seek justice for your loved one and your family.

California's "One Action Rule" for Wrongful Death Claims

In an effort to streamline legal processes and avoid undue hardship to defendants, California law incorporates what is known as the "One Action Rule." Under this provision, codified in the California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 377.60-377.62, it is stipulated that only one lawsuit may be filed against a defendant in relation to the wrongful death of a person. This rule is purposefully designed to prevent the same defendant from being inundated with multiple lawsuits arising from the same incident, expediting the process and maintaining fairness in the justice system.

Because only one wrongful death lawsuit is able to be filed, you must make sure that you put your case in the best position possible to be successful. That is where our team can help you. By understanding the most important elements of a wrongful death lawsuit, you will have an easier time deciding what you need to do to advocate for the rights and interests of your family.

The Four Elements of a California Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The four elements of a California wrongful death lawsuit

A successful wrongful death claim in California hinges on the plaintiff's ability to establish four crucial elements in the suit. They include:


First, the plaintiff must provide compelling evidence that the death of their loved one resulted from the defendant's negligent, careless, or even reckless behavior. In essence, the defendant's actions must fall below the standard of conduct expected of a reasonably prudent person under the same circumstances. It can be challenging to prove negligence, so you need to work with an attorney with experience in this area.

Breach of Duty (Death of Another Person)

Second, the plaintiff must convincingly demonstrate that the defendant had a duty of care towards the deceased, a responsibility which was subsequently breached through their negligent actions. A duty of care implies a legal obligation to guarantee the safety or well-being of others. For example, a doctor must take care of you if we can prove that you had an appointment scheduled or were otherwise in a formal medical setting.


Third, a direct and unbroken link between the defendant's negligent conduct and the subsequent death of the loved one must be established. This causation element is crucial as it directly attributes the fatal outcome to the defendant's actions, making them legally liable for the wrongful death.


Fourth, the plaintiff is required to substantiate that they suffered real, measurable damages due to the wrongful death. These damages can be economic, such as loss of the deceased's income and funeral expenses, or non-economic, like loss of companionship, love, and moral support. We will work with you to ensure that we maximize the value of your wrongful death lawsuit. Count on our team to help you.

People Who Can File a California Wrongful Death Claim

People who can file a California wrongful death claim

In California, there are several parties who have the legal standing to initiate a wrongful death claim:

Surviving Spouse of the Decedent

In California, several parties have the legal standing to initiate a wrongful death claim:

Decedent's Surviving Child or Children

In addition to the surviving spouse, the deceased person's surviving children, irrespective of their age, have the right to file a wrongful death claim in California.

Dependent Minors Living in the Household

Furthermore, dependent minors who resided in the decedent's household for at least six months prior to the death, and were financially dependent on the decedent for at least half of their support, are also granted the legal right to file a wrongful death claim.

Parents of the Decedent

In the unfortunate scenario where the decedent has left behind neither a surviving spouse nor children, the parents of the deceased are legally permitted to file a wrongful death claim.

Other Heirs

Should there be no surviving spouse, children, or parents, other heirs, such as siblings, grandparents, or even stepchildren who were financially dependent on the departed, may be able to file a wrongful death claim.

Personal Representative of the Deceased's Estate

The personal representative of the deceased's estate, typically appointed through the decedent's will or by a court, can also file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate, pursuing damages for the losses incurred due to the wrongful death.

The Heirs' Entitlement to Punitive Damages

Punitive damages in California are awarded to punish the defendant for their egregious conduct and to deter similar behavior in the future. However, in wrongful death cases, punitive damages are not generally awarded, except in specific circumstances where the defendant's actions were particularly reprehensible or intentional. For more detailed information on this subject, please refer to California Civil Code Section 3294.

How Our Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You With Your Case

How our wrongful death lawyer can help you with your case

At Omofoma Law, our dedication and empathy toward the profound pain that follows the wrongful death of a loved one fuels our commitment to guiding our clients through their legal journey. Our lawyers are more than just legal representatives; we are partners in your quest for justice. Our wrongful death lawyer can help you in the following ways:

With our expertise and relentless commitment to your case, our aim is to let you focus on your emotional healing while we handle the legal burdens, providing you with peace of mind during these challenging times.

Call Omofoma Law to Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Experienced California Wrongful Death Lawyer

Call Omofoma Law to schedule a free consultation

Navigating through the tempestuous waters of a wrongful death claim can be a daunting task, one that you don't have to face alone. We invite you to reach out to Omofoma Law today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our experienced California wrongful death lawyer.

Our team is passionately committed to fighting for justice and securing the compensation you deserve, helping bring some measure of closure and financial stability to your life in these challenging times.

How to Prove Damages in a California Wrongful Death Lawsuit

How to prove damages in a California wrongful death lawsuit

In the heartbreaking aftermath of losing a loved one, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may not be your first thought. However, it's an essential step towards justice and financial recovery for the surviving family members. The process involves understanding the legal provisions, demonstrating liability, and, importantly, proving the damages suffered due to the loss.

At Omofoma Law, we have experience with countless wrongful death cases, and we can also help you prove your wrongful death case. While it can be challenging to prove wrongful death, we can lean on our connections, expertise, and experience to put your wrongful death suit in a position to be successful.

Learn more about what we must do to prove damages in a California wrongful death claim, and contact us to schedule a free consultation.

What You Need to Know About Wrongful Death Lawsuits in California

In California, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action brought against a person or entity believed to have caused someone's death through negligent, reckless, or deliberate actions. Surviving family members or the decedent's estate initiate these lawsuits to recover damages for their emotional and financial losses.

A wrongful death claim is entirely separate from any criminal charges that may be brought against the defendant. It means that even if the accused party is acquitted in a criminal trial, a wrongful death civil suit can still result in a financial judgment against them.

These civil actions are governed by the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60. They provide the legal foundation for recovering various damages, from financial support the deceased would have provided to the emotional pain suffered by the survivors.

Parties Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Parties who can file a wrongful death lawsuit

California law allows several parties to file a wrongful death lawsuit. These primarily include the deceased's immediate family members, such as a surviving spouse, domestic partner, and children. If the deceased didn't leave behind a spouse or children, the decedent's parents or siblings can file a claim. Furthermore, anyone financially dependent on the decedent can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

These parties have legal standing because they're often the ones who suffer the most, both emotionally and financially, from their loved one's untimely passing. Their losses are unique and significant, extending beyond the pain of losing a family member to the potential financial hardships resulting from their death.

