When a person has lost his life or whose injury has taken a turn for the worst due to the actions of another, his or her family is left struggling with grief, and not least, the sudden and overwhelming expenses or financial losses that compound the anguish. California law allows the families of accident victims to file civil lawsuits against the responsible person. Such lawsuits must be filed within the state’s statute of limitations. The family of the victim may consult a wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles who can review the facts and determine the legal grounds for filing a lawsuit.
Who May Sue
According to the California civil code section 377.60-377.62, the person’s spouse, children, domestic partner or the grandchildren of the victim may file a wrongful death lawsuit. If none of these people exist, the persons who would be entitled to receive the victim’s estate through intestate succession may file.
What Must be Proven
The plaintiff or plaintiffs must prove by a preponderance of the evidence several things. First, they must show that death has occurred. Second, they must demonstrate that the demise was caused by the negligence or intentional action of another. Third, they must show that the surviving family members have suffered gravely as a result. Finally, they must demonstrate that a personal representative has been appointed for their loved one’s estate.
Damages may be distributed for both economic, as well as noneconomic losses. In egregious cases, people may also be able to recover punitive damages.