Although every death is tragic, not every death is eligible for Wrongful Death Claims in California. Someone else's negligence or wrongful action must have caused a loved one's death for Wrongful Death to exist under California law.

That said, what qualifies as wrongful death, and who can you hold liable.

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What Is Considered "Negligent"?

A person or organization may have failed to exercise the necessary caution, resulting in a deadly accident that could have been avoided.

In other words, your loved one would not have died if the defendant had not been negligent in their actions or omissions.

Someone (or an organization) has been negligent if they failed to fulfill their duty of care. This duty of care can change from case to case. Here are a few examples:

  • Drivers must follow traffic rules. If someone is injured or has died due to them ignoring the rules, they may be held responsible for the losses the victim and their family suffer.
  • Companies and manufacturers have the responsibility to make sure their products are safe. If a device explodes due to a lack of quality control, they will be liable to product liability.

Again, who is responsible for a loved one's death can vary depending on the facts of the case. Consult with a prescreened California Wrongful Death Attorney to know your legal options.

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What Kinds of Damages Can Families Recover After a Wrongful Death?

Even if your family cannot hold the at-fault party directly responsible, their family may be able to seek compensation on their behalf. For example, a family may be able to sue a defendant in California for a number of economic and non-economic losses related to the death:

  • Future earnings lost. The decedent would have made the amount of money or income if they hadn't died.
  • Expenses paid out of pocket. All expenses your family has incurred as a result of the decedent's death (medical bills, funeral, burial expenses).
  • Pension funds. The income from a retirement plan may be lowered if a wrongful death occurs too quickly.
  • Inheritance. The monetary value of the decedent's estate.
  • Pain and Suffering. The victim's and their loved ones' sorrow and suffering would be compensated as a result of the wrongful death.
    • This includes "intangible" values such as emotional anguish, grief, worry, and similar experiences.
  • Punitive Damages. These damages are only applied in the most heinous circumstances and are intended to teach the liable individual (or group) a lesson.
  • Lost Companionship. You might be able to receive monetary compensation if you lose the company of a family member or acquaintance. Companionship is considered a huge part of someone's wellbeing, which is why the death of a spouse or partner can be so tragic for those left behind.

If a loved one died in an accident, you should call a California Wrongful Death Attorney for assistance.

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The Wrongful Death Claims Have Deadlines

Your family cannot afford to wait too long to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In addition, wrongful death cases in California are subject to a strict statute of limitations.

As a result, if the applicant does not file a case within two years of the deceased person's death, California courts are almost certain to dismiss it.

So, this means you only have two years to gather evidence, construct a case, and file a lawsuit against the defendant. Hire a California Personal Injury Lawyer as soon as you suspect wrongdoing in connection with your loved one's death to expedite the claims process as much as feasible.

Find A California Personal Injury Attorney Near Me is a California Bar Association Certified Lawyer Referral Service that can refer you to an attorney best fit for your case. You can complete our submission form or reach us through our 24/7 live chat for a free initial consultation.