The Four Critical Wrongful Death Elements in California

In a wrongful death lawsuit in California, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff, who must establish four key elements:


The first step in proving a wrongful death claim is establishing that the defendant's negligent, reckless, or intentional actions led to the loved one's death. This negligence could range from a momentary lapse in judgment while driving, failure to maintain a safe environment or even a deliberate act of violence.

Breach of Duty

Next, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased. This duty of care varies depending on the relationship between the parties and the circumstances. For example, a motorist must drive safely and follow traffic rules to avoid causing harm to others. If this duty is breached through negligent driving, resulting in death, it could form the basis for a wrongful death claim.


The third element demonstrates a direct link between the defendant's breach of duty and the death of the loved one. This causation must be clear, showing that, but for the defendant's actions, the decedent would not have died. This often requires expert testimony to establish.


Finally, the plaintiff must demonstrate that they incurred measurable damages due to their loved one's death. These damages can be economic, such as medical bills, funeral costs, and loss of income, or non-economic, like pain and suffering and loss of companionship.

Proving Damages in a California Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Proving damages in a California wrongful death lawsuit

One of the most significant aspects of a wrongful death lawsuit is the calculation and proof of damages. This involves a multifaceted approach:

Retaining an Attorney

Before starting the process, retaining an experienced wrongful death attorney is imperative. These professionals have the knowledge and resources to navigate the intricate legal landscape of wrongful death claims. They can help gather crucial evidence, liaise with insurance companies, calculate damages, and represent your interests in court.

Establishing Negligence

Your attorney will undertake a thorough investigation to gather evidence proving the defendant's negligence. This can include eyewitness accounts, police reports, photographs from the scene, video surveillance, and expert testimonies.

Identifying the Responsible Party

Identifying all potentially responsible parties is a critical step. This process may implicate multiple individuals or entities with different insurance policies or resources that could impact the claim.

Documenting Economic Damages

Economic damages provide a quantifiable measure of the financial burdens that descend upon a family following the death of a loved one. The valuation of these damages can be multifaceted and generally encapsulates the following aspects:

A. Medical Expenses and Bills: These include all medical-related costs incurred due to the care provided to the deceased before their demise. This encompasses not only the immediate expenses of treatments such as ambulance charges, hospitalization costs, surgical procedures, and medication costs but also the cost of any long-term care, rehabilitative services, or home care services that may have been needed.

Calculating these costs often necessitates the collection of all relevant medical bills, insurance statements, and receipts associated with medical care.

B. Funeral and Burial Costs: The expenses associated with the final rites of a person can be significant. Funeral and burial costs can include charges for the burial plot or cremation, costs associated with the casket or urn, embalming or cremation fees, costs related to the headstone or memorial marker, funeral director's fees, as well as the costs of the funeral ceremony itself such as venue booking, transportation, and catering services.

Given the cultural significance and personal preferences involved in funerals, these costs can vary widely and need meticulous documentation.

C. Loss of Financial Support and Potential Inheritance: The financial impact of losing a loved one often extends beyond immediate expenses. The deceased may have contributed significantly to the family's income, and the loss of this support can be devastating.

It's important to calculate the future earnings the deceased could have provided had they lived their expected lifespan. This calculation considers several factors, including the deceased's age, health, life expectancy, occupation, skills, and earning potential. It often requires the assistance of financial experts to project future earnings and potential inheritance accurately.

D. Loss of Benefits or Pension: When the deceased was employed or retired, they may have provided the family with additional benefits such as health insurance, life insurance, or a pension. The loss of these benefits can translate to substantial financial challenges for the family.

Quantifying this loss may involve understanding the value of these benefits, estimating their future worth, and considering the cost of replacing such benefits.

Quantifying Non-economic Damages

While economic damages provide a measure of tangible financial losses, non-economic damages offer compensation for the intangible losses or the emotional distress endured by the surviving family members. These can be challenging to quantify due to their subjective nature but are integral to the full representation of the loss suffered:

A. Loss of Companionship and Emotional Distress: The emotional turmoil following losing a loved one is immeasurable. Survivors often grapple with feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and emotional instability. These feelings can adversely affect their ability to function in daily life, impacting their relationships, work, and overall well-being.

Courts recognize this emotional distress and often provide compensation for the loss of love, companionship, comfort, and affection that the deceased provided.

B. Pain and Suffering Experienced by Surviving Family Members: The psychological suffering of the surviving family members can manifest in several ways. They may experience grief, depression, insomnia, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These mental health impacts are considered in a wrongful death claim, recognizing the profound emotional impact of the loss.

C. Loss of Consortium: This applies specifically to the surviving spouse or domestic partner. It acknowledges the deeply personal relationship between partners and the irreplaceable loss suffered by the surviving partner.

Establishing the Deceased's Value

This includes assessing and demonstrating the personal, professional, and financial contributions the deceased made to their family and society:

A. Demonstrating the Deceased's Contributions to the Family: This extends beyond financial support to consider their role in raising children, maintaining the household, and providing emotional support and stability. The deceased may have played a crucial role in caring for children or elderly family members, performing household chores, or making important family decisions. The loss of these contributions can profoundly impact the family's daily life and stability.

B. Income, Support, Guidance, and Companionship: This element seeks to quantify the value of the deceased's financial support, guidance, and companionship. It may involve examining the deceased's past income, their prospects for future income growth, the non-financial support and guidance they provided to their family, and the companionship they offered.

C. Documentation of Income, Tax Records, and Employment History: A careful review of the deceased's income history, tax records, and employment trajectory can substantiate the economic loss suffered by the family. This documentation can help paint a picture of the financial support the deceased would likely have provided.

D. Testimonials From Friends, Family, or Colleagues: These personal anecdotes and reflections can help demonstrate the deceased's value in their personal and professional life.

Calculating Future Losses

Financial experts can help project potential future losses, considering factors like the deceased's future earning potential, possible promotions, inflation, and changes in the market.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death in California

In California, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the loved one's death. This time limit underscores the importance of promptly seeking legal advice after a loved one's death. Failure to file a lawsuit within this period may result in losing the right to legal recourse.

How Our California Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You

At Omofoma Law, we know that money and damages cannot replace the loss of a beloved family member, but we are here to pursue justice on your behalf. For example, a successful wrongful death claim can provide the resources needed to cover bills, maintain your household, and allow you to grieve without financial worry.

