Suffering an injury can be devastating for you, but losing someone you love as a result of negligence can be even more challenging to endure. Unfortunately, death happens, but it should never occur because of someone else’s actions. If someone is negligent and causes your loved one to suffer fatal injuries, you and other family members have the right to pursue legal action against the party who is responsible for causing your loved one’s death. In California, there are damages available in a wrongful death claim to surviving family members.

If you find yourself in a challenging situation where a loved one suffers a fatal injury because of negligence, a wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles can help you understand your rights and options throughout the entire process. It’s vital to recognize your rights, who is responsible, which accidents are most common in causing a wrongful death, and the kind of compensation that may be available to you. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyer and wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles is committed to safeguarding your rights every step of the way so you don’t fall victim to the insurance company’s tactics to deny your claim. 


Whiplash is a type of injury you can sustain as the result of a car accident, most often occuring in a rear-end collision. Typically, the force of these accidents can cause your head to jolt back and forth, which causes serious strain on your neck. While the adrenaline and shock of the accident may make it so you don’t feel the effects right away, you may start to feel some soreness and pain in your neck in the hours that follow the accident. It’s imperative to seek medical attention after a crash as there are many injuries–including those stemming from whiplash–that can take days to manifest.

Unfortunately, whiplash can lead to even more severe problems should you suffer damage to your spine, spinal cord, or brain. The pressure of an accident can cause herniated discs or your brain can move around within your skull resulting in concussion. Whiplash is something that you may recover from quickly, but in the worst-case scenario, it can lead to long-term problems that you can experience for the rest of your life. Whiplash can also cause you to experience sensory issues (blurred vision or tinnitus) and behavioral changes, including depression and irritability.


In a wrongful death claim, the family of the decedent is able to pursue compensation for the losses they experience as a result of the fatal injuries. This area of the law can seem complex, especially when the law dictates who can actually recover compensation. It’s also important to seek legal action within the time limits required by law, usually only two years following the fatal injury. With a death attorney, you can properly file a wrongful death suit with the necessary paperwork and evidence.

In the sections below, our wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles will work to help you understand some of the most common situations of wrongful death law. When you are able to understand the various situations involved, how to prove liability, and more, you can better plan your case and have peace of mind regarding the process. Our wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles will help to safeguard you throughout the entire process with confidence. Your family is already going through a difficult situation, the last thing you need to worry about is filing a wrongful death suit on your own. 

Pirnia Law Group works on behalf of clients. We dedicate ourselves to protecting you and your family to not only pursue compensation, but to also pursue justice on your behalf. We focus on helping our clients, but also on setting a standard to protect others from harm in the future. When you hold someone accountable for their actions, you work to protect others from negligence. You let others know that their actions have consequences, and that when they cause fatal injuries, they can be held personally and financially accountable for all harm that they cause.


There are numerous types of situations that can lead to a wrongful death, and they all involve some form of negligence. Recognizing some of the most common situations that lead to wrongful deaths can help you understand causation and how to hold someone accountable. Showing negligence allows you to pursue compensation from a specific person responsible for the fatal injuries. Here are some of the most common accidents that lead to wrongful death:

Car accidents:

Car accidents are some of the most common situations in which negligence occurs. There are many actions that someone can take on the road that can cause accidents, including distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving, and reckless driving. 

Truck accidents:

While commercial trucks are vital to our economy, when some trucking companies or drivers don’t follow federal regulations regarding Hours of Service and weight restrictions, it can lead to a catastrophic collision. The sheer size of these trucks is enough to cause fatal injuries. 

Motorcycle accidents:

Motorcycle accidents are some of the most severe because riders don’t have the same protections as other motorists. The freedom that most riders love can also be the biggest danger, and these can lead to fatal injuries from trauma to a rider’s head. 

Defective product accidents:

Defective products can encompass a wide range of items. This can include things such as electrical tools and appliances, vehicle parts, or heavy machinery. A defect can make it difficult for you to avoid a serious problem, and it is often the source of a potential wrongful death.

Workplace accidents:

Many workplaces can be dangerous, especially in very specific industries. For instance, a construction site can be one of the most dangerous workplaces because of the number of hazardous elements. For instance, a construction site has heavy machinery, high platforms, scaffolding, and more. These types of incidents can involve falling objects, falls from heights, caught in-between accidents, and more.

Industrial accidents:

Industrial occupations often involve people to work around heavy machinery and harsh chemicals. In many situations, there are issues that can arise that can cause problems such as machine defects. Whenever these occur, it can cause fatal injuries to any workers in the nearby vicinity. 


