Answers to Your Questions Regarding California Wrongful Death Claims

Losing a loved one is a traumatic and devastating experience.  It is hard to imagine your life without him or her.  How do you pick up the pieces and move forward?

When a death is caused by negligence, such as in a drunk driving accident, bicycle collision or truck accident, it makes the situation that much more upsetting.  Negligence by other people and entities can lead to fatal accidents.  If your loved one was killed because of someone else’s carelessness, you need to familiarize yourself with the legal term, wrongful death.

California’s wrongful death law can be found in the Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60-377.62.  If you are considering filing a California wrongful death lawsuit, there are some things you need to be aware of regarding this law and some questions you will want answered.  

Who Can File a California Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A surviving spouse, domestic partner or child can file a wrongful death claim against the negligent person or entity that caused the death. The law also states that “issue of deceased children” can pursue a wrongful death suit, meaning they are offspring of a deceased child.  There are various exceptions regarding who is allowed to file a claim, which should be discussed with a California wrongful death attorney.  For example, in some situations a parent can file the claim.

What Are the Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Suit?
The compensation available in a wrongful death lawsuit is different than the typical California personal injury case.  Basically, a wrongful death claim is designed to compensate people who suffer their own economic and non-economic losses resulting from the wrongful death of someone close to them.  For example, a plaintiff may be compensated for future financial support, funeral and burial expenses, reasonable value of household services, loss of the victim’s love, loss of the enjoyment of sexual relations and loss of gifts or benefits.

What is the Deadline to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?
Based on California law, there is a two-year statute of limitations to file a claim.  This deadline is two years from the date of the accident or incident that caused the wrongful death.  There are some factors that can shorten this deadline, so it is important that you talk with an experienced California wrongful death lawyer right away.

At Steinberg Injury Lawyers, we understand that you are going through one of the most difficult times in your life.  We extend our deepest condolences to you and your family.  If you have questions regarding whether or not you can pursue compensation, feel free to contact our office at (800) 989-6385.  The consultation is free and there is no obligation.
Peter Steinberg, Esq.
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982