If a loved one dies as a result of another person or entity’s unlawful actions, you may bring a wrongful death claim against the liable party. To pursue damages, however, you need to understand how California wrongful death laws work, including who can bring a lawsuit.
A wrongful death claim, like a personal injury claim, is meant to cover the economic and non-economic damages that you incur following a loved one’s preventable death. The only difference is that this claim is filed on behalf of the decedent who cannot act for themselves.
How to file a wrongful death claim in California
Under California law, the decedent’s family (surviving spouse, domestic partner, children or parents) can file a wrongful death claim. To sustain the claim, you must act within the statute of limitations period, which is two years from your loved one’s wrongful death. But what damages can you seek during a wrongful death lawsuit?
Here are some of the damages you can pursue in a California wrongful death claim:
Medical expenses – sometimes, the decedent can succumb to their injuries days or even weeks after the accident. In this case, you can sue for the cost of medical care the decedent received before their death.
Lost wages – Most often, a car accident or medical malpractice victim will miss work while recuperating from their injuries. If they pass on, you can sue for the compensation they would have received by virtue of their work. Lost wages can also include income that they would have received had they resumed work after the accident.
A loved one’s wrongful death can be hard to process. If you’ve lost a family member due to another person’s reckless action, it helps to understand how to safeguard your rights while pursuing a wrongful death claim.