While wrongful death laws vary from state to state, the general concept remains — individuals with standing can sue the negligent party and seek financial compensation for their loss. In California, a “wrongful death claim” arises when one person dies as the result of the wrongful act or negligence of another person or entity and is brought in civil court by the survivors of the deceased person, or by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. In a wrongful death claim, the guilty party does not go to jail. Instead, fault is expressed solely in terms of money damages, which the court orders the defendant to pay to the decedent’s survivors (assuming the lawsuit is successful).
Types of wrongful death claims
Wrongful death actions may be possible in a number of tort claims, including:
- Medical Malpractice
- Fatal Car Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Employment-Work Accidents
- Boating and Airplane Accidents
- Defective Products
- Exposure to Dangerous Chemicals
This list is not exhaustive. To discuss whether you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim and whether you have the standing, or ability, to do so, speak with a skilled wrongful death attorney.
Do I need an attorney to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
Generally speaking, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney who has experience handling wrongful death lawsuits and a proven track record of success. In order to achieve the maximum compensation available, your attorney will likely bring in experts to explain the financial hardship your loss has had on your daily life. In addition, they will clearly and unequivocally set the blame on the guilty party so that there can be no question as to fault.
How long do I have to bring my wrongful death claim?
In California, you cannot wait too long before bringing your wrongful death claim. Indeed, in many instances, a claim must be filed within 2 years of the date of death. When it comes to medical malpractice, the statute of limitations may be reduced to one year. If your loved one has died at the negligent or reckless hands of another, do not delay in reaching out to an attorney to help you file a wrongful death claim.
If your loved one was killed in an accident that was not his or her fault, or due to medical negligence, reach out to the knowledgeable wrongful death attorneys at Ghozland Law Firm today for a free consultation.