What to Know About a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawyer

attorneys comforting client by holding hand of client going through a wrongful death lawsuit for cases involving wrongful deaths

Grief, compounded by the injustice of a preventable loss is an overwhelming situation that countless families are forced to endure. 

When someone else’s negligence or recklessness steals the life of a loved one, it is vital to understand California laws regarding negligence. A lawyer for wrongful death cases works as a legal advocate, guiding clients through the complexities of the justice system.

Specifically, a wrongful death lawyer specializes in civil lawsuits arising from the death of a loved one caused by another party’s negligence or wrongful act. They work on behalf of the deceased’s estate and surviving family members, assisting them in obtaining financial compensation for their losses.


What Does a Lawyer for Wrongful Death Do?

Lawyer is explaining wrongful death action to client at the office.

Overall, a Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer plays a crucial role in helping families file a wrongful death claim, seek justice, and seek compensation to rebuild their lives. A general breakdown of an attorney’s key responsibilities includes the following:

1. Assess, Investigate, and Evaluate Wrongful Death Claims

First, the event must be thoroughly assessed to ensure a wrongful death lawsuit is viable under California’s strict laws. This is done by analyzing the cause of death, reviewing the available evidence, and determining if “negligence” played a role.

Then, all potentially liable parties can be identified. This may include an individual person, business, or entity who breached their duty of care to act in a reasonable manner, ultimately causing fatal injuries.

Wrongful death accidents cause ever-going grief and financial hardships. This is why families are granted the option to file wrongful death lawsuits and pursue financial recovery. 

Recoverable losses for a wrongful death claim consist of economic damages and non-economic damages. These damages account for lost income, burial costs, loss of companionship, as well as other forms of monetary or emotional loss.

2. Develop a Strong Legal Strategy and Negotiate with Insurance Companies

Every type of personal injury accident, including wrongful death accidents, is unique. Therefore, cases should be tailored to suit each client’s preferences. For example, a surviving spouse will have different needs than a spouse with children.

Based on the investigation and evidence, an experienced wrongful death attorney can estimate how much a wrongful death claim is worth and work to get clients the maximum compensation.

Because the accident has been meticulously examined, an attorney will be confident in demanding a specific amount in damages from the at-fault party and negotiating a fair settlement.

Negotiations with the liable party’s insurance company or legal representatives are pivotal, as they will determine if litigation can be avoided. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, then a wrongful death lawyer will prepare the case for trial.

3. Litigation and Trial Representation

If settlement negotiations fail after a wrongful death claim is filed, a lawyer will prepare the case for trial by gathering witness statements, obtaining expert witness testimonies, and building convincing arguments.

  • A recount of the event from an eyewitness is effective in court, because there is no agenda in sharing a non-biased accord of the event.
  • Expert witness testimonies come from professionals who specialize in a particular field, like accident reconstructionists and doctors. These witnesses can confirm the severity of the event, along with the ensuing damages.
  • When building a legal argument before trial, both parties exchange information in the “discovery” phase. Depositions will also be taken, which are sworn out-of-court testimonies that inform each side of what witnesses plan to say during the trial.

Once prepared, the case is presented in court before a judge and jury. They will determine if negligence was involved, as well as how much, if anything, should be compensated for the extent of damages.

Before a courtroom trial, a settlement can still be negotiated during litigation. Based on trial preparation and the strength of the case as deemed in the discovery phase, the other party may yield, opting to settle out of court and avoid the risk of losing more money.

4. Most Importantly, Offer Support

The stresses that come with any type of legal battle take a toll, let alone a legal battle involving the untimely passing of a loved one.

Speaking and confiding in those who have experienced similar circumstances can be comforting and aid in the healing process.

A Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer can offer compassionate support and guidance to grieving families throughout the case proceedings and beyond.

A supporting legal team will also work as a liaison, collaborating with economists and grief counselors to address the family’s needs.


Do I Need to Hire a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawyer?

Dictionary, definition of the word lawsuit.

No, it is not legally required to hire a Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer to file a claim.

However, the reason legal representation is recommended is because the complexities of a wrongful death claim are overwhelming, especially when dealing with insurance companies who have no interest in mending the situation.

