The death of a loved one represents a monumentally tragic event for a family. Grief is only intensified when they discover that the loss was caused by negligence. While notifying other family members, planning for a funeral, and taking care of estate-related affairs are common steps, a wrongful death lawsuit may be necessary as well.
Wrongful death claims
Wrongful death is a result of inattentiveness or dangerous acts that resulted in the passing of a loved one. The negligent party could be an individual or large organization. Family members can pursue legal action in civil court, even if the loss was the result of criminal activity.
Damages for loved ones can take many forms. Surviving spouses, children, parents, siblings, and others can file a lawsuit for medical bills and pain and suffering prior to the death. A jury can also award damages to a husband or wife in a wrongful death lawsuit for lost wages and loss of companionship.
Families should know that a statute of limitations exists for these types of legal claims. In California, the time limit to file a lawsuit is two years from the date of death. Failure to take timely action will likely result in the inability to pursue legal action. Simply put, time is of the essence for loved ones, or they risk losing these vital rights.
Few legal matters are equally complex and emotionally charged as wrongful death claims. Pursuing justice through a lawsuit is the first step in healing, if not provide a form of justice to grieving family members.