What Type of Evidence is Required to Prove a Wrongful Death Claim in California?


At Hanning & Sacchetto, LLP, our Whittier wrongful death attorneys know how tragically difficult it is to lose a loved one to negligent circumstances, like an auto, motorcycle, or truck accident in California.

Unfortunately, the family is often met with unforeseen financial challenges that can be hard to overcome when their primary earner is gone. Worse, they are left with the burden of proof when pursuing compensation for their damages from the negligent party.

Our Los Angeles County wrongful death lawyers are here to help build a case against the liable person, party, or combination of parties that caused the loss of our clients’ loved ones, so they can move forward with confidence.

How Can the Wrongful Death Attorneys at Hanning & Sacchetto Help Build My Claim?

There are four essential elements necessary to prove a wrongful death claim in California.

They include:

  • The liable party owed a certain duty of care to the victim.
  • The liable party breached that duty of care.
  • The liable party’s breach led to the accident and injuries that caused the loss of life.
  • The death resulted in losses to the family.

In simpler terms, wrongful death can occur during a vehicle crash anywhere in California, and unfortunately, these tragic incidents are common. Last year alone there were over 3,600 traffic accident fatalities throughout the state, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.

All drivers have a duty of care to other motorists to drive in a reasonably safe manner. Drivers can breach that duty in many ways, including distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving, aggressive driving, violating traffic laws, or other reckless acts.

When these negligent actions lead to the loss of life, the eligible surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death claim against the driver who caused their losses.

However, before filing a claim, there must be clear evidence to support that a breach of duty occurred.

In this scenario, that may include collecting witness statements, police reports, dash cam or other surveillance footage, or using onboard computer data from the vehicles involved, supporting the claim that a negligent act occurred.

In addition, the medical records, cause of death, and death certificate will help outline that the loss of life was directly tied to the accident.

Wrongful death claims are inherently complex, which is why it is important to talk with an experienced attorney right away after the accident occurs to help preserve critical evidence from the start.

What Type of Damages May Eligible Family Members Pursue During a California Wrongful Death Claim?

After establishing the death of your loved one was caused by the negligent or wrongful act of another person, the next step is to prove you have sustained damages because of your loss.

Just as proving negligence was the cause of your loved one’s death, proving you suffered damages is equally challenging.

This process may appear invasive, as it requires statements from the family, and evidence of their reliance on the deceased’s overall support.

Some of the more common damages sought in wrongful death cases in California may include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • Lost income, and potential income earnings.
  • Value of household services.
  • Loss of anticipated financial support.
  • Loss of affection and moral support.
  • Loss of benefits, including insurance and retirement.

If you have lost a loved one to negligent circumstances, contact our skilled wrongful death attorneys in Whittier, California at Hanning & Sacchetto today by calling (562) 698-6446 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options to pursue the best outcome available for you and your family’s long-term needs. Contact our Whittier personal injury lawyers for more legal help.

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