The death of a loved one has a significant effect on everyone who goes through it. Grieving is painful and takes a long time, but it takes even longer when the person who died was killed in an unfair way. If your loved one died because of something that shouldn’t have happened, you can file a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit filed by the family members of a person who died because of someone else’s carelessness. You can file a claim for wrongful death if the person who died was under 18 or over 65 and their spouse, children, or parents living with them.
A wrongful death claim has two parts. The first part is for compensatory damages, which are money to cover the dead person’s medical bills, funeral costs, and lost wages. The second part is for punitive damages, which are meant to hurt the person who is being sued.
To file a wrongful death claim, you will need to make and submit an affidavit that says how the person died and what your relationship was with them. The testimony should include any proof that backs up the case, like medical records and statements from people who were there and saw what happened (if any).
- Waiting Too Long Before Filing the Claim
Even though it’s hard to think about when your loved ones died, it’s important to think about how long you must start legal proceedings. In these situations, you may have more time to file a claim, usually up to two years after the person died or the cause of death became known (or should have become known), whichever came first. For example, if a person dies because of bad care from a doctor, the time limit is two years from the date of death.
- Making Public Statements
If you want to file a wrongful death claim for the person who died, don’t say anything in public to the police, the media, or other people. Because these things can be used against you in court, you should always talk to your lawyer before you do anything.
- Not Hiring a Lawyer
Claims of wrongful death are hard to understand. Insurance companies will always look for ways not to pay out claims. So, your case against them should be perfect. But when you’re sad about the death of a loved one, your thoughts can be all over the place. Since you are too close to the case, it can be hard to keep the emotional distance that is needed from it. When this happens, a lawyer is necessary. It is better to let the experts handle the legal process than to try to do it yourself.
Even if the person who killed your loved one didn’t mean to, you need a lawyer to explain your family’s rights if they died because of what someone else did. Contact the lawyers at 2H Law Firm. We know the laws about wrongful death in California and how complicated personal injuries and wrongful deaths can be. Call (619) 374-9320 for a no-cost case evaluation.