While drowning can sometimes be an accident, there are many situations that can result in someone being negligent in a drowning accident. For instance, in a public swimming pool or water park where lifeguards are supposed to watch over patrons, a drowning accident that goes unnoticed may involve potential negligence. 

Boating accidents:

Boating is similar to driving and there are responsibilities all boat drivers must abide by on the water. Boating under the influence or someone driving the boat when they shouldn’t be can lead to an accident. Given the circumstances and location of this type of accident, it’s easy to see how it can lead to fatal injuries.  

Train accidents:

Train operators and the companies who own the train must work to ensure there is a level of safety present. Even those who run the tracks must properly maintain the tracks to prevent accidents from occurring. Unfortunately, the large size and length of a train can make any accident involving one fatal.

Asbestos exposure:

While asbestos regulations went into effect a long time ago, there are many buildings and items that still contain asbestos to this day. This is a fiber that, when friable, can result in anyone who inhales the broken fibers developing mesothelioma. This is something that may not even show until 10 to 40 years after initial contact due to a latency period.

Manufacturing defects:

Heavy machinery is often used in various industries to produce parts and lift heavier items. Should a defect exist, it can cause severe problems and lead to fatal injuries. 

In some situations, a doctor’s negligence can also lead to a wrongful death. In this situation, you need to have a medical malpractice wrongful death attorney who can help you understand what rights you may have. Medical malpractice can involve issues such as surgical errors, prescription errors, misdiagnosis, and more. For instance, a prescription error can arise should a doctor misdiagnose a patient. In this situation, they may prescribe a medication that the patient is allergic to, which could cause a fatal reaction in some instances. Whether the fatal injury occurs in a hospital, nursing home, vehicle collision, or because of an illness, it’s important to move forward with legal action.


The statistics regarding wrongful death are alarming. Far too often, individuals find themselves in difficult situations, and it’s important to recognize the potential issues that may arise. A wrongful death is the worst-case scenario in many situations involving negligence, but it’s important for the family to recognize their abilities to obtain compensation. Here are some of the numbers associated with wrongful deaths in the state. 

  • Of the total number of deaths that occur in the state each year, roughly 4,000 of them are the result of a car accident, which is one of the most common situations involving negligence.
  • Of the 4,000 or so auto accidents that arise resulting in a wrongful death, about 300 of them involve large commercial vehicles. These large trucks have significant size, and when they’re traveling at around 55 miles per hour, the results of a crash can be devastating. 
  • Roughly 100 of the deaths that occur each year in the state are the result of heavy machinery or machinery defects. 
  • More than 300 deaths in the state each year occur because of workplace accidents. 

Unfortunately, these numbers are not dropping and the rate of negligence-related incidents is still much higher than it should be. These actions can lead to catastrophic or fatal injuries far too easily, and wrongful death cases can arise. Whether because of a vehicle collision or slip and fall, even some of the accidents that seem not as serious can have devastating results.


When the surviving family members file a wrongful death lawsuit, they are working to pursue compensation for the family and on behalf of their lost loved one. The type of compensation that may be available to you varies, but they’re like all other personal injury cases in which they can include economic and non-economic damages. In some cases when the fatal injury is intentional (such as acts of violence), there may be a possibility to pursue punitive damages.

  • Economic damages after a wrongful death can help to cover medical bills, lost income the decedent would have earned had he or she survived, funeral costs, and lost inheritance. While you may be wondering what medical bills may arise following a fatal injury, these are typically available in situations where the deceased person receives medical treatment from the date of the injury until the date of the death if the fatal injuries are not immediate.
  • Non-economic damages exist in wrongful death lawsuits to compensate the family for situations involving pain and suffering they experience because of the loss. For instance, these types of damages are available for loss of consortium for a surviving spouse, which essentially means a loss of companionship. In other situations surviving children may file for non-economic damages because of loss of guidance and support. These are losses that have impacted your life in a way other than monetarily. 

A wrongful death firm can help you understand what your rights are to pursue specific compensation from negligent parties. The compensation you recover can be crucial to finding closure and moving forward after the death of a loved one. 


When you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you’re pursuing compensation from the negligent party. However, unless someone is significantly wealthy, the defendant will most likely rely on their insurance company to pay out compensation to the family of the decedent. The insurance company that does pay out is often dependent on the situation that arises that causes the wrongful death. For instance, a car accident causing a wrongful death would go through the auto insurance provider of the negligent party. A slip and fall on someone else’s property leading to fatal injuries would allow you to pursue compensation from homeowner’s insurance or business insurance.

