What is Considered Wrongful Death in California?

Author: Mesriani Law Group
Posted on: August 24, 2020

The death of a loved one is never easy to process. If the death of your loved one is due to the negligence of another, you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

The definition of wrongful death describes the death of an individual through an accident caused by the misconduct or negligence of another. Common causes of wrongful death include car accidents, truck accidents, plane crashes, fire, and explosions. Medical malpractice is also common cause of wrongful death in Los Angeles.

In order to prove the death was wrongful, you must have facts to support your claims. Whether it’s a wrongful death due to a car crash, truck accident, or plane crash, make sure you have experienced wrongful death lawyer by your side to help you understand your rights.

Parties That Can Sue for Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one can have a great emotional impact on your family. In addition to the emotional tolls, there can be significant financial hardships as a result of your loved one’s death.

In California, families have the right to recover damages when a loved one has died due to the negligence of another. But only specific individuals can file a wrongful death claim. Eligible parties who can file a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • Spouse of the deceased
  • Domestic partner of the deceased
  • Children or stepchildren of the deceased
  • Parents or grandparents of the decreased
  • Siblings of the deceased
  • Minors who lived with the deceased for at least 180 days leading up to the death

If none of these parties exist to file a claim, then the right is extended to parties who could inherit property of the deceased based on California estate distribution laws.

Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Claim

Navigating the legal process of a wrongful death claim can be confusing and upsetting. You and your family deserve the right to grieve, but the state has a firm deadline regarding wrongful death claims. In California, there is a two-year limit to file a wrongful death claim. In other words, families have two years from the date of death to file a claim.

However, there are some exceptions.

For example, if the wrongful death claim is brought against a public entity (for example, the State of California), there is a six-month statute of limitation to file the claim.

If the wrongful death case is brought forth by a minor, then the minor has until two years from the day he or she turns 18.

Regardless of the circumstance, don’t let the statute of limitation expire. You must act quickly if you want the best chances of winning your case.

Consult with a Wrongful Death Attorney Today

Timing is of the utmost important in wrongful death cases. When filing a wrongful death claim, there will be significant opposition from the parties at fault. Working with an experienced wrongful death law firm is your best chance at getting the justice your family deserves. Contact us today and let us help you start the process of getting through these difficult times.