Losing a loved one is devastating, even if the death was expected, perhaps because of a terminal illness. Grief is often intensified, however, if a family member’s death comes suddenly and unexpected, such as in a California car accident or because of a violent crime. If you believe that another person’s malice, negligence or reckless behavior caused your loved one’s death, you may have grounds for filing a wrongful death claim in civil court.
This type of litigation is often complex and emotionally upsetting. However, a successful claim may result in court-awarded compensation, which can be used to help offset funeral costs or other expenses associated with a loved one’s passing. Such litigation is also a means of holding the person responsible for the death financially accountable for his or her actions.
Statute of limitations applies for wrongful death claims
When you first learn that your loved one has died, it may take every ounce of effort to get out of bed each day and carry out the tasks involved in laying your loved one to rest. Just making a meal or having a conversation may be difficult. While you might plan on filing a wrongful death claim at some point, you might not be up to the task right away. State law requires that a wrongful death claim be formally initiated within two years of the incident
Proving a wrongful death claim
When you’re a plaintiff acting on behalf of a deceased loved one in wrongful death case, you must prove in court that the defendant owed a duty to your loved one. You must also prove that the defendant was negligent and that this negligence was a direct cause of your beloved family member’s death. At McNally Law Office, an experienced legal team is ready to act on your behalf in court to seek justice in your loved one’s memory.