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What grieving families should know about wrongful death claims

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2023 | Personal Injury

The criminal laws in California allow the state to arrest and prosecute people who harm other people or damage their property. Civil laws allow those affected negatively by individuals or businesses to take that other party to court. Sometimes, civil court is the best way for those harmed by others to seek justice.

In a civil lawsuit, people could ask the courts to stop someone from engaging in certain activity. They could also ask a judge to uphold a contract or award them damages because of injuries that they suffered. California has thorough personal injury statutes that allow people to request compensation from a business or individual that harms them.

Wrongful death laws help protect the surviving family members of someone who dies because of the negligence or misconduct of another party. A wrongful death lawsuit can both provide a sense of justice and financial compensation for those left grieving someone who unexpectedly died. What do California plaintiffs need to know about wrongful death lawsuits?

There are rules about who files and when

California state law actually allows several parties to potentially pursue a wrongful death claim. In many states, either immediate family members or the representative of someone’s estate will bring a claim, and the law is very clear regarding who has that right. Anyone who might inherit from an estate when someone dies without a will could potentially file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Of course, they will have to move quickly, as there is a statute of limitations that applies. If people don’t initiate a wrongful death claim within two years of someone’s death, they may lose the right to seek compensation through the civil courts.

There are rules about the losses you can recover. California law dictates what kinds of compensation people can request in a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit can seek to recover medical and funeral expenses, as well as wages someone would have earned if they lived. Families can even seek compensation for the loss of companionship and support from the deceased.

Learning more about the rules that govern wrongful death claims in California can help your family determine if it would benefit from filing a civil lawsuit in response to a recent loss.