Every time a driver gets behind the wheel of a car, he is taking on a certain amount of risk. Many drivers worry about the actions of other drivers and drive defensively as a result. Unfortunately, however, other drivers are not the only danger. Many families have to deal with the tragic death of a loved one due to an auto defect.
After losing a loved one in an accident caused by an auto defect, family members are often in shock—sad, confused, and angry. They would never dream that the automobile their loved one was driving was not safe and trustworthy. Those responsible for the defect can and should be held responsible for their negligence through a wrongful death claim.
California law allows certain parties, with a specific relationship to the deceased victim, to file a wrongful death claim:
- Surviving spouse – The surviving spouse, as the person who suffers the most as a result of the victim’s death, typically files the wrongful death claim.
- Children – If there is no surviving spouse, the children of the victim will most likely to file the wrongful death claim.
- Parents – If the deceased had no spouse and no children, the parents—whether or not they were financially dependent—may file a wrongful death claim. In fact, parents often file a claim when a minor child is killed in an accident.
- Siblings – Although it is not a very common, siblings of the deceased victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit in cases where there are is no surviving spouse, children, or parents.
In some cases, a court-appointed representative, charged with administering the deceased victim’s estate, may file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the deceased victim’s heirs and other beneficiaries.
If you have lost a loved one due to an auto defect, it is important to learn about your legal options. Fill out the contact form on this page and we will get back to you shortly to schedule a free case consultation.