If you have recently lost a loved one due to negligence or malice and are wondering how to hold the offending party accountable, a wrongful death claim may be an option.
In some instances, surviving family members can receive monetary damages. While no amount of compensation can ease the pain of losing a loved one, it can alleviate the difficulty of financial stressors so you can focus on the grief and healing process.
What is wrongful death?
When someone acts negligently or maliciously, and their actions result in the death of another, it may be wrongful death. This broad definition leaves much room for interpretation. You may think of medical malpractice and motor vehicle accidents as examples of this type of case, but there are many situations that could fall within this classification. Additionally, wrongful death cases get tried in civil court and the offending party does not need to have broken any laws to be at fault.
Who is a surviving family member?
Parents, spouses, domestic partners, and children often bear the brunt of the suffering in wrongful death tragedies and are, therefore, commonly considered surviving family members in the context of filing legal claims. If the decedent’s will designates an estate representative who does not fall into one of those categories, that person may be able to file the lawsuit.
The loss of a loved one is difficult enough without added confusion and financial stress. A knowledgeable attorney can clarify the requirements in California and guide you through the process, should you qualify to file a claim.