Let Us Help You Get Your Life Back In Order After The Death Of A Love One

Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one due to the negligence of another is a devastating and overwhelming event.  Your life is turned upside down and you need time to sort out all the necessary arrangements and deal with the stress of unexpected financial hardship.  While nothing can take away the pain and no amount of money will bring back your loved one, you are entitled to compensation for your financial and emotional losses and will need compensation to help pay your family’s bills, funeral expenses and replace the income lost due to your love one’s sudden death.

What is a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim is a claim for the loss of a victim due to the wrongful or negligent action of another.  Claims are typically brought by the surviving spouses and children of victims.  California law also allows domestic partners and dependent parents, putative spouses and stepchildren to recover losses.  Wrongful death claims can arise from fatal automobile accidents, work accidents involving heavy machinery, medical malpractice, defective products, exposure to toxic chemicals, as well as criminal assaults.

What is recoverable in a wrongful death action?

The decedent’s estate can recover economic losses including burial expenses, the decedent’s final medical bills and lost income the decedent would have expected to earn had he or she lived.  The surviving members of the family can recover the loss of financial support and value of household services, as well as emotional losses including the loss of love, affection, moral support and guidance.  Under certain circumstances, punitive damage may also be recovered.

Contact the Law Offices of Aksana M. Coone for an experienced Los Angeles wrongful death attorney dedicated to compassionately helping you sort your affairs and aggressively recover all compensation to which you are entitled by law.  Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Maritime Wrongful Death

Wrongful death claims involving maritime and admiralty law are complex and require specialized legal expertise.  The right to recover for wrongful deaths that occur on a boat, ship, Jet Ski or even during shore excursions abroad is determined by the location of the death and the status of the victim.  Different laws can apply if the death occurred in state territorial waters, the high seas or on land during a shore excursion.  The remedies available to surviving family members can also vary based on the victim’s status as a seaman or a passenger.  The terms of a cruise ticket contract, the laws of the ship’s flag, the laws of the country where the death occurred, state laws, federal laws and various international maritime conventions could all affect the ability to recover for a maritime death and the remedies available to surviving family members for the loss of a loved one.

Death on the High Seas Act (“DOHSA”)

DOHSA is a federal statute that applies to all maritime deaths occurring beyond 3 nautical miles from the shore of the United States and foreign territorial waters.  The law applies to seamen and passengers alike, as well as the crew and passengers of aircrafts that crash on the high seas beyond 12 nautical miles from shore.  DOHSA allows the victim’s personal representative to bring a claim for the death of the victim on behalf of his or her beneficiaries based on negligence, product liability or unseaworthiness if the victim was a seaman.  Eligible beneficiaries include the surviving spouse, children, parents and dependent siblings (brothers and sisters who depended on decedent’s support).  DOHSA limits recovery to pecuniary damages, meaning those damages that can be calculated such as funeral expenses, the value of the lost care, guidance and training of children, the loss of decedent’s financial support and contribution the decedent would have made to his or her dependents, the value of services the decedent would have provided to beneficiaries around the home, and only if the decedent dies from injuries while a lawsuit is pending, the decedent’s pre-death pain and suffering.  Beneficiaries cannot recover non-pecuniary damages generally available under state law such as loss of society, loss of consortium, emotional distress, or punitive damages.

Deaths within 3 Nautical Miles from Shore

Wrongful death claims for maritime related deaths that occur within state territorial waters or on shore could be brought under the Jones Act for seamen, the general maritime law, and where applicable, state law.  The remedies available will depend on the governing law and the decedent’s status as a seaman or a non-seaman.  A survival action may also be available under the Jones Act, general maritime law and state laws to compensate the victim’s estate for the loses the decedent suffered prior to death, including pre-death earned and unearned wages, maintenance, medical expenses and pain and suffering.

The complexity of maritime death claims requires the skills of an experienced maritime attorney.  At the Law Offices of Aksana M. Coone we have the expertise to ensure your rights are aggressively protected and will handle your claim with the compassion you deserve at a most difficult time.  Contact us today for a free consultation and speak to an experienced maritime wrongful death attorney about your case.