Our experienced wrongful death attorney can handle all aspects of your claim, from investigating the circumstances surrounding the death to aggressively advocating for your rights in court. We are dedicated to securing justice for your loved one and the maximum compensation for your loss.

Contact Omofoma Law to Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Experienced California Wrongful Death Lawyer

Contact Omofoma Law to schedule a free consultation

Our commitment is to stand by you during these challenging times, providing compassionate counsel and solid legal representation. Contact Omofoma Law today for a free consultation with our experienced California wrongful death lawyer, and let us discuss your wrongful death action.

We are here to help you navigate this difficult journey and ensure that you and your family are justly compensated.

The Importance of Proving Negligence in a California Wrongful Death Case

The importance of proving negligence in a California wrongful death case

Did you lose a spouse or family member in an accident or other adverse event? Depending on how the fatal injury was inflicted on your family member, you may be able to pursue civil justice if a defendant's negligence caused your loved one's death.

However, not all deaths will qualify as California wrongful death cases. To file wrongful death claims, the decedent's surviving family members have to prove that someone else's negligence caused a victim's death.

Understanding Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case in California

Under California law, negligence can play a role in civil and criminal cases if a defendant's actions or negligent behavior led to her loved one's death. But whereas cases of involuntary manslaughter caused by a defendant's negligence are prosecuted in criminal court (and can result in prison time upon conviction), wrongful death cases filed by wrongful death lawyers are adjudicated in the California civil court system.

It can be quite challenging to prove wrongful death claims. For plaintiffs to prevail in their wrongful death claims, they or their wrongful death attorney must be able to directly link the defendant's negligence to the fatality.

Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California

Elements of a wrongful death lawsuit in California

So, how does one prove a wrongful death occurred? The burden of proof is on the plaintiff's wrongful death attorney to establish the below three legal elements when trying to prove that a defendant failed to use reasonable care to avoid causing a loss of life.


What is negligence in a wrongful death action? To win a California wrongful death case, plaintiffs have a lower burden of proof in civil court than in criminal court. But they must still prove to the court that the defendant acted negligently "by a preponderance of the evidence."

Does that mean that the defendant's negligence was intentional? It might have been, but negligence does not necessarily need to be intentional for the deceased person's surviving family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A defendant's unintentional negligence or reckless, intentional acts can satisfy the threshold of legal negligence in a wrongful death case.

Breach of Duty of Care

Before filing a wrongful death lawsuit, plaintiffs must demonstrate to the court that the defendant owed a duty of care to the person who died when the defendant breached their duty. That can play out in various ways, but we will use two examples where a defendant's breach could generate a wrongful death claim.

If a husband or wife gets killed in a car accident with a drunken driver, a skilled litigator could prove a wrongful death occurred due to the intoxicated motorist's breach of duty to obey traffic laws and drive safely and responsibly. The surviving spouse could be awarded a significant sum to cover any medical expenses incurred by the decedent before they passed away.

Plaintiffs in wrongful death cases can also recover funeral expenses and even future financial support if their families' wage earners die in car accidents caused by a defendant's breach of duty.

The second example is a typical civil claim of medical malpractice in a wrongful death case filed by the deceased patient's surviving family members. If the physician, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider committed a wrongful act in their diagnosis or treatment of the patient or dispensed the wrong medication or dosage, these examples of negligence can lead to winnable wrongful death lawsuits.


Not every collision or adverse medical outcome proves that a defendant breached their legal duty of care to the decedent. Just because your wife, husband, or other loved one died in an accident involving another person does not give you automatic grounds to file wrongful death lawsuits.

To prevail in a wrongful death case, those pursuing legal action must show a clear link between the responsible party's negligence and the decedent's death. That link is called "causation," an essential component of every viable wrongful death claim filed in the California civil court system.


The final element needed when proving the other party's negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit is that any of the damages resulting from the decedent's death were due to the negligent act by the at-fault party.

Damages are essential when filing a personal injury lawsuit or litigating a wrongful death case. But not every plaintiff realizes that damages encompass more than the surviving parties' economic losses.

Any pain and suffering endured by the deceased person after they were injured in the accident or incident but before they passed away can be quantified and calculated. It may seem impossible to price pain and suffering, but the California courts know how to assess these values in wrongful death lawsuits.

Survivors often suffer damages in the form of a loss of emotional and physical support and the financial support they receive. Surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit if their spouse or other loved one is no longer alive to provide them with the love and emotional support they formerly relied upon.

Alternatively, damages from wrongful death lawsuits can arise from losing a spouse's contributions to the upkeep and maintenance of the home and/or childcare duties. Wrongful death settlements are not paid to the deceased person's estate. Instead, the surviving family member receives a portion of the negotiated settlement allotted to them by the insurance company for the responsible party.

Comparative Negligence in California

When wrongful death attorneys discuss comparative negligence, what does that mean? Unlike many of the other states, here in the state of California, litigation follows a doctrine of pure comparative fault. This is a decidedly more liberal fault rule.

Under California law, the negligence of the plaintiff for any contribution (up to 99%) of their fault for the accident that killed them can be used to negate the liability of the at-fault party in medical malpractice cases, car accidents, and even personal injury cases that don't result in death.

Burden of Proof for a Wrongful Death Claim

Burden of proof for a wrongful death claim

The plaintiffs who seek justice by filing a wrongful death lawsuit have the legal duty to bear the burden of proof in wrongful death cases filed in the California civil courts. If they can prove, the defendant is liable for the breach of duty for the wrongful act that killed their loved one, they or their wrongful death lawyer can file a wrongful death claim.

Significance of Proving Negligence in Wrongful Death Cases

Why is proof of negligence so vital in a wrongful death lawsuit? Without this essential component, the surviving spouse or the dependents of the deceased will not prevail in their wrongful death lawsuit. Let's examine further the significance of proof of negligence in these legal matters.

Establishes Liability

If wrongful death attorneys can establish a defendant's liability in a wrongful death lawsuit, the survivors have a clear path to a negotiated settlement or courtroom verdict.

Ensures Just Compensation

Proving negligence opens the door to fair and just compensation for the victim's survivors and loved ones. While unexpected deaths may be tragic, not all will lead to a financial settlement or judgment for those left behind in the wake of their spouse, child, parent, or dependent death.

