Wrongful death claims are filed against a defendant that caused someone’s death due to their negligence or through their intentional act.
In this article, we are looking deeper into the working of wrongful death claims in California.
When Does A Wrongful Death Claim Arise?
A wrongful death claim arises in situations when the victim gets killed due to the wrongful act of the defendant. This can happen in various situations including:
- A victim is killed intentionally
- A victim dies due to a medical malpractice
- Car accident deaths caused by negligence
How To Prove Liability Of The Defendant?
In the attempt to hold the defendant liable in a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff has the same burden of proof as that of the victim if he/she had survived the accident. The plaintiff in the case has to prove in the court that the defendant owed the victim the duty of care that was breached and the breach directly led to his/her death.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?
After an event of wrongful death, the following parties are allowed to file a wrongful death claim as per the California laws.
- The surviving spouse
- The surviving children
- The domestic partner
- In case the deceased person isn’t survived by anyone, then the wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by any entity that is going to get the property of the deceased.
In addition, the following parties can also file a wrongful death lawsuit in the court if they are able to prove that they depended on the deceased person for finances.
- Putative spouse of the deceased and his/her children
- The parents of the deceased person
- The stepchildren of the deceased person
What Are The Damages Covered In A Wrongful Death Claim?
Damages that are covered in a wrongful death claim include:
- The pain and suffering that the deceased person underwent before death.
- Costs of medical treatment that the deceased incurred due to the injury from the incident.
- Burial and funeral costs
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of expected income of the deceased
- Loss of companionship and love
What Is The Time Limit For Filing A Wrongful Death Claim?
Like personal injury claims, there is a specific time limit for filing wrongful death claims as well. This time period for filing the case is known as the statute of limitations and as per California law, the allowed time or the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the wrongful death. Any wrongful death claim that is filed after this time period will not be accepted by the court.
An expert wrongful death attorney will represent your best interests in the court if you have filed a wrongful death claim and help you get the deserving compensation without much delay. Therefore, it is important for you to get the help of a good wrongful death attorney for filing a wrongful death claim.