When you lose a loved one, the last thing you want to think about is the stress of a lawsuit. You may already be facing financial burdens from the loss including medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of income, and more. The state of California places time limits, called a statute of limitations, on the amount of time that a lawsuit can be filed in the incident of a wrongful death. This means that you need to act quickly if you feel you have a valid claim and consult with an Orange County wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.
Am I Eligible To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The first thing you need to know about a wrongful death suit are the necessary elements to make a claim. Four pieces must exist in order to file a wrongful death claim in California:
- A death must have occurred;
- The death was caused by another person or entity via negligence, wrongful act, or harmful intent;
- There must be monetary injuries as a result of the death, including but not limited to, lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses, and loss of future income;
- The appointment of a personal representative for the deceased’s estate.
Who Can File The Claim?
The personal representative will be allowed to file a claim in cases that meet the criteria above. Not just anyone can file the suit, and you cannot have multiple people filing a lawsuit pertaining to the wrongful death of the same person. There are specific people that can file and benefit from compensation in a wrongful death claim. These people include:
- The surviving spouse, children, or domestic partner;
- The parent if there is no spouse or children;
- A personal representative of the deceased’s estate;
- Other person dependent on the decedent’s support, such as a stepchild or sibling.
When a person is killed in a wrongful death situation, it can be devastating to many people. Though you could be suffering from the loss of your family member or friend, it is important to make sure that you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim before attempting to file a lawsuit. A skilled California wrongful death attorney can help you determine your eligibility. Even if you aren’t eligible to file the claim yourself, you could qualify for compensation in the claim. Again, speaking with a seasoned attorney can help you determine your legal options.
If you are eligible to file a claim or receive compensation, then you could be awarded certain damages. These damages include:
- Burial and funeral expenses;
- Medical bills and expenses;
- Lost wages or income;
- Future lost income;
- Loss of companionship;
- Loss of household services.
Consult With A Skilled Wrongful Death Attorney
Financial compensation can never completely make up for the loss of a loved one. When trying to recover from this loss, it is often unthinkable to deal with the added stress of financial hardship.
You need an attorney that understands how wrongful death laws apply to your case and will fight aggressively for your rights. Consult with a seasoned wrongful death lawyer in California to recover damages in your case.