A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim in that both involve another person’s or party’s negligence or lack of care. Both are civil lawsuits and are thus settled in monetary terms, without jail time or similar penalties. The laws covering wrongful death vary for each state.
Wrongful Death Claim in California
In California, a wrongful death claim is filed when a person is killed due to the negligence or intentional act of another party or entity. As a civil case, a survivor or representative of the deceased’s estate has the right to seek monetary compensation from the liable party. While a wrongful death incident may also bear criminal elements, criminal charges are filed separately by police investigators or state prosecutors, and not by private entities. The victim’s survivors, with the help of a wrongful death attorney may file for a wrongful death suit even with ongoing criminal proceedings.