Fighting for this compensation is important when the survivors will otherwise suffer financially from losing the decedent. This is especially evident in cases where the victim was a primary wage earner for their family. Without the steady revenue source they brought home, their spouse and children could lose their homes if they can no longer pay the mortgage. Their standard of living can drop sharply, further adding to the emotional losses the survivors grapple with.

Holds the Negligent Party Accountable

A wrongful death lawsuit holds the negligent party accountable for the damage they caused, resulting in the loss of life and all subsequent losses suffered by the decedent's survivors. No sum of money can ever truly compensate for the loss resulting from the intentional harm they inflicted or the breach of duty of care they had for the victim.

But a negotiated settlement or judgment handed down by a California court can go a long way toward easing the uncertain future faced by the survivors of the one who died in the accident or the incident of medical malpractice.

Prevent Future Incidents

Holding defendants who had a duty of care to uphold and those who caused intentional harm to the victim responsible for the acts that caused a victim's wrongful death can be a powerful deterrent. It can deter the specific defendant in the case from repeating a similar breach of their duty of care or intentional act. But it also can serve as a powerful lesson to others that they, too, could wind up as defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit if they commit similar acts of negligence.

Types of Evidence To Prove Negligence

Types of evidence to prove negligence

If the victim succumbed to their injuries, they obviously could not testify about the guilt of the defendant being sued in a wrongful death lawsuit. How, then, can negligence be established in these serious cases?

Below are some evidence the California civil courts rely on when determining negligence in a case.

Witness Testimony

Any eyewitnesses to fatal wrecks can be subpoenaed by the personal representative of the decedent's estate to testify to what they saw occur.

Expert Testimony

An attorney for surviving plaintiffs can call experts to the stand who can offer their testimonies regarding the circumstances of the case. Their testimony can carry more weight than eyewitness testimony, which may conflict due to different individuals' perceptions of the same events.

Documentary Evidence

Of all types of evidence used in court to prove liability in wrongful death actions, documentary evidence is the easiest to establish. Documentary evidence is precisely what it sounds like -- proof of documented losses, e.g., ambulance and hospital bills if the decedent survived the initial accident or incident before later passing away from their injuries.

Funeral or cremation costs and other final expenses of the deceased are other examples of documentary evidence that can be used in a case of wrongful death that is filed within the California statute of limitations, which is typically two years from the date of the incident or accident that claimed the victim's life.

What happens when the lawsuit for wrongful death is not filed within the two-year statute of limitations? Unfortunately, with very few exemptions, plaintiffs lose all rights to pursue compensation if the statute of limitations has passed.

How Our California Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You

Wrongful death cases are complex to litigate. Most survivors require the services of a skilled and knowledgeable attorney dedicated to seeking justice for those left behind in the wake of their loved one's untimely demise due to the negligence of the liable party.

Speak With Our California Wrongful Death Lawyer at Omofoma Law for a Case Evaluation Today

Speak with our California wrongful death lawyer at Omofoma Law

At Omofoma Law, we offer clients a free consultation for personal injury and wrongful death cases. Unless you win, you owe nothing. Call (213) 455-4050 to learn how we can help.

How to Choose the Right California Wrongful Death Lawyer for Your Case

How to choose the right California wrongful death lawyer for your csae

When surviving family members choose legal representation in wrongful death cases, the wrongful death attorney and/or law firm must be a good fit. These are some of California civil law courts' most traumatic and emotionally fraught legal issues.

Retaining the right lawyer is vital when choosing which attorneys will represent the survivors of the deceased. You want to feel comfortable discussing sensitive matters with the legal team prosecuting your wrongful death case. Also, not all law firms that practice personal injury law have the experience and tenacity to win a wrongful death suit against a liable defendant.

Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits in California

Understanding wrongful death lawsuits in california

When a loved one dies, it is very common for the survivors to seek someone on whom to place blame for the loss of their family member or spouse. Wrongful deaths often arise from fatal car wrecks or incidents of medical malpractice.

But to force an insurance company to cover the decedent's medical bills and final expenses, these cases must first meet certain criteria.

Elements of Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Wrongful death attorneys must first determine that the following elements are present before filing a wrongful death suit against a liable defendant:

California wrongful death laws may appear to be cut and dried, but these cases are far more nuanced than many personal injury law cases. They require handling by a law firm with experience negotiating and litigating these cases with insurance companies and in the California civil law courts.

Process of Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California

Process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit

Where do survivors start when filing wrongful death claims here in California? Under the California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60, the following relatives and/or their personal representatives can file a claim of wrongful death:

Once that has been clarified, it is time to seek a law firm that is a good fit for the survivors to file legal claims of wrongful death.

Importance of Choosing the Right California Wrongful Death Lawyer for You

Working with the right wrongful death attorney is very important. These cases tend to be very emotional to the vulnerable surviving family members who typically are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of their loved ones. You should feel comfortable with the wrongful death law firm you retain to represent your interests in a wrongful death claim.

Determining Whether You Have a Case

Suppose you decide to pursue justice for a wrongful death case. In that case, the first order of business is finding a California wrongful death attorney who can review the circumstances of the car accident or other incident that claimed your family member's life.

Wrongful death lawyers examine evidence like police reports describing the events that led to the person's death. Your wrongful death attorney should be compassionate but unclouded by emotion so they can discern whether a wrongful death lawsuit is the appropriate course of legal action to take.

Here's how that might play out. It could be appropriate for the survivors to file a wrongful death lawsuit if their loved one would have been able to retain a personal injury attorney to litigate a personal injury claim if they had been injured but survived.

Explaining Your Legal Rights

Under California law, only certain survivors have the right to seek restitution in wrongful death cases. A California wrongful death attorney can examine your relationship with the deceased person and inform you whether or not you have the right to proceed with legal action in the case.

Gathering Evidence to Support the Wrongful Death Claim

Without the proper evidence to support your claim of your loved one's wrongful death, even the best law firms won't recover fair compensation for the deceased person's survivors.

As in a personal injury case, witness statements can be critical if the case fails to settle and will go to trial on its merits. Witness statements can bolster cases involving medical malpractice or auto accident fatalities.

Proving the Chain of Causation in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Similar to the way a personal injury lawyer connects the dots between a defendant's negligence or breach of their duty of care and the victim's injuries, the legal process in cases of wrongful death must prove a solid chain of causation linking the negligence or breach to the resulting death of the survivors' loved one.

