There are various situations where it may be appropriate to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Auto accidents, medical malpractice, bicycle crashes, pedestrian accidents, acts of violence, workplace accidents and deaths involving defective products are reasons why people can file a wrongful death lawsuit in California – if a person close to them dies from these scenarios.
Below, our Alameda wrongful death attorneys explain how a wrongful death lawsuit works in California.
There are eligibility requirements for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in California. One of those requirements is that you must be close or dependent on the deceased person (the decedent).
Spouses, children, domestic partners and in some cases parents and siblings of the decedent can file wrongful death lawsuits. Stepchildren can also file a lawsuit under the right circumstances.
A second requirement is that you must be within the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In many cases, there is a two-year timeframe to file your case. The amount of time you have is even shorter if your case is against a public (municipal or state) entity.
However, there are also cases where you can toll the statute of limitations. This means the statute of limitations would not begin right away. Our Alameda personal injury attorney can help you determine if it would be possible to toll the statute of limitations for your potential case.
For a potential claim to have a chance of succeeding, you must be able to show the party who caused your loved one’s death was somehow negligent. You can also file a claim if you can demonstrate the other party intentionally killed your loved one. There are exceptions for cases involving dog bites, where it may be possible to recover compensation under California’s strict liability rule.
California’s rules on what constitutes negligence can be confusing for most people to understand. We encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys if you want to determine whether you could seek compensation from the other party.
Civil claims require a preponderance of evidence, which is a lower threshold than what is required in criminal courts. This means that you may be able to file a successful claim even if the other party did not receive a criminal conviction.
Wrongful death lawsuits have specific types of damages. You may be able to recover compensation for damages that include:
Each case is different, meaning the amount and type of damages vary on a case-by-case basis. Our attorneys have experience with wrongful death cases and can explain your potential damages during a free consultation.
The Alameda wrongful death lawyers at Heinrich Law, PC can help you determine whether you have legal options to recover compensation after the loss of a loved one. Our law firm offers free consultations that can help explain your possible options. Schedule a free consultation with Heinrich Law, PC by calling (510) 570-1608 or by using our online case review form.