Hesperia Wrongful Death Lawyer


Unexpectedly losing a cherished family member or a loved one can be devastating. When you learn their death could have been prevented if it had not been for the negligent actions or misconduct of another, you may be ready to take every possible opportunity for recourse. Fortunately, your family may have the opportunity to demand the at-fault party be brought to justice. Our compassionate Hesperia wrongful death attorneys at Moody Law are ready to put our decades of experience to work for you. 

Our personal injury lawyers will work tirelessly to build a compelling case against those responsible, so your family can mourn your loss and make the liable party pay. Contact our office to request a 100% free consultation today and to learn more about how wrongful death laws work in California, what to expect from your wrongful death claim, and what your family could be entitled to in terms of financial compensation.

Wrongful Death Can Happen in Many Types of Accidents and Incidents

It is crucial to ensure your wrongful death attorney has experience handling cases similar to yours. At Moody Law, our legal advocates have assisted families dealing with a wide variety of accidents, events, and incidents that ultimately led to wrongful death. Anytime one party is responsible for the death of another, the surviving family may have the right to take action through a wrongful death claim. 

An individual or entity can be found liable for the decedent’s death even if they did not intend to cause fatal injuries. The fact remains, had it not been for the defendant’s negligence or misconduct, your loved one may still be with you today. Here are some of the most common types of accidents and events known for resulting in wrongful death and parties who may be sued for damages:

Motor Vehicle Wrecks

Motor vehicle accidents can include a collision with any other type of vehicle. These might include: 

The cause of the collision will help your wrongful death lawyers identify the at-fault parties. For example, if the driver who crashed into your family member was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not only might you be able to bring a wrongful death claim against the drunk driver, but any local dram shops that served or sold alcohol to the defendant while knowingly intoxicated. 

Alternatively, if dangerous conditions, such as an improperly secured road construction zone, caused your loved ones fatal injuries, you might have grounds for a wrongful death action against the California Department of Transportation, the city of Hesperia, or other third parties. Only a comprehensive investigation will uncover the truth.

Premises Liabilities

Fatal injuries in a premises liability accident are far more common than people realize. Premises liabilities can occur on both public and private property. Some of the most common types of premises liabilities our clients have dealt with include:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Ladder accidents
  • Roof accidents
  • Failure to maintain the premises
  • Work-related accidents
  • Construction site accidents
  • Escalator accidents
  • Dog bites and animal attacks
  • Stair accidents
  • Negligent security

In many premises liability cases, we discover that the property owner is ultimately responsible due to a failure to uphold their obligation to the safety and well-being of their invited guests and patrons. However, there are circumstances in which third parties can be partially responsible, so it is important to have a knowledgeable and skilled premises liability attorney investigating the proximate cause of your loved one’s death.

Product Liabilities 

Product liability cases are unique when compared to other types of accidents and incidents. This is because almost any party involved in the chain of distribution of these defective or malfunctioning products could be sued for the victim’s fatal injuries. This might include product designers, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, safety inspectors, and executives, among others. The most common types of product liability cases we handle include:

  • Failure to warn – This is where the malfunctioning product in question did not have sufficient warning labels describing the inherent risk of the product to consumers.
  • Manufacturing defects – Manufacturing defects describe malfunctions or defects with one specific product in a line of products.
  • Design defects – With design defects, the entire line of any specific product will be inherently malfunctioning or defective as opposed to a single unit being defective.

Criminal Activity 

Criminal activity and misconduct have been known to result in catastrophic and fatal injuries, which lead to wrongful death claims. In some cases, the decedent is injured accidentally while others are committing a crime. However, in others, the decedent suffers fatal injuries intentionally inflicted by the defendant. Some examples of such criminal charges could include:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Sexual assault
  • Homicide
  • Manslaughter
  • Vehicular manslaughter

What It Means to File a Wrongful Death Action

Filing a wrongful death action is often the best way for surviving family members to take legal action against the individual or entity found responsible for causing their loved one’s death. Here are some of the intricacies and nuances surrounding wrongful death lawsuits in Hesperia:

The Burden of Proof

Depending on how your family member was killed, the at-fault party may face criminal charges in addition to being held accountable through your civil claim. However, it is important to know that the burden of proof in these cases is not the same. If the defendant faces criminal charges, the state will need to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain a conviction. 

