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​Newport Beach Wrongful Death Lawyers

Serious accidents can lead to severe and sometimes fatal injuries, including motor vehicle crashes on California State Routes 1 and 55, or falls and construction accidents in the Newport Beach area.

Too many families receive the devastating news that their loved one suddenly died in an accident. When a fatality occurs due to someone else’s wrongful, negligent, or intentional act, California allows surviving family members, or the deceased individual’s estate, to file a wrongful death claim. In most instances, surviving family members—or the personal representative of the decedent’s estate—will bring this claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

As part of a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, claimants can recover various damages, including compensation for burial and funeral expenses and loss of future income.

If you lost a loved one in a recent accident that resulted from another person’s recklessness or carelessness, you should understand your legal rights and that you retain experienced legal counsel to handle your case as soon as possible.

The skilled Newport Beach wrongful death lawyers at Bentley & More LLP can help you take legal action against a wrongdoer and pursue the highest amount of compensation available in your claim. In addition, we can help you litigate your case in court if the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly.

Although no amount of money can ever truly compensate for a loved one’s untimely death, it can help to bring you and other surviving family members a sense of closure, finality, and justice.

Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for wrongful death claimants. Let us meet with you and help you decide on successful legal options for your case.

For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a Newport Beach wrongful death lawyer, please call us or contact us online for more information.

Special note for other law firms: Our legal team has the resources to handle catastrophic injury claims and lawsuits. We regularly assist other firms by accepting referrals of complex injury matters. Please call us today to discuss our referral arrangements and how we might help.

​Newport Beach Wrongful Death Attorneys

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

Several categories of surviving family members can pursue a wrongful death claim or lawsuit after their loved one suffers fatal injuries in an accident resulting from others’ negligence. Eligible family members can bring the claim themselves, or the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate can bring the claim on a surviving family member’s behalf.

Individuals who are eligible to bring wrongful death claims and lawsuits include:

  • Domestic partners
  • Surviving spouses
  • Children of the deceased individual
  • Grandchildren if the decedent did not have any surviving children at the time of their death
  • Other minor children, including stepchildren

Additional individuals who can receive the decedent’s property under California’s intestate succession laws may also be eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim or lawsuit under certain circumstances.

The knowledgeable team of Newport Beach wrongful death lawyers at Bentley & More LLP can meet with you to discuss the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death and determine if you can bring a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. If you are, we can assist you throughout the process, negotiate a settlement with insurance company representatives, and litigate your case in court if necessary.

What Can Lead to Wrongful Death Claims and Lawsuits in Newport Beach?

Several occurrences may lead to a wrongful death claim or lawsuit in Newport Beach. The first type of occurrence is one that results from negligence. An individual is negligent when they fail to act in a reasonable manner, given the prevailing circumstances at a particular time.

Incidents of gross negligence or extremely egregious and reckless conduct might serve as the basis for a wrongful death claim if a fatal accident happened. In addition, when individuals or entities behave recklessly or intentionally, and a person dies as a result, they may be subject to wrongful death claims and lawsuits.

Common accidents that cause untimely deaths and lead to wrongful death claims include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents that happen when a negligent driver violates a traffic law, engages in road rage, operates their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, or fails to watch the road attentively
  • Bicycle and motorcycle accidents where a negligent driver causes a crash
  • Pedestrian accidents where a driver strikes a pedestrian at a crosswalk, on a sidewalk, or in a parking lot or parking garage
  • Slip and fall accidents where a property owner fails to maintain their premises in a reasonably careful and safe condition, causing a property visitor to suffer fatal injuries
  • Drowning accidents that happen when pools and other recreational facilities fail to have ample lifeguards on duty
  • Instances of medical malpractice or negligence, where a medical provider botches a procedure or otherwise fails to provide competent medical care to a patient
  • Instances of elder abuse or neglect, such as at a hospital, nursing home, assisted living center, or another medical facility
  • Crime, including murder, manslaughter, assault, or battery

Even if a criminal case resulted in an acquittal, you can still pursue the defendant and other responsible parties through a wrongful death claim or lawsuit in civil court.

Potential Monetary Compensation in a California Wrongful Death Case

Surviving family members may be eligible to recover various damages as part of a wrongful death claim or lawsuit in Newport Beach. The damages that claimants may recover in the case will depend on different circumstances, including the type of accident that caused the decedent’s death, as well as the general circumstances surrounding the incident. The extent of the decedent’s injuries before their death may also play a role in determining the total wrongful death damages.

When it comes to wrongful death settlement compensation, a claimant may be eligible to receive a lump sum payment at one time or receive a structured settlement, in which they receive payments over a specified period of time.

First, a wrongful death claimant may be eligible to recover various economic damages. The purpose of these damages is to compensate a wrongful death claimant for the tangible losses that directly result from the decedent’s untimely death.

