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Long Beach Wrongful Death Attorney

Wrongful Death

Most all of the states recognize Wrongful Death to be "The taking of the life of an individual resulting from the willful or negligent act of another person or persons." Specific statutes can be quite complicated to interpret and they generally vary considerably from state to state. For that reason the guidance of a qualified wrongful death attorney is essential to obtain a just settlement. The concept behind this body of law is to provide support for widows and orphans and to provide a strong motivation for individuals to behave responsibly in such a manner as to insure the safety and right to life of others by holding them responsible for the damage they have caused. These actions are distinct from criminal sanctions and proceed in a civil, rather than criminal court, with an entirely different set of legal procedures. An individual who receives a "not guilty" verdict in a trial for murder may nonetheless be made the defendant in a civil action for wrongful death. The most renowned example of this occurred in the O. J. Simpson case in California.

The list of circumstances that can giving rise to wrongful death suits is quite exhaustive and is irrespective of whether or not they were intentional or unintentional. A person involved in a physical altercation who lands a fatal blow to his opponent's head resulting in the death of that individual may not have intended a fatal result but did however intend to deliver the injury. Likewise, a drunken driver may well be held civilly liable for wrongful death by dint of having caused the death of another based upon his negligence. Suits for industrial accidents in which reasonable and necessary precautions to insure the safety of workers were not taken fall with the scope of wrongful death litigation. The key factors in all of these cases hinge upon two overriding factors : the death of an individual coupled to an act or omission of another as the proximate cause.

Among generic types of wrongful death suits one finds the following :