The family members of someone who has been killed by the negligence of another party are entitled to seek damages from the responsible party. If your loved one has been involved in a fatal accident, you should contact an attorney to see if you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. To schedule a free case review with an experienced San Diego wrongful death lawyer, please contact The Law Offices of Melinda J. Helbock, A.P.C.
Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death claims are serious legal matters, as they involve negligence or reckless actions that resulted in someone’s death. One of the leading causes of wrongful deaths in the U.S. is auto accidents, which can be caused by a number of factors such as drunk driving, texting or talking on the phone while driving or speeding.
Families might also be entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against a person or company if a loved one dies from:
- Auto accident caused by negligence or reckless driving
- Defective auto parts that result in a fatal car crash, such as faulty brakes or tires
- Defective or dangerous products, including recalled medical devices and dangerous drugs
- Negligent care from a health care provider or care taker
- Dangerous toys that result in suffocation or choking
- Construction site accidents caused by dangerous machinery or inadequate safety gear
- Falls from tall heights
- Falling objects from a grocery store shelf
- Exposure to toxic chemicals, asbestos or other environmental hazards
Damages that may be awarded in wrongful death claims can include lost future income, the cost of any medical treatments given before the death, funeral expenses and compensation for loss of companionship or pain and suffering. In some cases a jury may also decide for punitive damages, which are large cash awards meant to discourage future reckless or negligent behavior.
California Statute of Limitations
Like other personal injury lawsuits, wrongful death claims must be filed within a certain time frame known as the statute of limitations. Once the statute of limitations expires, you can no longer file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Each state has its own statute of limitations.
In California, you generally have two years to file claims against businesses and individuals. Action must be taken within six months if the claims are made against a government entity. Exceptions to the statute of limitations are made in some cases that involve children, but you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to avoid missing any deadlines.
Contact a San Diego Wrongful Death Attorney
While no amount of compensation can make up for the loss of a loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit can give you a measure of justice while taking care of the needs of your family. An experienced and compassionate attorney can evaluate your case and help you determine the best course of action during a free consultation. For more information, contact a San Diego wrongful death attorney today.