• Know Your Legal Rights

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Know Your Legal Rights

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Know your legal rights in cases against coroners’ offices, funeral homes and mortuaries for mishandling a loved one’s body.

The death of a loved one is a difficult, emotionally turbulent time. During that time, you should be able to expect coroner’s offices, funeral homes, mortuaries and any other entity that handles your loved one’s body to treat it with respect so you can move on with a funeral and the grieving process that follows. But if any of these entities make mistakes in their care of the body, you have a right to take legal action against them.

How we help our clients exercise their rights in these cases

The emotional trauma that can occur in these types of situations cannot be understated. People who have lost loved ones are already in fragile emotional states—having to find out that the coroner’s office or funeral home somehow mishandled or mistreated the body can be devastating.
As your attorney, we work on your behalf to collect evidence and prove negligence on the part of the defendant in your claim. In such cases, you can seek relief in the form of:
  • General damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional trauma
  • Specific damages in which there were more concrete losses
  • Any other damages appropriate in the case, including punitive damages for grossly negligent conduct

Diaz vs. County of Los Angeles

In an example of such a case, we recently represented the plaintiff in the case of Yvette Diaz vs. The County of Los Angeles.
Ms. Diaz gave birth to a healthy baby girl on May 27, 2016. On May 28, 2016, her baby girl died unexpectedly in her mother’s arms. In the case, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office took control of her child’s body on that day, and that she was forced to face questioning from the police regarding the circumstances of her daughter’s death while still in shock and feeling “emotionally devastated” while at the hospital. The questioning, combined with the unexpected death of her child, lead to unbearable pain and suffering for Ms. Diaz.
In addition, Ms. Diaz attempted multiple times over the course of weeks to get in touch with the Coroner’s Office about the cause of death, during which she became even more emotionally distraught. Because the Coroner’s Office still had the body, she was unable to have a proper burial and funeral. On August 24, the Coroner’s Office finally sent Ms. Diaz a letter saying they had cremated her daughter’s body on August 10, and that she could pick up her daughter’s remains.
Ms. Diaz had planned to bury her daughter in accordance with the practices of her Catholic faith, and became deeply depressed. She had to seek the assistance of a psychiatrist to help her cope with her mental trauma.
We represented Ms. Diaz in this case, and the jury awarded her $605,000 in damages.

Schedule your free case evaluation to learn more about your legal options

If you have had to cope with the mishandling of a loved one’s body by a coroner’s office, mortuary or funeral home, you have the right to take legal action against the responsible party. Call Chris Montes de Oca today to schedule a free case analysis: (562) 901-4664.

Client Testimonial

The insurance company offered Mary only $30,000 for the brain injury she suffered during a car accident. We fought for Mary and recovered over $12 million. Watch this video to hear Mary’s story – told by her incredible parents.

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Why Clients Trust Chris to Help Them?

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Mr. Montes de Oca is a highly skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense and personal injury attorney. I’ve consulted with him on a number of my cases and always receive great advice. His attention to detail is uncanny and his clients always get his best effort. I know that any case that I refer to him, will be well taken care of. I endorse this lawyer, without reservation.Jesus E. Arias Esq., LL.M
Chris continues to be a trusted friend and colleague. I’ve been fortunate to know Chris since 2006, when we worked in the same floor and office building. I’m proud to refer clients to Chris because he produces outstanding results and he treats his clients with respect and dignity. In light of the foregoing, Chris is also well-liked and well-respected by other attorneys and judges throughout the legal community.Irineo A. Rus III, Esq.
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I endorse Mr. Montes de Oca as an attorney. I have been witness to some amazing results he has obtained for his clients in personal injury cases and criminal defense. I have also witnessed the care he has for his clients, his desire to bring them quality representation that is affordable. In one case in particular he went out of his way to call me about a firearm charge one of his clients faced, knowing that is my area of expertise and that it would be much less expensive for his client for him to have me answer a quick question than decipher confusing firearm laws. I have known Mr. Montes de Oca since law school, and on top of his impressive professional resume he is also a very nice person.Sean Brady, Esq.
Mr. Montes De Oca is a knowledgeable attorney who possesses substantial experience in Personal Injury & criminal defense. With great skills he provides excellent representation to his clients. In my opinion he is one of the best qualified.Griselda Rodriguez, Esq.
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Chris is a powerhouse in the Personal Injury field. He is well known for his rigorous representation of clients and from start to finish of a case, a true professional. He is a devoted advocate and skillful litigator. I am comfortable sending all my PI referrals to Chris.Eseigbe A. Omofoma, Esq.
Chris is an outstanding attorney. He works tirelessly to achieve the results that his clients deserve. I endorse this lawyer.Duc T. Tran, Esq.
I endorse Christopher Montes De Oca. I have known Christopher for a few years and have found him to be very knowledgeable in the area of criminal defense. Christopher is a very passionate about the representation of his clients and this passion has resulted in positive outcomes for many of his clients. If you want strong representation by a knowledgeable attorney, contact Christopher Montes De Oca Esq.Scott D. Hughes, Esq.
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Mr. Montes De Oca is a persistent and unyielding advocate for his clients. He has an established track record of successful litigation outcomes for his clients. I do not hesitate to refer litigation cases to his office. I endorse this lawyer.Stephen M. Sargeant, Esq.
I have worked with Chris on some criminal matters and I have learned to know his work ethics. Even though he charges a reasonable flat fee on most cases, he is always very aggressive in representing his clients and looking after their best interests.Tobie B. Waxman, Esq.
I highly endorse this lawyer. Mr. Montes De Oca is a superior well-rounded attorney in many fields, a skill most other attorneys in his field do not posses. Mr. Montes De Oca is compassionate about his clients and strives to maintain constant contact with clients.Christie O. Beard, Esq.

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