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When a family member dies due to someone else’s negligence, the survivors may be entitled to recovery for damages. The survivors will be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in order to try and recover these damages, but must be able to prove that the accused party’s negligence resulted in the death of the deceased. Should the survivor succeed in the claim, he or she can collect several types of damages from the accused.
Damages that can be covered by a wrongful death claim include funeral and burial expenses; medical and hospital bills for the deceased person’s final injury; loss of love or companionship
It is also possible to recover damages for loss of estate that results from the deceased’s death. The specific amounts owed will be dependent on the case. These damages are divided to compensate losses of the estate and personal losses of the surviving family. Wrongful death claims are not criminal but civil cases. This means that penalties will be paid out in monetary value rather than prison time. However, it is possible to file a wrongful death claim as well as a criminal case depending on whether the wrongful death happened due to malice or intent rather than negligence.
In California, only certain people can file a wrongful death claim. The deceased person’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Depending on who is living at the time and only if the deceased has no surviving descendants, surviving parents and siblings may be able to file a wrongful death claim. This will be dependent on the case, however. In addition, the statue of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim must be within two years of the date of the deceased’s death. If the claim is filed after this death date, the court may be unwilling to hear the case.
If you’re running out of time or are struggling to file a wrongful death claim, contact the experienced attorneys at Mitchell Leeds, LLP. We’ll do our best to get you the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.