Hawthorne Wrongful Death Attorney

Hawthorne Wrongful Death Lawyer

Whenever one party’s actions result in harm to another party in Hawthorne, CA this can form the foundation of a personal injury claim. The purpose of a personal injury suit is for the victim of another party’s negligence or misconduct to hold that party accountable for the consequences of their actions and to secure recompense for the victim’s losses. However, if the victim does not survive, their loved ones will be compelled to file a wrongful death suit against the party responsible for causing the death.

Compassionate Legal Representation for Wrongful Death Suits in Hawthorne, CA

While a wrongful death suit can effectively replace a personal injury claim when a victim does not survive their experience, there are special rules that apply to wrongful death cases that you must understand before attempting this type of case. Additionally, the emotional strain of losing someone you love unexpectedly is never easy, and the frustration that comes with knowing the death was the result of another party’s actions can make the situation even more unbearable for the surviving family of the deceased.

McLachlan Law, APC, is a seasoned team of attorneys with years of experience handling all types of personal injury cases in Hawthorne, and we also have a record of many successful wrongful death claims behind us. We know the various legal challenges you could encounter as you seek accountability and compensation for the unexpected death in your family, and we know how to build a compelling civil suit for you. The sooner you connect with our firm, the sooner we can start building a comprehensive wrongful death claim against the party responsible for your loved one’s fatal injury.

Hawthorne Wrongful Death Attorney

Why You Need to Hire a Hawthorne Wrongful Death Attorney

It is technically possible to file a wrongful death suit without an attorney. Many people, unfortunately, believe that legal counsel is too expensive in these situations and that they should handle their cases on their own. However, do not make the mistake of assuming that legal representation is prohibitively expensive and out of reach. The right attorney is more accessible than you may think, and their representation can make a tremendous impact on the outcome of your impending wrongful death suit.

Your legal team can build your case for you. Your Hawthorne wrongful death attorney can keep you updated on the progress of your case and assist you in compiling the most compelling case possible. You are not only more likely to win a wrongful death suit with an attorney’s assistance, but you are also more likely to maximize the total compensation you secure from the defendant.

Ultimately, every wrongful death case in Hawthorne is unique, but no matter how your wrongful death claim arose, you are far more likely to reach a positive outcome when you have an experienced legal team on your side. McLachlan Law, APC, can help you meet the procedural requirements of your case, uncover every channel of compensation available to you and your family, and guide you through the process of holding the defendant accountable as efficiently as possible.

Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths

The first step in filing any wrongful death claim is determining the exact cause of the death and identifying the party responsible for causing it. A few of the most commonly cited causes of wrongful death claims in Hawthorne include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents. Car accidents are a leading cause of accidental injury and death in the United States each year. Truck accidents, though less common than car accidents, are easily capable of inflicting tremendous harm on multiple victims due to the size of these large commercial vehicles. Motorcycle accidents are rare but have a very high chance of resulting in fatal injuries due to the lack of safety features on most motorcycles. If your loved one died in any type of vehicle accident caused by another driver, a Hawthorne wrongful death attorney can help navigate any insurance-related issues following the accident and build a compelling civil suit against the at-fault driver.
  • Premises liability. All property owners have a legal responsibility to ensure their properties are safe for all lawful visitors and guests. If your loved one died in a slip and fall accident or some other incident on private property because the property owner failed to meet their legal obligations, this can form the basis of a wrongful death suit under California’s premises liability laws.
  • Defective products. Product manufacturers can face liability for personal injuries or fatalities their products cause if those products are found to be defective or unreasonably dangerous through the normal intended use of the products.
  • Criminal acts. Unfortunately, the state has a very high violent crime rate. It is also possible for willful criminal acts to result in fatal injuries, even if the perpetrators did not intend to harm anyone. The most common example of this is driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. Violent crimes like assault and armed robbery could also lead to fatal injuries. If your loved one died from any criminal misconduct, your Hawthorne wrongful death attorney can help you understand how the illegal nature of the defendant’s behavior could impact your family’s recovery efforts.

These are just a few examples of how wrongful deaths might happen in the Hawthorne area. If you are unsure whether you may have grounds to file a wrongful death suit, the determining factor is whether the death resulted from another party’s actions. If so, you likely could file a wrongful death suit against them.

Building Your Wrongful Death Suit in Hawthorne

To succeed with a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must identify the party responsible for causing the death and prove the full scope of damages the surviving family incurred from the death. Once you have determined the cause of your loved one’s death and identified the party responsible for causing it, your attorney can then assist you in compiling your case. However, you must meet a few statutory requirements under California law.

