A wrongful death lawsuit can arise from a wide host of actions including an automobile accident, product liability, medical malpractice and more. In short, a wrongful death suit claims the victim was killed as a result of negligence. In such instances, the surviving spouse, or next of kin, can bring a wrongful death action on behalf of the deceased.
Types of Damages
Damages can include but are not limited to medical bills, future earnings, loss of companionship, pain and suffering and in some cases, punitive damages.
Four elements of a wrongful death claim
All states have some form of a wrongful death claim action they adhere too. While state "wrongful death statues" was independently drafted, they do follow the same general principles.
The death was caused, in whole or in part, by the conduct of the defendant; (2) the defendant was negligent or strictly liable for the victim's death; (3) there is a surviving spouse, children, dependents or beneficiaries; and (4) monetary damages have resulted from the victim’s death.
Please keep in mind that the above are general principles, you should speak to an experienced attorney in your state that is familiar with your state statutes.
Who Can Be Sued For Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death suit can be brought against employees, companies, persons and even government agencies. For instance, a car accident that involved a faulty roadway might include the designer or builder of the faulty roadway. In the case of a drunk driver, the owner of the premises where the alcohol was served could be held liable.
This can be a complicated process which involves the use of expert witnesses, to give their opinion on the amount of damages. The process includes not only income and benefits that are earned outside the home, but also the monetary value of services and care provided in the home by the homemaker such as laundry, childcare and more.
Lawsuit Time Limits
Each state places time limits, known as Statues of Limitation, on the period in which you can bring a wrongful death action. Generally the suit must be filed within two years of the date of the misconduct, thus it is important to take action as soon as possible. That said there are varying statues and special rules that apply in certain cases.
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The Demas Law Group has been providing the highest quality of legal services to Californians for nearly twenty years. We take great pride in meeting our clients’ needs while working together to win your case and obtain the maximum compensation allowed by law. We are here to help you during this difficult time. Call our team of Sacramento personal injury lawyers at 888 776 0977 to speak with an attorney. To learn more about why you should hire us click here.