June 15

5 Common Misconceptions About Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Wrongful death lawsuits are often misunderstood, leading to misconceptions that can deter individuals from seeking justice for their loved ones. As trusted Pasadena wrongful death lawyers, we aim to clarify these misunderstandings and provide you with accurate information. 

This blog will debunk common misconceptions surrounding wrongful death lawsuits, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to take the necessary legal steps.

Misconception 1: Only Family Members Can File

One of the most prevalent misconceptions is that only immediate family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Under California law, the right to file such a lawsuit extends beyond just the immediate family. While spouses, domestic partners, and children are typically the primary parties, others may also have standing to file a wrongful death claim. 

Besides Immediate Family, Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

  • Parents of the deceased if they were financially dependent on the decedent.
  • Putative spouses (those who genuinely believed they were married to the decedent).
  • Stepchildren and other minor children (such as those who lived with the decedent for at least 180 days before the death and were dependent on the decedent for at least 50% of their support).

This broader scope ensures that individuals who suffered a genuine loss due to the decedent’s death can seek legal redress.

Misconception 2: Wrongful Death Lawsuits Are Only About Seeking Monetary Compensation

A lot of individuals think that the only goal of wrongful death cases is to get money damages. But there’s more to these lawsuits than meets the eye. The cases’ primary goal is financial recompense, but they also seek justice and accountability. 

By holding negligent parties responsible, wrongful death lawsuits help to prevent future occurrences of similar incidents. They can result in changes to policies, procedures, and behaviors that contribute to wrongful death, thereby enhancing public safety and justice.

Misconception 3: Simple and Straightforward

The notion that wrongful death lawsuits are straightforward is another common misconception. In reality, these cases are often complex and multifaceted. Factors that can impact the outcome include:

  • Establishing liability: Proving that the defendant’s actions or negligence directly caused the death.
  • Calculating damages: Accurately determining the financial impact of the loss, which involves considering lost wages, medical expenses, funeral costs, and non-economic damages like loss of companionship.
  • Gathering evidence: This can involve medical records, witness statements, expert testimonies, and more.

Each case is unique, requiring meticulous preparation and expert legal guidance to navigate successfully.

Misconception 4: Lengthy and Expensive

While wrongful death lawsuits can be time-consuming and costly, they are not inherently so. Several factors influence the duration and cost of a lawsuit, including the complexity of the case, the willingness of parties to settle, and the efficiency of the legal representation. Experienced Pasadena wrongful death lawyers can streamline the process by:

  • Conducting thorough investigations to gather robust evidence.
  • Engaging in negotiations to reach a fair settlement promptly.
  • Utilizing alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, to avoid prolonged court battles.

With skilled legal representation, the process can be more efficient and less financially burdensome.

Misconception 5: Wrongful Death Lawsuits Are Only About Assigning Blame

Finally, some believe that wrongful death lawsuits are purely about assigning blame. However, these lawsuits encompass broader objectives. Besides holding negligent parties accountable, they also aim to bring about positive changes. Successful wrongful death claims can lead to:

  • Policy changes within companies or institutions to prevent similar incidents.
  • Public awareness about specific dangers or negligent behaviors.
  • Regulatory reforms that enhance safety standards and protect others from similar harm.

Understanding the realities of wrongful death lawsuits is crucial for those who may need to pursue such legal action. We’ve addressed some common misconceptions to provide clarity on who can file a lawsuit, the purposes of these cases, their complexities, costs, and broader objectives. If you have questions or concerns about wrongful death lawsuits, it’s essential to seek professional legal advice.

At Law GBG, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive assistance and guiding you through the legal process with compassion and expertise. Visit our website and schedule a consultation to discuss your case with a knowledgeable Pasadena wrongful death lawyer. 

We’re here to help you achieve justice and ensure your loved one’s legacy contributes to a safer future for all.



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Grigoryan Blum & Grigoryan
30 North Raymond Avenue, Suite #514
Pasadena, CA 91103
United States