The state’s wrongful death statutes allow the beneficiaries of the deceased to file a wrongful death suit. The right to file will typically fall to the surviving spouse of the deceased, followed by their surviving children and then any next of kin. If the deceased had any type of estate plan in which they named a personal representative, this individual would have the primary right to file a wrongful death suit. Otherwise, the intestate succession law of California applies to determining the right to file suit.

Claimable Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

The damages available in a wrongful death claim are different from those available in a personal injury claim. While a personal injury case seeks compensation for the victim’s losses, a wrongful death claim aims to compensate the family of the victim. Under state law, the plaintiff in a wrongful death suit has the right to claim:

  • Funeral and burial expenses for the deceased.
  • Lost income the deceased provided to their family, including lost future financial support they could have continued to provide had they survived. This also applies to the lost value of household services that the deceased provided to their family.
  • Compensation for the pain and suffering of the family. The surviving spouse can seek compensation for loss of affection and consortium, and the surviving children and other close relatives of the deceased can seek compensation for lost guidance, moral support, and companionship.

It is possible for the family of the victim to be able to file a survival action if the estate of the deceased incurred losses before the death. For example, if the defendant caused a fatal injury but the victim did not die immediately, they likely incurred medical expenses and other losses that could be sought with a survival action. Filing a survival action is also the only method for recovering punitive damages for wrongful death in the event the death resulted from illegal activity.

Ultimately, you may have grounds to claim more compensation than you initially anticipated, and the right attorney is the ideal asset to have on your side for maximizing your family’s recovery. McLachlan Law, APC, approaches every wrongful death suit we accept with the goal of helping our client recover as fully as possible in the most efficient manner possible. We know the emotional and legal challenges you are likely to face in your impending case, and our goal is to help you recover as fully as state law allows.


Q: How Much Time Do I Have to Start My Wrongful Death Claim in Hawthorne?

A: If you intend to file a wrongful death suit, you must do so within the statute of limitations or time limit for filing this type of civil case. In California, you have two years from the date of the death to make a wrongful death claim against the party responsible for the death. The average person might think this is more than enough time, but remember that you will need to gather evidence to prove liability and to establish the full range of damages the defendant caused. It’s advisable to consult a Hawthorne wrongful death attorney as soon as possible once you ascertain that your loved one died due to the actions of another party.

Q: How Much Is a Wrongful Death Claim Worth?

A: The state’s wrongful death statutes enable the beneficiaries of a deceased individual to claim compensation for the pain and suffering they experienced from the unexpected death, and they also have the right to seek compensation for the financial impact of the death. Your Hawthorne wrongful death attorney can help you and your family identify every type of compensation that you may include in your claim and provide an estimate of your case’s total overall value.

Q: Will the Defendant Who Caused a Wrongful Death Go to Jail?

A: It is possible that the party responsible for your family member’s death could face criminal charges depending on how they caused the death. If they were negligent, this might not necessarily lead to criminal charges, but they will be fully liable for all the associated damages. However, if they caused the death through any illegal misconduct, the state is likely to open a criminal case against them, and the penalties they could face if convicted would be far worse due to the fatal consequences of their actions.

Q: How Long Will It Take to Finalize a Wrongful Death Case in Hawthorne?

A: The time your case could require to complete depends heavily on whether the defendant accepts liability for the wrongful death. If they acknowledge their responsibility, they will likely seek a settlement, and a settlement may only take a few weeks to complete if you have the right attorney representing you. If they do not accept fault, or if any other complications arise with your claim, the case may need to be resolved through litigation, and this will take much longer than settlement.

Q: What Will It Cost to Hire a Hawthorne Wrongful Death Attorney?

A: McLachlan Law, APC, will not add to your family’s financial concerns in this difficult situation by charging exorbitant legal fees. We take all personal injury and wrongful death cases on contingency for our Hawthorne clients. This means we only collect a fee if and when we win your case, and our fee is a percentage of the total compensation we help you recover from the defendant. There is no fee if we cannot obtain a recovery for you for any reason, so there is no risk in hiring our team to represent your case.

McLachlan Law, APC, has extensive experience helping clients in Hawthorne and surrounding communities with all types of civil claims for damages, including wrongful death cases. We know the emotional stress and uncertainty that these cases often generate and want to help you and your family navigate your impending case with confidence and peace of mind. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a Hawthorne wrongful death attorney and learn more about the legal services we offer.

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