A wrongful death claim may arise when a person dies due to the negligence or wrongful act of another. It is a civil suit and every state has laws in place regarding who is entitled to bring a wrongful death action. If you have lost a loved one in a tragic accident caused by someone else, you may be wondering about your options for legal recourse. Here, we discuss who is able to bring a wrongful death claim and California as well as what compensation they may be entitled to should the claim prove successful.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
A wrongful death claim is brought by the survivors of the deceased person. Only certain individuals are permitted to bring a wrongful death claim in California. State law specifically provides for the parties permitted to file this type of lawsuit. Per California statute, a wrongful death claim may be brought by the deceased individual’s:
- Surviving spouse
- Domestic partner
- Surviving children
In the event that the deceased person has none of these kinds of survivors, or, put otherwise, there is no surviving person in the deceased individual’s line of descent, then the individuals permitted to file the wrongful death suit expands. In this type of case, the deceased person’s parents or siblings, depending on who is alive at the time of death of the deceased individual may file the wrongful death claim.
Furthermore, there may be others who are able to bring a wrongful death claim. Some people who are able to prove that they were financially dependent on the deceased individual may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California. If financially dependent on the deceased individual, the following people may be permitted to file the wrongful death action
- The putative spouse and the children of the putative spouse of the deceased individual
- The stepchildren of the deceased individual
- The parents of the deceased individual
Regardless of who brings the wrongful death claim, it is important to be mindful of the statute of limitations on this kind of action. In California, wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the date of the decedent’s death. Failure to file the claim in a timely manner will likely result in a party losing the right to file at all.
Should the wrongful death claim be timely filed and prove successful, damages will be available to help compensate both the estate for losses relating to the decedent’s death and the surviving family members for any personal losses attributable to the decedent’s death. Damages sustained by the estate may include things such as funeral and burial expenses. If may also include final medical bills of the deceased. Losses sustained by surviving family members usually include things such as the value of household services and financial support that were provided by the deceased. Losses may also include things such as loss of love, affection, moral support and guidance.
Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent or intentional acts of another, talk to the trusted attorneys at SoCal Injury Lawyers about your options. Now is the time for you to focus on your family and loved ones. Let us take on the legal burden of pursuing your right to compensation for your losses. Contact us today.