Economic damages can include monetary compensation for:

  • The deceased individual’s funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of the deceased individual’s financial support, based upon their anticipated income
  • Loss of benefits or gifts that a decedent’s heir might have likely received from the decedent
  • The reasonable value of the deceased individual’s household services, had the decedent lived

In addition to these potential economic damages, a wrongful death claimant may be eligible to recover various non-economic damages. The purpose of these damages is to compensate a wrongful death claimant for their intangible losses resulting from the death of their loved one.

Possible non-economic damages that a wrongful death claimant can recover in their case include loss of the decedent’s:

  • Affection
  • Moral support
  • Sexual relations
  • Care
  • Companionship
  • Protection
  • Guidance

Also, wrongful death claimants may now recover monetary damages for the deceased individual’s suffering, pain, and disfigurement that they experienced leading up to their untimely death. When it comes to awarding non-economic damages in a wrongful death claim, a jury can award any amount that they believe is reasonable under the circumstances.

Moreover, a decedent’s surviving loved ones are not eligible to recover punitive damages as part of a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. However, they may be eligible to recover those damages as part of a separate survival action that goes forward on behalf of the deceased individual’s estate.

How Long Does a Claimant Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Court?

Wrongful death claimants have limited time to file a lawsuit in court seeking monetary damages. The time clock for a wrongful death lawsuit begins running upon the deceased individual’s death, and it expires precisely two years later. Absent minimal exceptions, a claimant who fails to take the necessary legal action within that time will waive their right to recover monetary compensation and damages for their loved one’s death.

If you lost a loved one in an accident that resulted from another person’s wrongful act, you should seek experienced legal representation right away.

The compassionate Newport Beach wrongful death attorneys at Bentley & More LLP can help you file your wrongful death lawsuit in a timely manner, safeguarding your right to recover wrongful death compensation in your case. We can then begin negotiating with insurance company adjusters and pursuing the highest level of compensation available in your case.

Legal Elements to Prove in a Newport Beach Wrongful Death Claim or Lawsuit

To recover monetary damages in a Newport Beach wrongful death claim, the claimant, or the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate, must fully satisfy their legal burden of proof. Specifically, they must demonstrate that another individual or entity behaved in a reckless, careless, negligent, intentional, or otherwise wrongful manner under the circumstances. Next, they must demonstrate, through evidence, that this wrongful act was both the actual and the foreseeable cause of the fatal accident that led to their loved one’s untimely death.

To prove these legal elements, our legal team can introduce expert testimony, such as from an accident reconstructionist. An accident reconstructionist can visit the scene, review photographs, read police reports, and piece together the chain of events that led to the fatality. They can also determine who caused the accident. An expert reconstructionist can also prepare a report detailing their opinion and testify at a deposition or trial in support of your case.

At Bentley & More LLP, we can help you prove the legal elements of your claim, increasing your chances of recovering the monetary compensation you need in your wrongful death claim or lawsuit.

Negotiating Wrongful Death Compensation versus Litigation in the Court System

To recover monetary compensation in a wrongful death case, we can file a claim with the appropriate insurance company and introduce relevant documentation, including:

  • Bills that show the funeral and burial expenses for your loved one
  • Your loved one’s medical treatment records and medical bills
  • Property damage photographs from the fatal accident
  • Pictures of your loved one’s injuries
  • Your loved one’s income tax returns for a specified period, showing their annual income
  • Lost income documents from your loved one’s employer

Our legal team can submit these documents to the insurance company, along with a settlement demand letter, in support of your wrongful death claim. We can then engage the insurance company adjuster in ongoing settlement discussions to pursue a fair offer. We can also let you know whether we think a particular settlement offer is favorable under the circumstances, as well as the potential risks and benefits of litigating your case in court.

If you decide to settle your claim, we can bring it to an efficient resolution. However, if you choose to pursue your case in the court system, we will assist you throughout the process and represent you in all legal proceedings, including your discovery deposition, civil jury trial, or binding arbitration proceeding.

Contact an Experienced and Compassionate Newport Beach Wrongful Death Attorney Right Away

Greg Bentley &  Keith More, Wrongful Death Lawyer

Few things in life are worse than losing a loved one in a preventable accident. If your loved one suffered fatal injuries due to someone else’s negligence, the compassionate legal team at Bentley & More LLP is ready to help. Reach out to a Newport Beach personal injury lawyer.

We can assist you throughout the wrongful death claims-filing and litigation processes in pursuit of the total monetary compensation you deserve. Moreover, if the insurance company fails to compensate you appropriately, we can engage them in additional settlement negotiations or litigate your wrongful death case in the court system for an efficient resolution.

For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a Newport Beach wrongful death lawyer, please call us at (949) 870-3800 or contact us online.

Client Testimonial

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Bentley & More for the past 5-6 years. Their drive and compassion to earn great results for their clients is obvious to everyone who works with them.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to partner with the firm to help serve their clients.” – Nicole S. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Bentley & More LLP – Newport Beach Office

4931 Birch Street

Newport Beach, CA 92660

Phone: (949) 870-3800