The sudden loss of a family member is without a doubt one of life’s most tragic events. This is especially true when it results from someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. Coping with the emotions is difficult enough without the added complexity and stress of pursuing a potential lawsuit against the wrongdoer.
Under California law for wrongful death, each heir identified in California Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”) Section 377.60 is allowed to recover monetary damages on his or her own behalf for the loss suffered due to the victim’s (decedent’s) death.
The Law Office of Joshua Cohen Slatkin is here to fight for you and your family if a loved one has suffered a wrongful death. We have the skills and experience to investigate the details of your situation and create a plan of action to secure the justice your lost loved one deserves. Together, we can hold those responsible for the death accountable for their actions. We have the understanding, compassion, and empathy to convey the extreme toll such a loss has had on you and your family to maximize the value of the case.
The Law Office of Joshua Cohen Slatkin has extensive experience pursuing personal injury claims and is currently litigating one of the most complex wrongful death cases in recent history. We work closely with top experts in the area to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death and ensure that you receive the full range of compensation you and your family deserve.
Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire
Joshua Cohen Slatkin currently represents an individual who lost a child in the horrific Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire. On December 2, 2016, a fire broke out in a warehouse called the “Ghost Ship” during a music event which took the lives of 36 people (nearly all of whom were under the age of 35) and injured several more.
The warehouse was a death trap and there is evidence that those who had the power to prevent this tragedy from occurring were aware of the dangerous conditions at the warehouse long before the incident and yet did nothing to protect the public. We are proudly fighting on behalf of our client to ensure that such an incident never happens again.
Who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit?
A wrongful death affects an entire family. These lawsuits allow people to recover for economic loss and lost companionship (including loss of love and affection) caused by the death of a family member. Generally, the claim can be brought by the closest family members of the decedent, such as their spouse or children. California’s wrongful death statute also allows certain other people to bring a wrongful death claim depending on the circumstances.
All possible claimants must be joined in a single wrongful death action. There cannot be more than one suit against the responsible party, so under the California “one action rule,” all claimants must join in one suit. One purpose of this rule is to avoid the responsible party having to defend more than one suit. Another purpose is to avoid inconsistent results which could occur from more than one action. Thus, a claimant who is not joined as a party to a wrongful death suit could be barred from bringing a separate suit against the responsible party.
To avoid this unfair result, the heirs who file suit have a mandatory duty to include all known heirs. Any heirs who do not want to be included, should be named as defendants. Further, any heirs who intentionally omit a claimant may be responsible to such claimant. Thus, if you bring a wrongful death claim, it is important to advise your lawyer of all possible heirs. In this case, heirs would include the surviving spouse and both parents who would all need to be included in the lawsuit, even if not represented by the same lawyers.
It is important to speak with an attorney right away because the lawsuit generally must be filed within two years. The time frame can be even shorter in some circumstances, like when dealing with medical malpractice or government entities. Call our office today at 310-923-7839 to get the process started.
In the case of the wrongful death of an individual with no surviving children, both the surviving spouse and the surviving parents can bring a wrongful death claim. Under California law for wrongful death, each heir identified in California Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”) Section 377.60 is allowed to recover monetary damages on his or her own behalf for the loss suffered due to the victim’s (decedent’s) death.
Statute of Limitations In California Wrongful Death Claims
There are at least three (3) statute of limitations (time deadlines to settle or take certain legal action) to be concerned with in wrongful death claims in California.
In most situations, lawsuits must be filed within two (2) years of injury or death. Calif. Code of Civil Procedure, Section 335.1
If based on health care provider negligence (medical malpractice), three years from date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered the injury, whichever occurs first. Calif. Code of Civil Procedure, Sect. 340.5.
If based on any government tort liability including a car accident with a Los Angeles City vehicle or medical malpractice at a county or state hospital, then a government claim usually must be filed at the proper location within six (6) months of the injury.
If you lost a loved one because of someone else’s wrongdoing, negligence, or because they were killed by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss. Contact the Law Office of Joshua Cohen Slatkin at 310-923-7839 today for a free, no obligation case evaluation.