The death of a loved one will profoundly impact anyone who experiences it. The grieving process is painful and prolonged, but it’s even longer when you’re dealing with the loss of someone killed under wrongful circumstances. If you have lost your loved one under the wrong circumstances, you can file a Wrongful Death Claim.
A wrongful death claim is a legal action brought by the surviving family members of a person who died due to the negligence of another person or entity. A wrongful death claim can be obtained when the deceased was either under 18 or over 65 years old and the decedent’s spouse, children, or parents lived with them.
There are 2 parts to a wrongful death claim: the first part is for compensatory damages, money meant to cover medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost wages of the deceased. The second part is for punitive damages intended to punish the defendant.
The deceased person’s family will be compensated for the loss of support, companionship, affection, and other non-economic damage resulting from a wrongful death. Ironically, non-economic damage may not include the amount of grief, grief, or pain and suffering of heirs caused by the end of their loved ones. While pain and damage caused are not compensable, successors can still recover medical expenses incurred and wages lost before death. As with bodily injury in general, the defendant’s liability in the event of wrongful death is expressed solely in the form of financial compensation (“damage”) that the court orders the defendant to pay to the deceased survivors (assuming the case is successful )
Although wrongful death is not as common as manslaughter, there are several instances where it can occur. Some of the most common include:
- Someone getting hit by a drunk driver
- A worker dying on the job site or because of an occupational hazard
- A fatal accident caused by an uninsured driver
- A homicide-related death
How to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
To register a wrongful death claim, you will need to create and submit an affidavit that includes details about your relationship with the deceased person and how they died. The testimony should consist of any evidence, which supports the case. Such as medical records and statements from witnesses who saw what happened (if any).
The deceased’s family must have a Wrongful Death Lawyer and a relatively detailed understanding of how their loved one died to file a wrongful death claim.
The first step is to file a notice of intent with the court. This notice will stay on file for one year, and if there is no settlement, it will be filed as a lawsuit. If you are unsure regarding your legal rights, contact an attorney specializing in wrongful death claims. Hiring an experienced Wrongful death claims attorney increases your chances of attaining suitable compensation and avoiding mistakes that can lead to a denied claim.
Common Mistakes that can lead to a denied Wrongful Death Claim
- Waiting too long before filing the claim
While it can be challenging to think about the timing of the death of your loved ones, it is vital to consider the time frame for bringing legal proceedings.
In these cases, you may have more time to file a claim, mainly two years after the person’s death or cause of death became known (or should have become known) that gave rise to the wrongful death claim. For example, if the end of a person was due to medical negligence, the limitation period is two years from the deceased’s date of death.
Yes, legislators introduced a statute of limitations to set a maximum period, usually, two years after a wrongful death; a person can sue in California. Under California Civil Procedure Code 335.1, the time limit is two years. For example, if the deceased’s family later learns that the cause of death was someone else’s negligence.
- Making Public Statements
If you are preparing to file a Wrongful death Claim for the deceased, refrain from making public statements to police, media/newspapers, or people around you. As these statements can be held against you in court, always consult your attorney before making any move.
- Not Hiring a Lawyer.
Wrongful death claims are complicated. Insurance companies will always try and find ways to avoid paying compensation. Hence, your claim against them should be perfect to a T. But when you are grieving the loss of your loved one, your mind can be fragmented. Since you are too close to the claim, it can be challenging to maintain a necessary emotional distance from the case. Here is when a legal representative comes in. It is better to leave the legal process to the experts rather than try and do it yourself.
If the actions of another person caused the death of your loved ones, even if that person did not intend to kill the victim, you need a lawyer to explain your family’s rights. One of the many services your Wrongful lawyer can provide is identifying all responsible parties and any insurance policies. If you have lost a loved one in Southern California due to another person’s reckless or negligent behavior, Garcia & Phan Southern California Personal Injury Lawyer‘s experienced attorneys can help you recover your compensation.
Contact Garcia & Phan Lawyers. We understand California Wrongful Death laws and the complexities of Personal Injuries and Wrongful deaths.
Call (714)-586-8298 for a no-cost evaluation