Negligence while driving or doing any other activity might sometimes result in the death of an individual. The individual’s family and dependents suddenly see their world crashing down on them due to the loss of their loved one. Apart from that the fight for survival without the earning hand starts which might be quite hard for the dependents. Savings and other sources of income deplete with time and in such a scenario the fight for justice gets all the more vicious since the wrong doing of the person who has been responsible for the death of the loved one cannot be forgiven. A Wrongful death accident lawyer in San Diego will ensure justice and compensation for family and dependents in such a scenario. However before filing a lawsuit for wrongful death in California you as an individual need to check if you fulfill all the criteria to file a lawsuit.
Who can file for a wrongful death lawsuit in California?
A spouse has all the legal right to file for a lawsuit for a wrongful death in California. A domestic partner and putative spouse both have the right to file a lawsuit for wrongful death in California. A putative spouse has the right if he or she believes they were married and financially relied on the deceased for financial needs. A spouse has full right to seek compensation in case of a wrongful death.
Biological and adoptive both children have the right to file a wrongful death claim lawsuit. Stepchildren who are dependent on the deceased person financially can file for a wrongful death claim. Even minors who have stayed with the deceased for more than 180 days and are financially dependent on the deceased can file for a wrongful death lawsuit and claim compensation for the same.
Parents who can demonstrate that they were dependent on their kid or child financially can file and claim compensation via a wrongful death lawsuit. Even if the parents are not financially dependent on their minor child or an adult child (with no descendants) financially they can still go ahead and file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Legal heirs can file a lawsuit for a wrongful death in case a person dies without parents of children. Under California intestacy laws legal heirs who will legally inherit the deceased person’s property who dies without a will can file for his wrongful death compensation.
What needs to be proven in a wrongful death lawsuit?
Before filing a wrongful death claim the person who is filing it needs to make sure that he is legally qualified to file the claim. The person needs to be related by blood or via other means to the person as stated above to make sure that the court of law accepts him or her as a party for the legal claim. Apart from that the person needs to prove before the court that their loved one actually died. The death of their loved one was due to the negligence of someone else. Even an intent to harm due to which the death occurred can form a basis of filing of the lawsuit for wrongful death. The person who is filing the lawsuit for wrongful death need to prove that he or she has suffered monetary losses due to the death of the deceased. The person has been selected for the deceased’s estate. Once the person is able to establish these facts the chances of winning the lawsuit increase manifold.
Damages payable under a wrongful death lawsuit in California
The various damages that can be awarded by the court of law depend upon a number of factors however they can be broadly categorized under – Funeral and burial expenses, Medical bills for the deceased person’s illness or injury and lost income. The amount of the claim will depend on the representation made by the Wrongful death accident lawyer in San Diego along with the person filing the claim.
Statute of limitations for a California wrongful death claim
The statute of limitations of California dictates that the case for a wrongful death in the state of California needs to be filed within two years of the death of the person. The time will be calculated from the day of the death. The claim might have arisen out of a car crash, assault and battery, slip and fall accident, medical malpractice, drowning, defective product, toxic tort or even a dog bite. Therefore dependents of a person who has been deceased due to the negligence of someone else needs to file a lawsuit within two years and prove the above mentioned points to make sure that he or she qualifies for the claim and compensation under wrongful death.