Wrongful Death is More Than Medical Malpractice and Auto Accidents
Our time here on Earth is limited. Death may come upon us at any moment, and sometimes this may be due to another person’s fault. No amount of money can ever replace someone’s life but if it’s a case of “wrongful death”, then the bereaved family may be entitled to compensation.
What is considered as a wrongful death?
In California, a wrongful death is defined as a death of a person due to negligence or a wrongful act of another individual or entity. It is considered a civil lawsuit filed at court by the survivors of the deceased.
The most common types of wrongful death include medical malpractice and automobile accidents. Take note that there are several factors to consider before a person can be qualified as a victim of wrongful death:
- Those who will file a wrongful death claim must be able to prove that the accident was caused by the other party’s failure to take measures to avoid injury.
- If the chances of survival of the person is less than or equal to 50% before the alleged wrongful deed, then the chances of the death being caused by the healthcare provider are significantly lower. This type of claim is not actionable. Experts normally evaluate this by taking into account the age, activities, health, medical history, lifestyle, and health habits of the deceased.
- A fetus or child that died inside the womb is also not actionable under the laws of California.
Other causes of wrongful death
Wrongful death may also arise from other causes aside from medical malpractice and automobile accidents.
- Deliberate attacks such as civil unrest and workplace violence
- Getting exposed to toxic chemicals
- Construction accidents
- Firearm accidents
- Recreational accidents
- Defective or failing products
California Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
The court has set a deadline for filing wrongful death claims in California. This is also known as the statute of limitations.
- In most cases, the claim must be made within two years from the date of occurrence of death of the victim.
- If it is a case of wrongful death due to medical malpractice, the claim must be made three years from the date of injury or one year after the injury should have been discovered if reasonable diligence was used.
- If the death holds the government liable, including an automobile accident with a vehicle owned by the state, or a medical malpractice that occurred in the state or county hospital, the claim must be filed at the right location within 6 months of the injury.
Some cases may be exempt from such rules. A qualified attorney will be able to tell if your case qualifies for exemption.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney for Filing Wrongful Death Claims
Those who were left behind by the victim cannot easily recover from the suffering or pain caused by losing a loved one. A wrongful death claim intends to help ease the family’s financial burden after their loss. It is best to get an attorney who truly understands the consequences that may occur after this painful event.