Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim in California

Earlier this month, a former University of California football player’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the university’s Regents.

The 21-year-old player died following an off-season training run in February. He suffered extreme fatigue during the run, causing him to eventually die. Although the player was clearly exhibiting symptoms of extreme fatigue, the University’s coaches and trainers failed to notice and take action.

Defining Wrongful Death

A wrongful death suit can be filed when a person dies due to another person’s or entity’s negligence. The suit is filed by the survivors of the deceased person and money damages are often awarded. These damages include:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Medical bills for the deceased individuals final injury or illness
  • Lost income, including potential income the deceased person could have been expected to earn in the future had he or she not been killed

Surviving family members can also recover damages that are specific to their loss as a result of the death, such as:

  • Value of household services
  • Loss of anticipated financial support
  • Loss of love
  • Loss of community
  • Loss of affection
  • Loss of moral support
  • Loss of guidance

In California, the wrongful death claim must be brought within two years of the death of the individual. If this does not occur, the claim cannot be brought barring any extenuating circumstances.

What Kinds of Incidents Warrant a Wrongful Death Suit?

While each case is specific and must be evaluated on its individual facts, some examples of wrongful death claims include:

  • A drunk driver who crashed his car and killed another person
  • Failure of a doctor to disclose a deadly illness that eventually caused the death of the patient
  • A employer that kept an unsafe workplace that caused the death of an employee
  • Defective products that caused the death of another person

If you have a loved one who was killed by the wrongful or negligent acts of another, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel to advise you as to whether you can receive compensation for your loved one’s death.

Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley, LLP has a team of dedicated and aggressive wrongful death attorneys. Our years of experience coupled with our skill and compassion help our lawyers achieve successful jury verdicts and settlements with negligent parties. With all of the emotional difficulty you have experienced, you deserve an attorney that does everything in their power to help you recover. To arrange a free consultation, we welcome your call at 213-514-8332.