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California permits wrongful death lawsuits in certain situations

Losing a loved one is never easy. However, when a loved one's death is due to the reckless or negligent act of another person, one's grief could be amplified due to the fact that their loved one died unnecessarily. While this is an emotional time, one will also have to take a step back and look at the big picture, particularly financially. If a person in California suffers damages due to a loved one's wrongful death, he or she may want to pursue legal action in order to be compensated for the financial harms suffered.

In order to prevail in a wrongful death suit, the following elements must be met. First, a human being must have died. Second, the death must have been due to another person's negligent act or intent to injure the deceased. Third, the deceased's survivors must have incurred financial damages due to their loved one's death. Finally, a personal representative who will bring the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased's survivors must be appointed to the deceased's estate.

The deceased's survivors can pursue a variety of damages in a wrongful death suit. Medical expenses incurred in relation to the incident that caused the death may be sought. Funeral and burial expenses may be sought. The income the deceased would have reasonably brought in if he or she was still living may be sought. Finally, damages may be sought for loss of companionship.

When a person is facing the prospect of a wrongful death suit, they may not know where to begin. However, one should not wait too long to file a wrongful death action, as there is a statute of limitation that applies to all personal injury claims. Once the time period in the statute of limitations has passed (two years for a wrongful death claim), a person can no longer bring a lawsuit. Therefore, if a person believes a loved one's death was due to the negligent or intentional actions of another, he or she will want to obtain the legal advice needed to make timely, informed decisions.

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