In an instant, your world can be turned upside down with the loss of a loved one. Suffering the death of a loved one is devastating and many times leaves survivors at a complete loss on how to move forward. If that loss was due to the negligence of another person, business or government agency, California law allows the family of a deceased to seek financial compensation through a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. The law recognizes that the negligent persons liability extends past the death of your loved one. Financial compensation will never replace the loss of a loved one, but it can help ease the stress associated with the family’s financial burdens.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In order to have a successful wrongful death claim in California, the following elements must be present:
Negligence: The surviving family members must be able to prove that the death of their loved one was caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default of the defendant.
Causation: The surviving family members must prove how the defendant’s negligence caused their loved one’s death.
Damages: The death of the victim must have generated damages such as medical bills, loss of wages, funeral and burial costs and pain and suffering.
Deadlines to File a Wrongful Death Claim
Every state has certain deadlines in which a family member or spouse must file a lawsuit for a wrongful death. This deadline is called statute of limitations because it is a deadline set by state law. In most cases, the deadline for a wrongful death lawsuit to be filed is two years from the date of the accident.
Our attentive approach offers comfort to families that have experienced deep loss. Our law firm treats each client like family.