One of the most traumatic things you can experience is the death of a loved one. Losing someone cannot be amended with monetary damages, and it can leave you with a sense that justice was not done—particularly in the case of a wrongful death.
If you have lost a loved one and believe that the estate of the deceased is owed damages, you could be compensated for the losses you have suffered. Filing a wrongful death claim is unique, though, because the injured party is not able to act on his or her claim. Instead, you can expect a different set of rules for your wrongful death case.
Who Can File?
When you first decide to file a wrongful death claim, you must first ensure that you or a person interested in filing the suit can be a personal representative for the deceased person.
In California, this includes most immediate family members, especially a parent, spouse, domestic partner, or child. Children of the deceased can include stepchildren, as well as dependents. If the deceased has no living family, then the person who would be entitled to his or her estate could also be eligible to file a claim.
The statute of limitations for your case can also make a difference. In California, you have two years to decide who is eligible to file your claim before you waive the right to damages.
The Next Steps
Once you have ensured you are able to file the wrongful death claim, the next step is to prepare your documentation and your complaint, or petition, to begin the lawsuit. These documents will also include a summons, which will notify the defendant of the claim, as well as a notice of the grounds for this lawsuit.
From there, your claim will be reviewed, and you may receive a settlement by the end of the case. Again, wrongful death claims differ from other personal injury cases in a few major ways, and your settlement is one of them. Obviously, the person who is the subject of the suit cannot receive any monetary gain from this case.
The family and estate of the deceased, however, could receive certain damages for the suffering they have endured from their loss, such as the following:
- Medical expenses for the deceased
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of wages the deceased would have provided
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of companionship for the surviving members of the family
We Can Help
Losing a loved one can be incredibly difficult, especially if his or her death was avoidable. The process of seeking fair compensation can be confusing on its own, and with grief on top of everything, it can be especially difficult. With the right help, though, you can get through the steps to filing a wrongful death claim.
With our wrongful death attorneys at Haffner Law, you can get back on your feet after such a loss. If you are ready to start your case, give us a call at 1-844-HAFFNER (423-3637) or fill out our online contact form below.
(This is an attorney advertisement by Joshua Haffner)