A 26-year-old Santa Monica woman is facing charges of murder and arson after her elderly housemate died in a fire on Tuesday, May 1. The relationship between Victoria Renae Darlington and the unnamed deceased woman has, as yet, not been made public knowledge, but it is believed that they lived together in the 31st Street home, where the elderly female was found unconscious by firefighters tackling a blaze at around 9.30 pm on May 1. Darlington was arrested the following day and is being held in lieu of $2 million bails.
There have been no reports of any dispute between Darlington and the deceased woman, who is believed to have died from smoke inhalation after the 26-year-old set light to the garage attached to her home. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Darlington had previously been arrested and was known to the police for her history of mental instability.
Wrongful death is a statutory action that may provide compensation for the surviving family members of one who has lost their life due to the negligence or willful wrongdoing of another, providing they satisfy certain eligibility criteria. The relationship you had with the deceased will determine whether you can file for wrongful death compensation, which is normally limited to parents, spouses, siblings, and offspring of the victim. In certain circumstances, where no spouse or children survive the deceased, other persons may be entitled to recover compensation under the intestate succession scheme. As this legal process can swiftly become prohibitively complex, you should speak to a Los Angeles wrongful death attorney before attempting to seek damages.
It is important to note that wrongful death compensation is not intended to compensate for the pain and suffering enduring by the deceased but to compensate those family members who have been affected, both financially and non-financially by the loss of their loved one’s earnings, companionship, support, and guidance.
Generally, friends and acquaintances will not be entitled to recover wrongful death compensation, which is normally limited to those who were either biologically or legally related to the deceased. To reflect recent changes in legislation, it has recently been made possible for same-sex couples to claim wrongful death compensation, where applicable.
As wrongful death is that which is caused by the negligence of another, the possible qualifying causes are countless. While working as Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys, the legal team at The Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg have handled numerous cases of this kind, with many falling into the broad categories of:
As you can see from that list, the potential causes of wrongful death are similar to those qualifying an injured person to file a personal injury claim. If you believe you may have a valid claim for wrongful death compensation, you should consult with a Los Angeles attorney as soon as possible, as any delay may negatively impact the outcome of your claim.
To find out how a Los Angeles wrongful death attorney could help you to recover the damages you are entitled to, call us today on 310-997-0904 to schedule a free initial consultation.