July 28, 2022 Posted In Wrongful Death
After losing a loved one to a preventable accident, California only authorizes certain surviving family members to file a wrongful death claim.
Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the following surviving family members or a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate on behalf of:
All potential heirs must join together to pursue a single wrongful death claim. California enforces this “one action rule” to avoid simultaneous and multiple lawsuits.
Under California law, the surviving family of the deceased has two years from the date of the victim’s death to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. However, there are some exceptions. For example, in wrongful death cases caused by medical practice, the state allows claimants three years from when the malpractice occurred or, if discovered later, within one year of learning the malpractice caused their loved one’s death. If you miss these deadlines, the court will likely dismiss your case, and you will be barred from recovering compensation.
There are two types of damages typically available in California wrongful death claims: economic damages for monetary losses and non-economic damages for subjective losses. The damages awarded will vary based on the circumstances of each case but can include:
In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded if the at-fault party’s actions were malicious or extremely reckless. However, unlike other types of compensation, punitive damages are intended as a punishment.
Since each case is unique, a wrongful death claim’s worth will vary based on individual factors. For example:
For a better understanding and accurate estimate of your wrongful death claim’s worth, speak to a Riverside Wrongful Death Attorney who will evaluate your case for free.