In your wrongful death lawsuit, the burden of proof is based on a preponderance of the evidence. This is a technical phrase that means evidence must be presented that convinces the jury of the defendant’s liability for your family member’s death. Liability does not need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt as long as the evidence is convincing. In criminal court, defendants should not be convicted unless the jury is convinced of their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Who Files the Claim

Not all surviving family members have the right to file a wrongful death claim. In fact, California’s wrongful death statute specifies only specific parties have the authority to take legal action through a wrongful death lawsuit. These parties include, in the order they have to file suit:

  • The deceased’s domestic partner or surviving spouse
  • The deceased’s surviving adult children
  • The deceased’s surviving adult grandchildren

This means even if you are the parents of an adult who passed away, the decedent’s siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents, or any other relation, you do not have the right to file a wrongful death claim. If none of these parties apply in your case, the decedent’s personal representative or anyone who inherits the decedent’s estate under California’s intestate succession laws may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and collect damages.

Parties Who Can Collect Awarded Damages 

When a wrongful death claim is successful, certain parties have the authority to collect the damages awarded. These parties include:

  • The decedent’s surviving spouse
  • The decedent’s surviving putative spouse
  • The decedent’s legal guardian
  • The decedent’s siblings and parents
  • The decedent’s children
  • The children of the deceased’s surviving putative spouse
  • The decedent’s stepchildren

These are just a few examples of parties who may have the right to collect damages awarded in a wrongful death claim. Anyone who was financially dependent on the decedent may be entitled to a portion of the financial compensation awarded. Your wrongful death lawyer will review the circumstances of your case and determine which surviving family members and relatives are entitled to a percentage of your wrongful death settlement.

Penalties for Liable Parties 

The consequences of a conviction or being found liable for the decedent’s death can also vary widely based on whether the case is heard in criminal or civil court. If convicted criminally, the defendant will face criminal charges. They may spend time in jail or prison, forced to pay restitution to the decedent’s surviving family, pay court fines and fees, and deal with collateral consequences that haunt them for the rest of their lives. 

In civil court, the outcome is different. If the defendant is found liable for the decedent’s death, they will be ordered to compensate the decedent’s surviving family members. The amount of compensation awarded will vary considerably on a case-by-case basis.

Recoverable Damages in Hesperia Wrongful Death Claims

In a Hesperia wrongful death lawsuit, the decedent’s surviving family members and loved ones may be able to collect compensation for a variety of compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are losses the surviving family member is entitled to, while punitive damages are intended to punish the decedent for maliciousness or gross negligence. 

Economic Damages for Surviving Family and the Decedent’s Estate

Economic damages are also commonly known as special damages. They describe financially based losses the decedent and the decedent’s surviving family members endure due to the deceased’s fatal injuries. Some examples of recoverable economic damages and wrongful death claims include:

  • The decedent’s burial and funeral expenses
  • The surviving family member’s loss of the decedent’s financial contributions to the family
  • Loss of the surviving family member’s inheritance
  • Loss of the decedent’s household services, including childcare and household maintenance
  • Loss of the benefits the decedent was expected to provide to the family
  • The decedent’s medical expenses prior to their death

Non-Economic Damages May Also Be Awarded

Non-economic damages are slightly different. They are also commonly known as general damages and describe losses that do not have a financial value. Your wrongful death attorney will need to review the various ways the decedent’s life and your family’s lives have been affected by the loss of your loved one to ensure we are accounting for every non-economic loss. 

Some examples of potentially recoverable non-economic damages in a Hesperia wrongful death claim include:

  • Loss of the decedent’s support and guidance
  • Loss of the decedent’s companionship, affection, and love
  • Loss of moral support, comfort, advice, and protection provided by the decedent
  • The decedent’s pain and suffering prior to their death

These are only a few examples of potentially recoverable non-economic damages. It is important to note that if your family member passes away due to medical malpractice, there may be a cap on the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded. 

Deadlines for Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Hesperia 

If you are considering the pursuit of a wrongful death claim, it is important to be aware of California’s statute of limitations deadlines. Wrongful death claims are different from traditional personal injury lawsuits. However, under wrongful death California laws, the statute of limitations is the same. Surviving family members or those with the authority to file wrongful death claims will have a maximum of two years from the decedent’s death to file a lawsuit. If the claim is not filed before the statute of limitations expires, California civil courts will be prohibited from hearing your case. 

Unfortunately, while you may not want to feel pressured to take legal action, the law requires you to do so before the two-year deadline passes, which means it is imperative that you start working on your case as soon as possible. Two years may seem like plenty of time to build a case and file your claim, but the more time you are wrongful death attorney has to gather sufficient evidence and build a compelling case against the liable party, the more likely it is that your wrongful death lawsuit will be successful.

Connect With Our Hesperia Wrongful Death Attorneys Today

The process of recovering compensation through a wrongful death claim can be intimidating when your family is still grieving. Fortunately, you do not need to go through this alone. Your dedicated Hesperia wrongful death lawyer at Moody Law is here to handle every legal element of your case so you can devote your energy and time to what matters most: your family. 

Let us take care of the technical details of your wrongful death action while you are in mourning. Get started as soon as today when you complete our secured contact form or call our office to schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation.