If someone dies due to another party’s reckless or malicious actions in the state of California, the victim’s loved ones may sue those responsible for damages. This wrongful death law punishes negligent, reckless, or intentional acts that result in death. If you have such an instance on your hands, turn to a professional wrongful death attorney to simplify the legal process for you. An experienced lawyer can help you determine whether you may sue, who to hold liable, the damages you can claim, and your statute of limitations.
Davana Law Firm provides legal services to the families of wrongful death victims. Our team of 8+ legal professionals serves clients in and around Los Angeles, CA, with professionalism and dedication. Whether you have a wrongful death claim or another personal injury case, we are here for you and your loved ones. Call us today at (818) 501-1055 to receive a free case evaluation.
Below, we discuss California’s wrongful death law in depth:
Who Can Sue?
First, we must establish who may bring a wrongful death claim against another party. According to the California Code of Civil Procedure, the following family members can sue:
- Surviving spouses
- Domestic partners
- Grandchildren (if the deceased party’s children are also deceased)
- Any minors dependent upon the deceased party
- Anyone entitled to the deceased party’s property under California law
When Is a Wrongdoer Liable for Someone’s Death?
Whether based on negligence, gross negligence, recklessness, or an intentionally wrongful act, survivors in California can bring a wrongful death claim to fruition. Such acts that fit this description include (but are not limited to):
- Car accidents
- Assault and battery
- Elder abuse or neglect
- Medical malpractice
Moreover, if a loved one dies due to a dog bite or mauling, their heirs can sue in strict liability. Strict liability exists when a defendant is held responsible for committing an action, regardless of their objective or mental state at the time of the event.
What Damages Can Heirs Recover?
Damages in a wrongful death case compensate loved ones for the support they would have received from the deceased person if they were still living. Compensatory damages can be in the form of economic and non-economic losses.
Economic damages may come in the form of financial support that the deceased would have given others, the loss of gifts or benefits loved ones could have expected, funeral and burial expenses, and the value of household services the deceased would have provided.
Non-economic damages include the deceased’s companionship, protection, affection, support, training and guidance, and sexual relations.
However, heirs cannot receive punitive damages in wrongful death cases. They may be available through a survival action on behalf of the deceased’s estate.
What Are the Statutes of Limitations?
The California wrongful death statute of limitations and survival actions is 2 years from the date of death. In such cases, the estate has a 2-year limit to sue on the date of the injury or 6 months after the death, whichever occurs later.
Contact an Expert Wrongful Death Attorney in Los Angeles, CA
Wrongful death claims are emotionally draining and time-consuming. However, hiring a wrongful death attorney can quicken the process, provide support and stability, and help loved ones receive compensation. Our dedicated team of experts can help you and your loved ones in Los Angeles, CA. Call us at (818) 501-1055 to request a free case evaluation today.