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What Happens when A Loved One Has a Wrongful Death?

When a loved one dies it can take an emotional toll on you. It’s especially unfair when it was due to someone else’s negligence. You’re not emotionally ready to fight for your compensation but now you have to deal with lawyers, adjusters, and the insurance company. The compensation you are entitled to won’t heal you but it will help ease some of the burden. It’s important to know what the law is in California for a wrongful death claim. In order to file for this you must prove the existence of the following:

  • Someone has died

  • The surviving members are suffering financially as a result

  • The death was caused by negligence or intent to harm (not necessarily death)

  • The deceased estate has a personal representative appointed

It’s important to know some of the different types of Wrongful Death you can claim.

Different Types of Wrongful Death

Wrongful death occurs when someone is responsible for the death of another. In the state of California, wrongful death is caused by “the wrongful act or neglect of another.” Some different types of deaths that are considered wrongful under California law are death due by negligent driving, medical malpractice, or in some cases, suicide.

Negligent Driving

Anyone one who is involved in and causes an accident that resulted in the death of another, or was a substantial factor in causing that death, can be sued for wrongful death. Negligent driving is basically where the driver is using careless conduct. This includes driving over the speed limit, running a red light, or texting while driving. In this case, the negligent driver’s auto liability insurance will cover claims made up to the policy limits. Some drivers may have other insurance intended to cover for a loss due to negligent driving.

Medical Malpractice

When your loved one gets medical treatment or surgery you want to trust the medical providers won’t make any mistakes. This, however, isn’t always the case. The most common example of medical malpractice is a surgeon committing error during the operation. There are other ways that medical providers may commit medical malpractice. This includes the failure of the doctor to diagnose a treatable condition and well as prescribing the wrong medicine or an unsafe combination of medicine.


When a loved one commits suicide it may be considered a wrongful death through the eyes of the law. It can be considered wrongful if it is caused by another person who has a special duty of care and their negligence it was caused the deceased to commit suicide. For example, if your son’s therapist saw the warning signs of him potentially committing suicide and ignored them, then they will be liable for wrongful death.

When you experience the death of a loved one it has a significant impact on you emotionally. It’s especially hard to deal with when it was caused by preventable circumstances. The last thing you want to worry about is dealing with the insurance company, the person at fault’s lawyers and adjusters. You don’t have to handle this alone. With Edward J Babbitt APC & Associates you can be confident that you are in expert hands. We are committed to getting you the full compensation you deserve for the death of your loved one. Schedule a free initial consultation by calling 619-543-1789 today.