Calculating Damages for Wrongful Death Claims

Most people without legal training don't know how the damages are calculated in cases where a defendant's negligent actions led to the victim's death in car accidents or other misadventures.

There are two primary types of damages survivors can seek in California wrongful death lawsuits:

It should be noted that in 2022, the damages that plaintiffs can seek expanded to include monetary value for the suffering, pain, and/or the disfigurement of the plaintiff after the accident but before their demise.

Providing Effective Courtroom Representation

Do you know that most personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits never see the inside of a courtroom? Most cases settle out of court through a series of negotiations between the lawyers for the plaintiffs and those representing the defendant's insurance company.

But selecting the right attorney to hold the responsible party liable for the losses and damages they cause means choosing a lawyer who is as comfortable litigating a case in the courtroom before a judge or jury as they are at the negotiation table. Not every attorney has sufficient experience as a trial lawyer to win their clients' wrongful death cases.

Tips for Choosing the Most Effective California Wrongful Death Lawyer

Tips for choosing the most effective California wrongful death lawyer

With all this information out there, distraught clients' heads can be swimming even as they experience the stages of grief that occur after the death of a loved one. They may even be coping with a serious injury if they were involved in the same accident that claimed their loved one's life.

The following tips can help you find the best legal team to assist you through the worst experience of your life.

Research Wrongful Death Lawyers in Your Area

Just as when selecting a personal injury law firm, you want to do your due diligence and choose an attorney with a stellar reputation litigating these types of cases.

Check Their Qualifications and Experience

Potential clients should be encouraged to contact the California State Bar Association to determine whether the attorneys they plan to retain have any past or pending bar complaints or legal censures from prior cases they took on.

While it is not necessarily a deal-breaker to retain an attorney who has only a few years of experience litigating cases (after all, everyone has to start somewhere, and these attorneys can be hungry for experience and willing to pull out all the stops to win), there is no substitute for a seasoned litigator on your side when you go to court for trial.

Look At Their Track Records

Confident attorneys will encourage potential clients to examine their track record representing past clients with similar cases. Ask, too, what percentage of cases they have won and lost.

All lawyers eventually lose cases, so beware of any lawyers who try to guarantee they will prevail in court. Some cases are far more winnable than others, but when it comes to judges and juries, there are never guaranteed wins, no matter the lawyer's track record. Each case must be won on its own merits.

Know What Questions to Ask

Every lawyer you approach with your potential case should be willing to answer your questions about the case itself and the likelihood of your prevailing should the matter not settle readily.

Lawyers with excellent reputations are picky about the cases they accept from their clients. They may take on more complex cases because they have access to expert witnesses who can help them prove their clients' cases should the lawsuits have to go to trial. Not every wrongful death and personal injury lawyer is comfortable as a litigator, so ask them how many cases they have personally tried and won instead of just settling out of court.

Understand Their Fee Structure

A personal injury lawyer typically will work on a contingency fee, meaning their clients do not have to pay any money upfront. On a contingency basis, clients will only owe their lawyers a portion of their settlement or judgment funds if they win. If they lose, both they and their lawyers walk away with nothing.

But if you and the personal injury lawyer agree to work on a contingency fee basis, understand that they will usually receive a more significant portion of your eventual judgment if the case doesn't settle and instead is won in court.

Consider Their Communication Style and Approach

During your free consultation with the lawyer, explore how well you fit with how they communicate with you and their approach to your case. If you feel that a lawyer is too formal or informal for your taste, set up other free consultations with other lawyers in the area

Contact Omofoma Law Today to Speak With our Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer in California

Contact Omofoma Law today

At Omofoma Law, we offer free consultations with a seasoned attorney who can assess and evaluate your case and recommend a course of action. We are committed to holding the at-fault party liable for your loved one's untimely demise.

Call (213) 455-4050 to learn more.

Common Misconceptions About Wrongful Death Cases in California

Common misconception about wrongful death cases in California

Losing a loved one is devastating, and the days ahead can be challenging in many ways. While you need time to grieve, you will also have to attend to details such as funeral arrangements, the paying of medical bills, and more. If the death resulted from some negligence on the part of another, you may also want to consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Misconceptions often surround wrongful death claims, and you may feel confused about whether it is the right action. If so, the California wrongful death lawyer with Omofoma Law can help you understand when filing such a lawsuit is recommended and dispel the most common myths about these cases.

How Our Wrongful Death Attorney Can Guide You Through Your Wrongful Death Claims

How our wrongful death attorney can guide you through your wrongful death claims

At a time when grief and financial uncertainty can be overwhelming, seeking the legal advice and guidance of our wrongful death attorney will be beneficial. We will first evaluate your case to determine whether you should continue with a claim and, if so, what steps will be necessary.

Our wrongful death attorney can guide you through the claims process, explaining each of those steps along the way. This type of case often involves unique challenges and can be complex. Your attorney, knowledgeable in California wrongful death law, will conduct an investigation, compile evidence, establish liability, and build a strong case on your behalf.

In addition, our legal team will calculate damages to seek for the loss of your family member. These calculations will consider factors such as the decedent's life expectancy and the total economic losses resulting from the untimely death. Entering negotiations for a fair settlement will occur next, and if no fair amount can be agreed to, your attorney will diligently represent you in court.

What You Need to Know About "Wrongful Death" in California

When your loved one's death results from either an intentional or accidental act in California, filing a wrongful death claim can help you avoid undue financial hardship and seek justice for your family member.

A wrongful death occurs when an individual dies due to some form of misconduct by another. This other can be a person or an entity. Examples of cases involving wrongful death in California include:

Most Prevalent Myths About Wrongful Death Cases in California

Most prevalent myths about wrongful death cases in California

Questions surrounding filing wrongful death claims in California are often mired in myth and misconception. Below we dispel these prevalent myths.

A Wrongful Death Claim Can Only Be Filed by Immediate Family Members

California law outlines who can file a wrongful death claim. While immediate family members have “first priority to file” such a lawsuit, other relatives and individuals can also do so. Those who can file in California first include:

Additional parties that may be able to file include:

If you are unsure if you fit into the categories allowed to file a wrongful death claim, consult an attorney to determine your eligibility.

You Should Not Assign Blame to Anybody in an Accident

While assigning blame in an accident will not bring your loved one back, it is essential in cases where death occurs due to someone else's negligence. Even if you initially believe no malice occurred, exploring the circumstances surrounding the death is imperative to ensure negligence was not involved.