Proving negligence and securing compensation for a loss requires strategic action and experience. A qualified wrongful death lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation, assess a case, gather evidence, and prove fault on the other party. 

Additionally, a lawyer will determine the viability of a wrongful death claim, providing clients with realistic expectations. Consulting a wrongful death lawyer empowers families to make informed decisions and pursue justice with confidence.


What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

closeup of document that says wrongful death on top of a brown desk, near a gavel

When someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing tragically leads to a fatal accident, the victim’s surviving family is often left with grief and financial consequences.

Wrongful death lawsuits hold the responsible party accountable, allowing families to recover the losses brought on by their loved one’s death.

Unlike a criminal case, a wrongful death case is considered a civil case and is intended to seek financial relief, rather than imprisonment. However, sometimes there is some crossover, and families can pursue both civil and criminal action. 

In a successful wrongful death suit, eligible family members can receive damages for a range of losses. An attorney can review all recoverable damages and more during a case assessment.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In most wrongful death cases, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate or a family member directly impacted by the victim’s passing can file wrongful death claims. Under California law, this can encompass a range of individuals, including:

  • Surviving spouse or registered domestic partner: Loss of companionship and potential financial dependence
  • Children of the deceased: Lost financial and emotional support the parent provided
  • Parents of the deceased: If financially dependent of the deceased person
  • Other dependent family members: In specific situations, siblings, grandparents, or even grandchildren if financial dependents


Damages That Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Suit

Many candle flames glowing in the dark.

The purpose of wrongful death lawsuits is for surviving family members to seek justice on behalf of the deceased person. Beyond the emotional devastation, such losses often bring significant financial hardships. This can include:

  • Medical bills incurred before the unfortunate demise
  • Lost wages and benefits, otherwise provided
  • Loss of financial security in the form of future earnings or disruption to the surviving family’s financial stability
  • Funeral expenses and burial expenses

By seeking legal counsel, families can effectively resolve wrongful death claims and hold responsible parties accountable. This alleviates some of the financial burden inflicted by their tragic loss.


How to Select the Best Attorney for a Wrongful Death Case

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Finding the right Los Angeles wrongful death attorney is a crucial step in pursuing justice. Conducting thorough research and prioritizing needs will help in making the best decision. Here are some factors to consider to help pick the best attorney for your wrongful death lawsuit.


Seek counsel from a professional with extensive experience handling wrongful death claims, specifically those similar to yours. This can be done by inquiring about a law firm’s track record of achieving successful outcomes for wrongful death cases.

Additionally, if a Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer has been recognized for his or her achievements, it will be demonstrated by peers within their field through awards and accolades. This type of resume will solidify the decision of which lawyers to work with.


The best candidate should listen attentively to client concerns and demonstrate genuine empathy. Surviving family members deserve sincere compassion during such a difficult time.

In addition to communication style, consistent updates must also be examined. Attorneys should provide clear and concise updates, keeping clients informed throughout the legal process.


Evaluate the attorney’s ability to develop a strong legal strategy tailored to the case’s specifics. Inquire about their access to necessary resources, including investigators and other legal professionals who can strengthen the case.

Assess their willingness to explore various options, including negotiation, mediation, or litigation. Again, every case is unique, so there should never be a one-size-fits-all approach to bring wrongful death claims forward.


Understanding an attorney’s fee structure is paramount. Every law firm bills differently, and sometimes, the billing agreement is not black and white. 

Ask for a clear breakdown of costs associated with their services and any potential expenses that may be involved in the case.

A client-attorney relationship must be built on trust. Therefore, the best Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer should value transparency and maintain honesty from the start.


For Questions About a Wrongful Death Claim, Please Contact Angeleno Accident Lawyers

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While no sum can mend the broken hearts left by a wrongful death, justice demands accountability. Our seasoned personal injury attorneys have years of experience upholding the rights of family members suffering from a loved one’s death.

If you believe a negligent party is responsible for a family member’s death, consider consulting with a wrongful death attorney from Angeleno Accident Lawyers in Los Angeles, CA. Our law firm provides a free consultation and can address any questions or concerns.

Call AAL Today


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