How Is Wrongful Death Defined in the State of California?

What is wrongful death? Well, the concept can easily be understood as a death caused by someone’s negligence or due to a criminal act, intention, or recklessness. It also encompasses the idea that the deceased person’s family can file a lawsuit against the person responsible for the action. But there are certain rules and regulations about what qualifies as a wrongful death case.

Our wrongful death attorneys in Palm Springs have helped families to recover millions of dollars. Crockett Law Group is a renowned and award-winning law firm serving Southern California and provides absolutely free legal consultation.

Proving Wrongful Death:

To prove the death wrongful, you must provide evidence. Of course, the foremost requirement is that a certain person has died, and that is the death is because of someone else’s negligence or misconduct. Despite any underlying circumstances following needs to be considered by the plaintiff before filing the lawsuit:

  • A death has happened.
  • The death was caused by negligence or an intent to cause harm.
  • A personal representative has been appointed.

What Are Wrongful Death Damages?

The most common cause of damage that the deceased family suffers from is financial damage, as referred to in a court of law. A financial damage claim is made for monetary losses and expenses. In such a case, the law requires the accused to pay the compensation according to the law. If these expenses also include medical bills or funeral expenses, then there must be reimbursement of the entire amount.

These monetary damages are sometimes quite easy to calculate if they are as simple as the funeral and medical expanse, but they are hard to determine in other cases. The court reviews different circumstances like age, health, earning capacity, and the family’s size dependent upon the deceased to calculate such damages.

Punitive Damages:

Apart from the monetary damages, punitive damages are also imposed on the defendant. These damages also serve as a deterrence for others from making mistakes in the future. It is important to consider that these punitive damages are not available in a wrongful lawsuit. However, it is possible to recover punitive damages through a survival action.

What Does California Wrongful Death Law Say?

California Code of Civil Procedure – CCP § 377.60 outlines who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Under this law, a person who may file the lawsuit for wrongful death must be a decedent’s spouse, children, or any domestic partner who can also be entitled as an heir of the decedent’s estate. It might also include someone dependent upon the deceased.

This law also explains the different kinds of damage claims. These damages include all sorts of medical and funeral expenses, the deceased’s earning amount, and the amount of financial support the deceased was providing to the family members or any other person.

In California lawsuits, wrongful death is solely compensated on monetary terms, making a huge difference between criminal homicide laws and wrongful death laws. These laws are always subject to change under new legislation or rulings and depend upon the nature of the case under consideration. For detailed assistance, you can always contact a wrongful death attorney in Palm Springs.

wrongful death

Time Limitation for Wrongful Death Claim:

There is always a specified time limit in claiming all sorts of civil actions under the specified laws and regulations, including the wrongful death phenomenon. This time frame varies from state to state, some with a year limit, others more. After time runs out, the family loses the right to make legal claims against the defendant.

According to the California statute of limitation, such lawsuits must be claimed within two years, starting from the date of the decedent’s death. If the case remains unfiled in the state’s civil court system, the family probably loses its right to make any claims.

What Is the Discovery Rule?

The Discovery Rule plays an important role in claiming the lawsuit against wrongful death. The Discovery Rule can affect the statute of limitation since, in many cases, the apparent reason for the death is not always visible. Hence, the discovery rule implies that the statute of limitation should begin after the real cause of injury or death has been discovered.

Normally the clock starts ticking period immediately after the injury or death occurs. The Discovery Rule gives the plaintiff one year after the true cause of the death is discovered to file a claim.

Are There Any Exceptions to the Definition of Wrongful Death?

An unborn child who is still a fetus and is not alive is not counted as a person; therefore, such deaths are excluded from the wrongful death definition. You can contact a wrongful death attorney in Palm Springs for further information and complete guidance.

Who Are Wrongful Death Heirs?

Only heirs under the California law can seek monetary damages in these cases, including spouse, parents, children, or any other close relative fulfilling all the law requirements described under the code section identified in CCP section 377.60. No other person can make claims.

How to Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney in Palm Springs?

Crockett Law Group is one of the finest and most reputable car accidents law firms providing top-rated lawyers. Kevin Crockett is a wrongful death attorney in Palm Springs and is always there to help families in wrongful death cases. We make sure to perfect our skills and use all our expertise to fight for your rights. We give every case personal attention and fight to assure that justice is served.

Our Palm Springs personal injury attorneys also provide a free consultation regarding the law and technicalities. Contact us today to get the best guidance on your case.

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