A wrongful death happens when someone dies due to the wrong-doing of another person. The underlying cause may be intentional, such as a shooting or stabbing of a person, or may be caused by negligence, such as a car accident or bus accident.
Dangerous products, medical malpractice, and dogs can also be the cause of a wrongful death.
If one of your loved ones has been killed as a result of a wrongful death, you may have legal options. If there is an estate open, the executor of the estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. But even if there is no estate, you may still be able to file a lawsuit if you qualify as the decedent’s heir or dependent.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, there may also be several defendants involved. For example, in a car accident, your attorney can sue the driver of the other car, the hospital that treated the victim and the manufacturer of any vehicles involved in the accident.
Statute of Limitations
California has a statute of limitations which limit your ability to recover for bodily injury. For a wrongful death, the time to make a claim is limited to only two years. If the claim is against the government, the time to file a claim is shortened to only six months.
Hiring an Attorney
When dealing with a wrongful death case, it is imperative that you contact an experienced litigation attorney. Wrongful death cases are much more complicated than regular personal injury cases. You will need to review medical records, interview witnesses, police reports, and maybe even get the body autopsied. Finally, you must prove that the defendant’s conduct was the legal and proximate cause of your loved one’s death.
To speak with a Personal Injury Attorney for a FREE consultation contact our office at (310) 388-3488.