It can be tough to lose a loved one to a normal cause. However, if the reason for their death is something unusual, especially one that amounts to killing, you may experience more pain. If your family member was killed due to someone else’s negligent act, you may have a wrongful death claim. Here are four facts regarding this legal action which you may be unaware of.
A Criminal Charge is Unnecessary
One need not be guilty of a criminal offence to be responsible for compensation in this legal action. Similarly, one accused of such an offence might be adjudged innocent, but they might be responsible for civil compensation for negligently killing another. There are different requirements in both criminal and civil claims. As per the state law, these are separate claims.
Lawsuit Filing Deadline Might Differ For Some Claims from Others
In many cases, the claims have to be filed inside 24 months after the person’s death date. However, this time limit to file the claim may be longer or shorter, depending upon the specifics of that particular case.
For instance, if the demise involves medical negligence, the state allows 36 months from the injury date to file it. A family member could have more time for this if the reason for their loved one’s demise was unknown or was undiscoverable at the time. Conversely, claims that involve the government have to be filed inside six months after the day of death.
Only Some Parties May File This Claim
California’s law designates which party is eligible to take this legal action. Surviving spouses usually are first entitled to do so, followed by living kids or grandchildren. The deceased person’s family members such as siblings, parents and others can do it provided that they meet following criteria.
- They inherit from that died person or were financially reliant on that individual; and,
- The one who died has no wife/husband or kids.
Estate of the Deceased May Bring a Claim
The one who represents the estate may take this legal action to get compensation for some damages. They may claim it for medical costs incurred between that person’s injury date and the death time. They may also pursue compensation for pain and suffering of the deceased. In some situations, the estate representative might get punitive compensation for intentional or grossly negligent conduct.