If you have lost a family member due to someone else’s negligent, reckless or criminal actions, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Surviving family members can sue to recover medical expenses, burial costs, and receive restitution for their pain and suffering.
If someone else is responsible for your loved one’s death, contact a Temecula wrongful death lawyer today. Your personal injury attorney will fight for justice in court for you and your loved one.
Causes of Wrongful Death
Unfortunately, wrongful deaths in the Temecula area are far too common. These deaths often occur as the result of criminal misconduct or accidents, such as:
- Auto accidents
- Defective consumer products
- Bicycle accidents
- Slip and falls
- Swimming pool fatalities
- Pedestrian accidents
- Work site accidents
- Medical malpractice
Finding out the precise cause of a wrongful death is complex. Not every accident-related death is considered wrongful under state law. A successful wrongful death suit proves who was responsible for the death and how their unlawful behavior contributed to the tragedy.
A Temecula wrongful death lawyer relies on medical and scientific evidence and experts to prove these elements.
Choosing to Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim
The California Code of Civil Procedure section 337.60 defines a wrongful death as “the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.” This means that when someone’s negligent or criminal misconduct causes the death of another, they can be held liable for the death. Civil wrongful death cases seek to hold the person or entity financially responsible.
Sometimes, particularly when criminal action is alleged, someone responsible for the death of another could face criminal charges. However, any criminal charges are separate from a surviving family’s civil lawsuit.
Who Qualifies as Eligible for Compensation
State law protects surviving family members’ right to sue on a wrongful death claim. The law only allows certain family members to file the suit in court, however.
The law divides surviving family members into categories based on priority. If there are no surviving family members in the first category, then relatives in the second category can file the claim instead.
The first category is household family members, such as the surviving spouse or minor children. Because household family members likely depended on the deceased for direct financial and emotional support, they are given the highest priority.
The second category of those who could file a claim are other blood relatives, such as the victim’s parents, siblings, grandparents, and adult children.
If there are no surviving relatives who fall into either of these categories, the victim’s closest kin can file the lawsuit. Anyone considering filing such a claim in Temecula should contact an experienced Temecula wrongful death attorney right away.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Wrongful death lawsuits are subject to California’s statutes of limitations. Families must file their claim in court within a certain time frame; otherwise, they lose the opportunity to pursue the case at all.
In most wrongful death cases, surviving family members have only two years to file their lawsuit. If the case involves medical malpractice, the law extends that to three years.
Given the time sensitivity of these cases, families should call a wrongful death lawyer in Temecula as soon as they can to discuss their claim.
Get in Touch With a Temecula Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Do you believe your loved one’s death was due to medical malpractice, negligence, or criminal behavior? If so, call a Temecula wrongful death lawyer now; you could be entitled to financial compensation.