Details such as the deceased person’s age, income, lifetime earning potential and career will come into play when your attorney is working on your wrongful death case. It’s important to keep in mind that the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit in California is two years. This should be counted from the day the decedent passed away. However, there are special exceptions. In several past cases, it has taken a long time for the true cause of death to emerge in the wake of a tragedy. With situations like these, the law may be more flexible. As always, the faster you consult with an attorney, the more time you will give your case to become established. Although it can be challenging to function in the wake of a tragedy, remember that the clock is running and that the sooner you consult with a lawyer, the faster you will be able to set your case in motion and reach a potential settlement.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The right to file a wrongful death lawsuit rests mainly with people who are considered designated beneficiaries. Examples of a designated beneficiary would include members of the immediate family, a parent of a decedent who is not married, a spouse or any children. When it comes to wrongful death lawsuits, this is the group that is considered first and foremost. However, if none of these people are alive, then others are allowed to sue for wrongful death. For example, a sibling or grandchild could then sue. Domestic partners and others who relied upon the decedent for their financial well-being have also brought forth wrongful death lawsuits in the past. If you are not sure of whether or not you can sue, then reaching out to an attorney who handles wrongful death lawsuits can help to sort out your situation.
Who Do You Sue for Wrongful Death?
Once an attorney listens to the specifics of your case, then they will be able to determine who the responsible party or parties should be. For instance, a medical malpractice incident may not be as clear as it seems at first. Perhaps the physician was negligent, but maybe the hospital’s policies also triggered the wrongful death circumstances. Attorneys who work in this field are accustomed to conducting a full analysis of each lawsuit on a case-by-case basis. Undertaking all of the necessary steps to determine fault, they work on behalf of their clients to ensure that the responsible parties pay.
Why Sue for Wrongful Death?
In many instances, it may take us years to realize how profoundly we’ve been affected by the loss of a loved one. In the immediate aftermath of a death, sometimes we do not realize how deeply their absence has affected our lives. Usually, there are a multitude of factors that impact people when a tragedy like this befalls their family. From financial hardship to trauma stemming from the death, it is very difficult to quantify just how much an unexpected death can affect us. With wrongful death lawsuits, the legal system allows us to at least be compensated in some manner. Also, they serve as a way to deter people from being negligent in the future.
How Much Money Should I Sue for in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Again, each case is different—and most tend to be very complicated. If the decedent was nearing the end of their life, then chances are that you may receive less compensation for factors such as lifetime earning potential. If you are curious about how much you could potentially be compensated for, then it’s best to select an attorney that has handled these types of cases before. Even if you are on the fence about suing, you will want to reach out to a lawyer for a consultation. Because time is a factor, many potential clients miss out on funds to which they should be entitled. Until you find an appropriate attorney, remember that no one else will be looking out for you. You can bet that the responsible parties will not be chasing you down to make things right. When it comes to wrongful death lawsuits, it is imperative that you make the first move to pursue justice.