Many cities, including those in California, have seen a recent uptick in violent crime. The California Department of Justice reported in 2015 that the homicide rate had increased 9.7%, while robbery and aggravated assault had increased by over 8%. This current trend towards violent crime has caught the eye of many state officials and is the reason why a person’s chances of getting murdered in California is now 1-in-21,000 versus 1-in-24,000 in 2014.
These statistical increases mean that more families will experience having a loved one die due to a wrongful death. A majority of the victims are men aged 18 to 29, and the attorney general’s office reports that Latino men are killed twice as often as their white counterparts. While overall violent crime has been trending downward for the past 20 years, the current statistics have experts bracing for more homicides in urban communities.
A recent example of this took place in Pasadena, California on August 7th, 2017, when a 27-year-old man was shot in the head and found lying on the ground near Catalina Avenue. He was taken to the hospital where he died from severe brain damage. Once the police are able to track down the shooter, the victim’s family can file a wrongful death suit in civil court. Even if the defendant is found not-guilty in criminal court, the bar for a wrongful death suit is much lower, and the deceased’s family will have a greater chance at receiving some justice.
Why Expertise Matters in a Wrongful Death Suit
After experiencing a death, many people would rather do nothing or handle the legal process on their own. While some people are ok with these options, the majority of people would be better off having an experienced attorney handle their case. Awarded damages will never take away the pain of losing a family member, but it can provide some sort of cushion for a person over the long-term.
One of the most important aspects of a wrongful death suit is deciding how much compensation should be rewarded. In order to do this, the plaintiff’s attorney will need to assess what the victim’s life would have looked like if the accident never occurred. A skilled attorney will know how to quantify different aspects of a person’s life including their health, life expectancy, occupation, and the hobbies they enjoyed. Economic and noneconomic damages must also be taken into account, and a professional attorney will know how to advocate for a fair settlement in front of a judge and jury.
The number of people included in the wrongful death suit is also something an attorney will know how to handle. There may be many people who are entitled to recovery in a wrongful death claim, and a well-trained attorney will know how to accurately assess the situation and determine whether or not a probate estate needs to be created. If that is the case, then the victim’s estate will file the claim instead of an individual person.
Helping the Family in a California Wrongful Death Suit
Although the defense will try their best to lessen the payout, our attorneys have plenty of experience dealing with serious personal injury cases and will fight to get a fair settlement. No one should have to financially suffer because of a wrongful death, and it is important that a family know all of the options available to them during this difficult time. If you are in Pasadena, California, or the surrounding areas, and have lost a family member due to another party’s actions or negligence, it is important that you contact Strassburg, Gilmore & Wei, Attorneys at Law and schedule an appointment with one of our personal injury attorneys.