What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is when a person passes away as a direct result of an intentional or unintentional act of another person or entity. A claim for compensation from the alleged responsible party is a civil lawsuit and successful claims are described in amounts of monetary damages. In California, the deceased’s family can file a civil lawsuit even if there is a criminal case ongoing against the alleged party.

Who can file a Wrongful Death lawsuit?
California statute allows certain individuals to file a claim for wrongful death. Those individuals include:
–The deceased’s surviving spouse, a domestic partner, or surviving children
–If there are no surviving direct decedents, a claim may be brought by the deceased’s parents or siblings
–If financial dependency on the deceased can be proven, a claim may be brought by the deceased’s stepchildren, a putative spouse, or children of a putative spouse

What is the time limit for filing a Wrongful Death lawsuit?
California has a two year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. If a claim is not filed during this time, the family risks losing the right to ever file. It is advantageous to hire a wrongful death attorney who practices in the district where the death occurred. For example, a Los Angeles lawyer is well-acquainted with the laws, statutes, and court proceedings in Los Angeles and the surrounding communities in the Greater LA area.

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