Filing This Lawsuit is What Greedy People Do

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit and seeking monetary damages can appear to some as a way to profit from the death of a loved one, thus causing many to hesitate in taking action. However, doing so is not a greedy act but a legitimate action to take when negligence is shown to be involved. As such, you can legally seek compensation to help your family.

Wrongful Death Claims are Straightforward

Wrongful death claims are rarely straightforward. Instead, they are complex, with the need for the claimant to prove that the other party was negligent in some way and this negligence led to the death of their loved one. In addition, the claimant will have to show that they suffered damages. These cases can become even more complicated when the other party claims that the decedent was partially or wholly responsible for their own demise.

The Procedure Can Be Drawn-Out

When a lawsuit is drawn out, the claimant can grow tired and disheartened with the process. However, an attorney specializing in these cases can aid a wrongful death claim, decreasing the time it takes to reach a fair settlement or court award.

Wrongful Death Claims Only Apply to Deaths Due to Accidents

While many wrongful death claims arise from accidents, such as car crashes or workplace injuries, they can also be for incidences of medical malpractice, intentional or criminal acts, or product defects.

You Do Not Need to File a Wrongful Death Claim if You Are Already Receiving Life Insurance Benefits

You do not need to file a wrongful death claim if you are already receiving life insurance benefits

Your loved one may have life insurance, and you now receive those benefits. While many believe you do not need to file a wrongful death claim because you already receive life insurance benefits, that is untrue. In many cases, it is imperative that you do. 

While you are in a better financial position due to these benefits, at least temporarily, they usually come in a lump sum, and this lump sum fails to take into account additional losses. Such losses include outstanding medical bills, lost wages and benefits of the decedent, and more. Filing a wrongful death claim will be necessary to obtain compensation to cover these losses.

You Are Not Qualified to Bring a Wrongful Death Claim

If you think you are not qualified to bring a wrongful death claim or someone tells you so, consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Immediate family members are not the only ones who qualify for filing in California.

A Wrongful Death Lawsuit is the Same as a Criminal Homicide Case

A wrongful death lawsuit is not the same as a criminal homicide case. While both can result from one event or act, there are distinct differences. These differences include the following.

You Can Hire a Lawyer Anytime for Your Wrongful Death Claim

You can hire a lawyer anytime for your wrongful death claim

Hesitating to hire a lawyer for your wrongful death claim can damage the outcome of your claim. By seeking legal help as early as possible, you can start with a strong case and have competent representation throughout the process. Your attorney can investigate, compile evidence, and keep track of deadlines under the California statute of limitations.

Damages and Compensation in California Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death lawsuits seek damages and compensation for surviving family members of the decedent. Such compensation in California can be for economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages include those that can be assigned a monetary value. These most often include the following:

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more challenging to calculate or assign a monetary value as they are not tangible. For such damages, the claimant may be able to seek compensation for any or all of the following:

Punitive Damages

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one, you may also be able to seek punitive damages. Such circumstances include intentional or egregious conduct on behalf of the defendant. The award of punitive damages is to punish the other party for their misconduct and serve as a further deterrent to acting in such ways in the future.

However, there are two main complications to obtaining punitive damages. First, your legal team will need to prove that the defendant acted in a way that involved malice, fraud, or oppression and that this wrongful act led to the individual's death. Secondly, a calculation of punitive damages will need to be made. This calculation is a complicated process and can include factors such as the misconduct's severity and the defendant's financial condition.

To learn more, seek the legal advice of a dedicated wrongful death lawyer to determine if you are eligible for punitive damages and, if so, how to prove the factors required for the award.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in California

To file a wrongful death lawsuit, which is a civil action, claimants must follow strict filing deadlines or risk losing their legal rights to do so for the loss of their loved one.

California's statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the individual's death. Failing to file within this timeframe can mean your claim will be denied entirely. There are a few exceptions; however, that may allow a different filing timeframe, but you will need to work with an attorney to determine if your case qualifies.

It takes time to build a strong wrongful death case. The sooner you consult with an experienced California attorney, the sooner you can start building your case, including compiling evidence, and protect your right to file your lawsuit without missing the state deadline.

Reach Out to Omofoma Law to Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Trusted California Wrongful Death Lawyer

Reach out to Omofoma Law to schedule a free consultation

If you have suffered the loss of a family member and believe you may be able to seek a wrongful death claim, reach out to the law offices of Omofoma Law. Our trusted California wrongful death lawyer will review your case, discuss your legal options, and begin building a solid case on your behalf.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

California Car Accident Laws: What You Need to Know

California car accident laws_ what you need to know

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be complex and stressful. Understanding California car accident laws can help you make informed decisions about your legal rights and options.

We are Omofoma Law and are here to represent car accident victims following a serious car crash. Learn more about how a California personal injury lawyer from our law firm can help you, and contact us to discuss filing a claim with your car insurance company or a personal injury lawsuit.

California Car Accident Law

There are a lot of specific laws that come into play regarding not only who California Highway Patrol or a law enforcement officer decides is at fault for the accident but also how damages might be awarded. Some of the specifics to keep in mind include: 

Comparative Negligence System

California follows the principle of comparative negligence in car accident cases. Under this system, each party's liability is based on their percentage of fault in causing the accident (California Civil Code 1714). Even if you are partially at fault, you can still seek compensation. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Statute of Limitations for Filing Car Accident Claims

In California, you generally have two years to file a claim from the date of the accident (California Code of Civil Procedure 335.1). You could lose your right to pursue compensation if you miss this deadline.

Determining Liability in California Car Accidents

Determining liability in California car accidents

Liability in car accidents refers to who is legally responsible for the damages caused by the collision. In California, liability is primarily determined based on the concept of "negligence" or "fault." Here's a closer look at the various aspects involved in determining liability:

Negligence and Fault

Negligence refers to a lack of care on the roads compared to that of a typical driver. The concept of negligence is pivotal in determining fault in car accident cases. It is dictated by principal such as duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.

Factors Considered in Determining Fault

While establishing negligence, courts consider several factors:

Role of Police Reports and Eyewitness Testimonies

Third-party accounts of the accident can be instrumental in establishing fault. Law enforcement officers who respond to the scene compile a report detailing the accident. This report can include the officer's observations, statements from those involved and witnesses, diagrams of the scene, and sometimes even the officer's opinion on who was at fault.