Insurance companies are, unfortunately, large businesses that focus solely on profits instead of claimants. As such, they’re usually trying to offer you the lowest amount possible for the loss of your family member. In some cases, they try to deny liability completely so they can deny your claim. The damages available in a wrongful death claim should be enough to result in your family being able to cover all expenses associated with the fatal injuries, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, property damage, lost earning capacity, and more. If the insurance company is not considering these damages, they should be held fully accountable.

The insurance company may try to get statements from various members of your family to try and receive contradicting reports regarding the fatal accident, the amount the decedent had earned, and more. It’s vital for you and your family to have a wrongful death attorney to understand how best to protect your rights. Before you even file your claim, it’s important to have legal representation answer any and all questions, as well as questions you receive from the insurance company. An attorney can help you look at the settlement offer from the insurance company and work to negotiate it as fairly as possible to protect you and your family during this stressful time. 

If you feel the settlement offer to your family covers all losses, you can accept the offer. However, you should know that once you do accept the settlement offer, it prevents you from filing additional legal action to hold the insurance company liable. If you feel as though the settlement offer doesn’t cover the full scope of your losses, you can work to negotiate it. Should the insurance company go out of their way to take advantage of your rights, you can pursue compensation through a trial and work to have a jury of your peers decide the outcome of your case. Working with an accidental death lawyer who has experience in these matters can give you confidence throughout the entire process.


What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim in California allows certain individuals to take legal action on behalf of a lost loved one. The claim is filed against the negligent party whose actions resulted in the fatal injuries. For instance, a wrongful death claim can stem from a drunk driving accident in which a drunk driver causes your loved one to sustain fatal injuries.

What Kinds of Losses Can a Family Recover?

Like most personal injury cases, wrongful death law allows for the recovery of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages can range from funeral costs to medical expenses incurred by the deceased individual from the date of his or her injury until the date of death. Non-economic damages are typically evaluated based on the claimants relationship to the deceased and can involve loss of consortium and companionship.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death claims fall under the overarching umbrella of personal injury claims and have the same statute of limitations. Should you lose a loved one due to negligence, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of death.

How are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?

Claimants are typically able to determine who receives what upon the resolution of a wrongful death claim. In these situations, the claimants are going against the person’s insurance provider depending on how the action occurs. For instance, if the wrongful death is caused by a car accident, the family pursues compensation through the negligent person’s auto insurance company.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

California law permits only specific individuals to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes the surviving spouse of the decedent, his or her domestic partner, or surviving children. When no surviving family members exist, a claim may be brought forth by someone who would be entitled to property from the decedent or those who were financially dependent on the deceased.

What are the Most Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims?

Wrongful death claims can stem from any negligence-related act that results in fatal injuries. Typically, some of the most common types of wrongful death claims involve car accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, and acts of violence.

How Do I Choose a Wrongful Death Attorney?

When your family needs to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of a loved one, it’s vital to pick an attorney who recognizes the laws. Speak with your attorney about their experience in these types of situations. Working with an attorney who knows how to handle a wrongful death claim and pursue the most favorable outcome is essential to moving forward in the most effective manner possible.

What is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and a Survival Claim?

A wrongful death claim is filed by the family against the negligent person who causes the fatal injuries. Under survival claims, the estate is awarded damages that the deceased would have received in a personal injury claim had he or she survived.


Wrongful death matters can be some of the most complicated to endure because you must show liability. Proving causation starts with showing that the person responsible for the death had a duty to provide your loved one with reasonable care and they failed in that duty. This means that they did something that would constitute negligence. You must also show that the negligence is what caused the fatal incident to occur and your loved one lost their life because of this situation. The most effective way for you to do this is working with skilled legal counsel who can position your rights. 

At Pirnia Law Group, we hold the rights of our clients in high regard. We’re always working to go the extra mile for our clients at a time when they need it most. The death of a loved one is already difficult to endure, and it’s daunting to think of legal matters and financial hardships on top of that. Because of this, our Los Angeles personal injury attorney works on contingency fees. 

This means that you don’t have to pay us anything unless we’re able to successfully recover compensation on your behalf. Even then, we only take a percentage of the amount you recover because we know how much you need financial stability at this time.

Our firm works hard because we truly care about our clients. You shouldn’t have to worry about legal issues while mourning your loved one. Our firm stands by your side from start to finish because we know how much you need and deserve compensation and justice. We’ll go above and beyond to safeguard your rights every step of the way.

We offer free consultations to answer any questions you and your family may have. If you want to discuss your potential rights and options to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, we encourage you to give our firm a call today.