A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil lawsuit that is filed by the heirs of the decedent or representative of the Estate against the individual or corporate entity that is held responsible for the decedent’s death. Surviving family members such as a spouse, children or any others who depended on the decedent for support can bring a wrongful death claim. The damages that survivors may be awarded include the amount of financial support the deceased person would have provided, loss of care and companionship, the cost of pre-death medical treatment and funeral expenses.
Criminal vs. Civil
A wrongful death lawsuit is separate and apart from any criminal proceedings which seek to hold a defendant responsible. Even if a defendant has not been convicted of criminal charges related to your loved one’s death, you may still be entitled to file a civil lawsuit whereby you can obtain financial compensation for your loss.
Sadly, California has a large volume of wrongful death lawsuits resulting from fatal traffic accidents. It is important to get an attorney involved as soon as possible with dealing with this kind of lawsuit because California imposes certain rules per their wrongful death statute. For example, California limits the amount of time to file a lawsuit. While the general statute allows up to two years, this can be shorter in medical malpractice suits and other cases with special circumstances.
Help is Available
Losing a loved one is an extremely painful experience, especially when it is the result of someone’s negligence. The victim’s family is often left to deal with lots of emotional and financial burdens, even without a related lawsuit. Wrongful death cases can be extremely complex and the financial component can also be significant. Therefore, it is important to seek the help of a competent attorney to help you navigate a wrongful death lawsuit. Longtime Los Angeles attorney Scott J. Corwin has helped many clients navigate wrongful death lawsuits and invite anyone with questions or concerns to contact our office 24/7.