In addition, witnesses can provide an objective perspective of the accident, helping to corroborate or refute statements by the involved parties. Their testimonies can be crucial evidence in court.

Contributory Negligence and Its Impact on Compensation

California follows the "pure comparative negligence" rule. This means if you're found partially at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced proportionately.

If both parties share fault, each party's compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For instance, if you were 20% at fault, you could recover 80% of your damages.

Mandatory Reporting and Insurance Requirements

Mandatory reporting and insurance requirements

Following a car accident, California law requires certain reporting and insurance obligations.

Reporting Car Accidents to Law Enforcement

California law requires you to report a car accident to the police if it results in an injury, a fatality, or damage to property exceeding $1,000 (California Vehicle Code 16000).

Reporting Car Accidents to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

You must also report a car accident to the DMV within ten days if it results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 (California Vehicle Code 16000).

Minimum Insurance Requirements for California Drivers

California requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance to cover damages caused by car accidents. The minimum requirements are $15,000 for injury or death to one person, $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person, and $5,000 for property damage (California Vehicle Code 16056).

Special Considerations in California Car Accident Laws

Certain scenarios necessitate special considerations under California car accident laws:

Car Accidents Involving Government Entities

If you're involved in an accident with a government vehicle, the claim filing process differs and generally has a shorter timeline. You typically have six months from the date of the accident to file a claim (California Government Code 911.2).

Car Accidents Involving Commercial Vehicles

Accidents involving commercial vehicles can be complex due to the potential involvement of various parties, including drivers, vehicle owners, and employers. Multiple parties could be held liable, including the company that performs maintenance, the company that manufactured the vehicle, and the company responsible for hiring the driver. We will conduct a full investigation to ensure that anyone liable is held responsible.

Car Accidents With Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers

If you're involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, your own insurance policy may cover your losses, depending on its terms. It depends on the specific nature of your insurance policy, so take a closer look at your policy and reach out to your insurance company if you have any questions. 

Steps To Take After a Car Accident in California

Steps to take after a car accident in California

Car accidents are stressful and often traumatic. However, your actions in the immediate aftermath can significantly impact your ability to claim compensation later on. If you find yourself involved in a car accident in California, it's crucial to follow these steps:

Ensuring Personal Safety and Seeking Medical Attention

Your first and foremost concern should be the safety and well-being of all involved parties.

Gathering Evidence at the Accident Scene

Evidence collected from the accident scene can significantly strengthen your claim. When safe to do so:

Reporting the Accident to the Insurance Company

Promptly reporting the accident to your insurance company is critical.

Seeking Legal Advice if Necessary

In cases involving serious injuries, significant property damage, or complex legal issues, it's wise to seek legal counsel.

Remember, the immediate aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming, but taking these steps can protect your rights and provide a foundation for a successful claim if necessary.

Compensation and Damages in Car Accident Cases

When pursuing compensation in a car accident case, the aim is to make the injured party 'whole' again or restore them as closely as possible to their state before the accident.

Damages, the legal term for the money awarded to the injured party, fall broadly into three categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Each category serves a unique purpose and covers different types of losses.

Economic Damages

Economic damages compensate for financial losses directly resulting from the accident. They're quantifiable and are typically substantiated by bills, receipts, and wage statements. Economic damages include:

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are awarded for non-tangible, often subjective, losses from the accident. They're harder to quantify than economic damages but are nonetheless important. Non-economic damages may cover the following:

Punitive Damages

These damages aren't typically awarded to compensate for a loss. Instead, they're designed to punish the at-fault party for particularly reckless or malicious behavior and deter others from similar conduct. Punitive damages are not awarded in every case and are typically reserved for situations where the defendant's actions were egregiously negligent or intentionally harmful.

In California, punitive damages are governed by Civil Code section 3294, which allows punitive damages "for the sake of example and by way of punishing the defendant." The decision to award punitive damages and the amount to award is at the jury's discretion.

What Your California Car Accident Lawyer Can Do for You

What your car accident lawyer can do for you

Car accidents often result in a whirlwind of chaos and confusion. Hiring a skilled car accident lawyer can provide much-needed clarity and peace of mind. They're experienced in handling these types of cases and can navigate the complex legal landscape on your behalf. Here are some specific ways a California car accident lawyer can assist you:

Remember, an experienced car accident lawyer is your advocate. Their goal is to help you secure the compensation you deserve while allowing you to focus on your recovery.

Schedule an Initial Consultation With Our California Car Accident Lawyer at Omofoma Law Today

Schedule an initial consultation with our California car accident lawyer

If you're involved in a car accident, contact Omofoma Law to schedule an initial consultation. We'll guide you through the complex legal landscape, providing compassionate and effective legal representation every step of the way.

Give us a call today.

California Wrongful Death Laws and Your Rights

California wrongful death laws and your rights

Losing a loved one due to someone else's negligence or intentional actions is tragic and devastating. To address such cases, California has specific laws regarding wrongful death claims, aiming to provide recourse for the surviving family members. Understanding these laws and your rights is crucial during this difficult time.

Wrongful death refers to a death resulting in the wrongful act or negligence of another person or entity. Under California law, certain family members or individuals who were financially dependent on the deceased are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. When pursuing a wrongful death claim in California, it is essential to establish the duty or legal obligations that the responsible party owed to the deceased.

If successful, the surviving family members may be qualified for various types of compensation, including economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

California Wrongful Death Laws

California wrongful death laws

Wrongful death laws in California provide comprehensive statutes that explain how a family member may file a wrongful death lawsuit, who may pursue action under the wrongful death laws, and which surviving family members may benefit from a wrongful death award in California.

Statutory Framework

The statutory framework for the California wrongful death statute is found in the California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. The statute was recently modernized when the governor signed AB35. The bill may seem to relate to medical malpractice cases, but it also increased the cap on wrongful death claims. 

People Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit

The state strictly limits who may file a wrongful death lawsuit in California. Surviving family members or the personal representatives of the eligible persons who may file a California wrongful death claim include: 

Intestate succession includes any person who is "legally entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession." 

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations to file wrongful death claims in California is two years. The two years start with the date of the victim's death, not when a person files a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Common Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Common types of wrongful death lawsuits

There are several common types of wrongful death lawsuits in California. Many people are likely to think of wrongful deaths due to car accidents or other types of motor vehicle accidents. These are not the only type of wrongful death cases.

