Losing a loved one is never easy. It can be particularly painful if the death occurred as a result of another’s wrongful, negligent, or even intentional actions. In the state of California, legal action can be taken in the event of a wrongful death.
Financial compensation can never make up for the loss of a loved one in the lives of the survivors, but it can help to ease the financial burden that accompanies the loss. This is where our team of wrongful death lawyers can help.
Factors Of A California Wrongful Death Claim
In the state of California, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed with a person dies as a result of the negligence or wrongful actions of another entity or person. This claim would be filed as a civil lawsuit instead of a criminal case.
This is because the fault would be expressed in terms of monetary damage instead of assigning penalties of incarceration, probation, and other criminal punishments. However, the person bringing the wrongful death suit to court can file their claim even if a criminal case is already being pursued against the defendant.
Here are the factors that must be present in order to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California:
- A person passed away;
- The death was a result of someone’s negligence or harmful actions;
- The survivors will or have suffered a financial injury as a result;
- A personal representative for the deceased’s estate has been assigned.
Who Can File The Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Not everyone can file a wrongful death claim when they lose someone that they love. In addition to this, there can only be one wrongful death suit filed. In one lawsuit there may be multiple beneficiaries, they just can’t file individual suits.
The person eligible for filing the wrongful death lawsuit can be one of the following:
- The victim’s surviving spouse
- The victim’s surviving children or stepchildren
- The victim’s surviving domestic partner
- The victim’s parents or siblings in some cases
Typically, in order to bring a wrongful death claim to court, the survivors must be able to show that they were financially dependent on the decedent. If you think you could be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit, then you should consult with an experienced California attorney. The lawyer will be able to confirm your eligibility to file the claim.
Time Limits For Filing A Claim
Family members or dependents planning on filing a lawsuit should be aware that the state of California places time limits on when these suits may be filed. This is referred to as a statute of limitations. In the wake of a wrongful death incident, the survivors may file their claim within two years.
Though special circumstances may be considered, it is unlikely that the family can file a lawsuit after two years have passed. This is why it is crucial to move forward with your case as soon as possible following the loss of your loved one.
Hire A Skilled Wrongful Death Attorney To Help
If you believe you have a case that qualifies for a wrongful death lawsuit, then you should contact a seasoned attorney immediately. The sooner you act, the better your chance of receiving fair compensation. Consult with an attorney today to discuss your legal options.