There is nothing worse than losing a loved one, especially when you believe their death could have been avoided.
Wrongful death is a legal cause of action that can be brought by certain surviving family members or the decedent’s estate to secure compensation when a person dies because of someone’s wrongful or negligent act.
We are here to help you navigate the California legal system, starting with explaining if you can file a wrongful death suit and how much your claim might be worth.
If you have questions or would like to speak with a wrongful death attorney, please contact us today.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?
Each state has different rules for who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Under California law, the people who can file a wrongful death claim include:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse or domestic partner,
- The decedent’s surviving children, and
- The decedent’s surviving grandchildren.
There may be some situations where the decedent left no survivors that fall into any of these categories.
Under those circumstances, the law allows any person “who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession” to file a wrongful death claim.
If the parents or siblings of the decedent qualify as the decedent’s dependents, they would also be eligible to file a claim. Other people who can file a wrongful death claim in California include:
- The decedent’s stepchildren,
- The decedent’s parents,
- Legal guardians of the decedent,
- The decedent’s putative spouse, and
- Children of the decedent’s putative spouse.
A putative spouse exists only in a unique circumstance where someone mistakenly believed they were lawfully married to the deceased.
An experienced California wrongful death attorney will be able to help you determine who can file a wrongful death claim in your case.
How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under California law, you have only two years from the time the death occurs to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This time limit is called the statute of limitations.
After you have determined who can file a wrongful death suit, it is important to move forward with your case as soon as reasonably possible.
You will have to prove the death was caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another person or party.
Over time, evidence can be more difficult to obtain and witnesses harder to track down.
Give yourself the best chance at success by filing a claim for wrongful death well before the statute of limitations expires.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in California Today
The team at Wells Call Injury Lawyers understands how difficult it can be to determine the best course of action after the death of a loved one.
Let us put our experience, knowledge, and skills to work for you so that you and your family can focus on healing.
Since 1984, our firm has helped Californians like you recover the compensation they need to move forward.
Our wrongful death attorneys can help you determine who can file a wrongful death claim, value your claim, gather evidence, and form a strategy tailored to your unique case.
Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.