Wrongful death can be legally defined as the death of a person resulting from the wrongful act of some other person. Negligent acts like careless driving, as well as intentional attacks like murder, are all regarded as acts that lead to wrongful death.
In this article, we discuss common questions about wrongful deaths.
What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?
The survivors of the deceased person usually file a wrongful death claim. The claim is filed to seek compensation for their economic losses. If someone’s wrongful acts led to one’s death, his/her family members can sue the responsible party. They should seek the help of an expert wrongful death attorney who can represent them in the court.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?
As per the California Code of Civil Procedure, the following people are entitled to file a wrongful death claim in the court:
- Spouses can file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for the loss of consortium and future earnings due to death. Emotional distress is not generally taken into account in wrongful death claims but survivors can recover damages for the things that the deceased would have provided including comfort, guidance, advice and protection if he/she were alive.
- Putative spouses or domestic partners have the right to get the same compensation a spouse would get on filing a wrongful death claim. Putative spouses are partners that have good faith that he/she was married to the deceased.
- Minor children including adopted children of the decedent can file a wrongful death claim.
- The parents of the deceased person can also file a claim for the loss of their child due to the wrongful death.
What Is The Time Limit For Filing A Wrongful Death Claim?
Statute of limitations is nothing but the time period within which the family members of the deceased person can file a wrongful death claim in the court of law. As per the California code of civil procedure, the family members of the decedent have to file a wrongful death claim within two years after the death and claims that are filed after this time will be rejected.
What Are The Damages Available In A Wrongful Death Claim?
The damages that are available in a wrongful death claim are broadly divided into two categories:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses that are associated with the deceased person’s injury and hospitalization.
- The income of the deceased if the death did not take place.
- Loss of services (childcare, housework etc).
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of guidance and advice
Without the help of an expert wrongful death attorney, getting an equitable settlement is not that easy in wrongful death claims. Therefore, it is always important for you to get the help of a wrongful death attorney while filing such claims.