Medical Malpractice 

Medical malpractice occurs when a physician, a dentist, a nurse, or another health professional commits errors such as a failure to diagnose, failure to treat the patient, or providing the wrong treatment. 

Multiple healthcare providers can be held liable in wrongful death cases. 

Homicide or Other Intentional Killing 

Homicides resulting from criminal acts such as shootings, stabbings, domestic violence, or other acts can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.

Motor Vehicle Crashes 

The California Traffic Safety Fast Stats show a significant increase in the number of traffic fatalities in 2021 compared to the number of traffic-related fatalities in 2020. People who get behind the wheel of a car after drinking or using drugs or who violate traffic signals or signs may cause the wrongful death of an innocent person or persons because of their negligence. 

Truck drivers who cannot stop or who make improper turns because they are speeding, may take the life of another motorist or their passengers. The eligible family member may file a lawsuit against the truck driver or the trucking company that employs the driver who caused the wrongful death. 

Supervised Activities and Facilities Negligence 

Activities at daycare centers and schools, such as when students participate in field trips or classroom activities, may lead to a wrongful death when negligence is involved that causes the death. 

Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other care facilities are responsible for providing proper care, supervision, and a safe environment for residents. Negligence or a wrongful act sometimes leads to filing a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Four Elements in a California Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The systematic approach to proving a wrongful death claim in California, based on the negligence or the willful intent of another, consists of four elements. 


Negligence involves failing to act reasonably or by the standard of care. It is often cited as a factor in medical malpractice wrongful death cases but is a factor in other California wrongful death claims. The plaintiff asserts that a medical professional was negligent because they failed to act within the standard of care or failed to act in a reasonable manner, which in turn, caused the death of their deceased loved one.

The defendant was obliged to exercise a duty of care towards the deceased that would have prevented the harm that caused their death.

Breach of Duty

Once it is determined that the defendant legally owed a duty of care to the departed person, a breach of duty must be established to prove a wrongful death suit. 

A breach of a legal duty of care is an action or any omission of a type of action that any other reasonable person would not have committed, such as failure to act to treat a patient. Another example is committing a negligent act that causes the death of another, such as speeding through a red light or causing a car accident that results in a wrongful death. 

Proving Causation

Wrongful death lawyers who provide legal representation for the plaintiff know that they must prove causation to have a successful wrongful death claim. The plaintiff must prove that, but for the defendant's negligence or intentional wrongful act, the decedent's death would not have occurred at that time. 

Family members do not have to prove that the defendant intended to prove their loved one's death. They only must show that the defendant's negligence caused the death of their loved one.


The fourth element required in a California wrongful death case is proving that the wrongful death resulted in real, quantifiable damages. The damages may be financial, economic damages, non-financial or non-economic losses. 

Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Legal Process

Wrongful death lawsuits and legal process

The surviving spouse, legal children, legal representative, or other persons eligible to bring a wrongful death lawsuit cannot bring more than one suit. California law requires that the eligible heirs of a wrongful death lawsuit are joined together to bring a single wrongful death action. The "one action rule" avoids having inconsistent results that may occur in multiple lawsuits.

Speaking to an experienced, caring attorney to file the lawsuit is the first step toward pursuing compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one. The qualified wrongful death attorneys at Omofoma Law know that while the standard of proof in a criminal case is to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant's liability only needs to be proved by a preponderance of the evidence in most civil cases. 

Collect your evidence, including any medical reports, police reports, witness statements, statements made by medical professionals, or other documentation. Give the information to your attorney. 

Once your lawyer files a wrongful death case, the at-fault party or parties must answer or respond to you. Once the answer is filed, the next step is the discovery process. The court may automatically rule in your favor if the defendant does not respond.  

The discovery process is a legal process where both the plaintiff and the defendant's legal team lay out their evidence to support their position in the case. Both sides can interview witnesses in a deposition, after which the plaintiff and defendant decide whether to settle the case or go to trial.

A judge or jury will resolve whether the plaintiff or plaintiffs should recover damages. They also decide on an award amount. 

Damages You May Receive Under a California Wrongful Death Claim

Damages you may receive under a wrongful death claim

Plaintiffs who prevail in their California wrongful death lawsuit may receive different types of damages. The amount of damages awarded varies with each wrongful death case. 

Economic Damages

Economic damages are an award provided to compensate for the quantifiable or actual losses that have occurred because of the decedent's unexpected death. Examples of economic losses include: 

Loss of income includes any financial support that the deceased would have provided throughout their normal lifetime. 

Funeral and burial expenses include an award for all reasonable costs related to planning a funeral, the service, cemetery plot or cremation costs, and burial costs. 

Loss of inheritance includes the loss of gifts or benefits that the eligible heirs would have been expected to receive if not for the decedent's unexpected death.

The reasonable dollar amount for household services includes things like the costs of cleaning or running the household, which may require the costs of an outside service because of the loved one's death. 

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages compensate the heirs for non-tangible losses that the heirs experience because of the death of their loved one. An interesting note is that while pain and suffering are typically considered in non-economic damages awards, it was not considered in a California wrongful death claim until 2022. The plaintiffs may also receive an award for the pain, suffering, or disfigurement that the deceased loved one suffered before their death. 

These damages also include loss of affection, loss of moral support, loss of companionship, and loss of consortium.   

Punitive Damages

California does not consider punitive damages when awarding damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. The exception is if the deceased family member died because of a felony homicide and the defendant has been convicted of the homicide. 

Some heirs do successfully claim punitive damages through a survival action. A wrongful death action compensates the family members for their losses, while a survival action allows the heirs to file a claim on behalf of the decedent's estate. 

An Experienced Omofoma Law California Wrongful Death Lawyer Knows How to Prove Wrongful Death | Call Us Today!

An experienced Omofoma Law California wrongful death lawyer

The experienced wrongful death lawyers at Omofoma Law know that no amount of money will compensate you for the devastating loss of your loved one. Our skilled attorneys can help your grieving family members seek financial relief through an award for damages and a sense that you successfully received justice for your loved one's death. 

We understand the financial and emotional suffering that you are going through because of the unexpected loss of your loved one. You need an experienced wrongful death attorney who will stand by your family if you have a case under California wrongful death law.

Call us today for a free consultation. We are here for you.