In a car accident, many situations lead to individuals suffering severe injuries. Unfortunately, some scenarios result in one of the parties suffering fatal damages. When death is the result of someone else’s negligence, California law refers to the legal action that follows as a wrongful death lawsuit.
For the family of the deceased, it’s critical to recognize what options are available, who can file a lawsuit, and what compensation may be awarded. Our Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys explain more.
What Options Are Available?
California law prohibits families from filing wrongful death cases after the two-year statute of limitations period has passed. Families must file an action against the responsible party within two years of the date the individual passes away. If family misses the deadline, they may lose the right to pursue compensation.
Who Can File a Claim?
California law allows specific family members to file a lawsuit against the negligent party for a wrongful death. These family members include the following individuals:
- surviving spouse
- surviving children
- surviving domestic partner
In the event the deceased individual has no surviving relatives, the law allows anyone who the law considers entitled to property of the decedent to file legal action. These parties can include the deceased individual’s siblings and parents.
In some situations, the law may allow people to file a lawsuit if they were financially dependent on the deceased party. Stepchildren, parents, and a putative spouse may fall under this category.
What Compensation May I Pursue?
Families may seek wrongful death settlements for financial and emotional damages stemming from the death. For instance, economic damages can include the cost of burial and funeral, as well as any medical costs from the time the injury occurs until the time of death.
Non-economic damages refer to losses associated with emotional pain and suffering. Loss of companionship, guidance, and enjoyment in life can all fall within this category.
Wrongful Death Lawyers Los Angeles
Filing a lawsuit following a wrongful death is critical for the family to gain closure. You should speak with a personal injury lawyer Los Angeles who can help you recognize the right and options available to you.
At The Law Offices of Oscar H Gutierrez, APC, we’ll be the advocates necessary to not only pursue compensation, but to also hold the negligent party fully accountable for their actions.