When a loved one dies due to someone else’s negligence, surviving family could be compensated for damages. These can include loss of support or companionship, loss of income, or funeral expenses. If you’re filing a wrongful death claim, you might have heard of a few common myths that may affect your claim. Here are a few of those common myths dispelled. Remember to meet with an experienced wrongful death attorney to help you navigate any complications that may arise in your wrongful death case.
Anyone Can File a Wrongful Death Claim
In the state of California, only the following people can file a wrongful death claim:
- the deceased person’s surviving spouse
- the deceased person’s domestic partner
- the deceased person’ s surviving children
There are circumstances that also allow the deceased’s parents or siblings to file a claim, such as if the deceased does not have living descendant. The deceased’s stepchildren, putative children, or putative spouse can also file a wrongful death claim if they show they were financially dependent on the deceased. It is important to check your state laws to determine whether you can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
You Can File A Lawsuit at Any Time
California has a statute of limitations when it comes to filing a wrongful death claim, much like any other personal injury claim. This statute of limitations states that a person who wishes to file a wrongful death lawsuit must file within 2 years of the date of the deceased’s death. Should this two-year period pass and the appropriate party does not file a wrongful death claim, they may be unable to file at all.
If You’re Found Liable for a Wrongful Death, You Will Be Arrested
A wrongful death claim, like all personal injury claims, is a civil case rather than a criminal one. This means that damages are paid not in prison sentences, but in monetary value. If you are found liable for the wrongful death of another individual, you will be expected to pay money to the injured party, not jail time. It is possible for a criminal case to be ongoing and file a wrongful death claim at the same time. If the accused party isn’t charged with criminal charges such as murder or manslaughter, that does not mean they can’t be liable for wrongful death and pay damages.
If you are interested in filing a wrongful death claim but are unsure on what step to take next, contact the attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm. Our experienced wrongful death lawyers will work to ensure you get compensated for your loss. Schedule a consultation today.