Guide to Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Elk Grove
I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove wrongful death lawyer. Wrongful death claims in California arise when an individual dies because of another person’s or entities negligent actions. It can also occur when someone is killed in an intentional act. Learning who can file and what causes a wrongful death is important because the statute of limitations for filing in California is two years. After this date, the case for compensation will probably not be heard by the courts.
Who Is Eligible to File for a Wrongful Death Claim?
Individuals who can file for wrongful death are those who were supported financially, at least by 50 percent, by the decedent. The beneficiaries in the decedent’s will are not necessarily eligible. This includes the following:
The spouse or putative spouse of the decedent may file. Putative spouse can mean the domestic partner who was legally registered as one in the state under California Family Code 297. Neither person can be married to anyone else.
- Surviving children may file as well as grandchildren of a deceased child of the decedent.
- Those who were dependent on at least 50 percent of their support may file. This can include parents of the deceased and stepchildren or other minors in the household.
- If the individual died without having a will or living descendants, then others in the family may file, including parents or siblings.
Types of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death occurs in a number of categories. However, the common thread is that the death occurred because of negligence. Following are some of the categories for wrongful death:
- Car accidents are the number one reason for a wrongful death. Negligent actions that can be considered a wrongful death include drugged or drunk driving, a distracted or overly fatigued driver or someone who was speeding or ran a red light, causing the collision.
- Truck accidents that result in a wrongful death may be due to poor truck maintenance, causing a blowout, speeding or as the result of a rollover or jackknife crash.
- Products liability is when a manufacturer, distributor, designer, or other responsible party has sold a defective product that caused a person’s death.
- Medical malpractice refers to errors by a physician, employee of a hospital, pharmacist, or others who were responsible for the death of an individual.
- Accidents on the job that result in the death of an employee due to negligence can include working conditions that were unsafe, faulty equipment, poor training, and more.
- Premises liability that results in wrongful death happens when maintenance or construction is under par such as a poorly anchored balcony or when a building collapses.
- An intentional act can include egregious acts such as murder. It can also include intense bullying that results in the suicide of a young person.
- Bicycle and pedestrian deaths that are caused by someone who runs a red light or commits another traffic offense fall under the category of wrongful death. Road rage that results in a death is a criminal offense, which can cause a wrongful death.
- Fatalities due to the negligence of a government entity can be classified as a wrongful death. These include a missing guardrail on a steep curve or crack in the pavement or pothole that causes a vehicle to veer into another lane.
Elk Grove Wrongful Death Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove wrongful death lawyer. When someone in your family passes away, nothing can fill the empty space they left. Wrongful death lawsuits are not meant to do that. They are a way of relieving the stress of financial loss that accompanied the loved one’s demise when it happens due to another’s negligence. If you experience this heartbreaking event, reach out to me at (916) 694-0002 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
I’ve helped numerous Northern California residents, including those in Elk Grove, receive the compensation they deserve in all types of car accidents.
I am a California member of the Million Dollar Advocates, a group of trial attorneys who have obtained settlements or verdicts in excess of $1 million for prior clients.
When you are considering retaining a lawyer, it is a good idea to learn about their practice. Learn more about mine by visiting the following pages:
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/mourning-death-die-trauerkarte-108781/
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