Who Is Able to Bring About a Wrongful Death Suit?
Immediate family of the descendent, such as parents, spouses, children, and any heirs included in an individual’s will, can typically file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased individual.
What are Some of The Biggest Challenges Faced in Wrongful Death Cases?
A big challenge that one might face during a wrongful death claim is the issue of insurance policy limits. Many wrongful death cases arise from auto accidents or an accident on someone’s property, where the insurance policy insuring the car or property covers such accidents. However, oftentimes these insurance policies do not cover extremely large damages, such as wrongful deaths. Therefore, the issue of what the limitations of insurance policy are and what the policy will actually cover is a challenge for many claimants and their attorneys.
How are Damages Determined in Wrongful Death Cases?
In wrongful death claims, damages that may be able to be recovered can be the costs of the funeral and immediate necessities. Damages for pain and suffering can be recovered as well. The amount a claimant would receive would depend on the amount of pain and suffering that occurred. For example, an individual who died in a car crash instantly might receive less compensation for pain and suffering than a person who was hit and died a slower death in a hospital over the course of two months would.
Another possible damage that can be recovered is loss of consortium, which refers to the loss of benefit the claimant is now able to bring to their spouse or children, whether intimate, financially, etc. Lost future wages are also a big part of potential recovered damages. You may be able to recover the deceased individual’s future earning potential in some cases.
How Long Do Wrongful Death Cases Generally Take To Be Resolved?
Each wrongful death case is different. The settlement or resolution of a case will depend on several factors. For instance, what are the relevant insurance policy limits? How much proof do you have to back up what you are claiming in the lawsuit?
While certain cases are handled fairly quickly, others may take a couple years or more to go through the court and judgment processes. In general, you can expect for a wrongful death claim to take at least a year to reach a resolution, and oftentimes longer depending on the circumstances of the case.
What Are the Top Misconceptions About Wrongful Death Cases?
In general, people don’t truly understand the majority of the process and everything that goes into a wrongful death suit. For example, dealing with the insurance companies and the multi-layer defenses that insurance companies put out in these cases are a huge factor. You will not likely find an insurance company readily offering a settlement or policy limits upon a wrongful death.
Oftentimes, they will wait and force affected individuals to hire an attorney and file a suit. Sometimes people on their own don’t even get a call from the insurance company who is responsible until an attorney is retained. Communication with the insurance companies will normally begin once an attorney is handling the case.
How Quickly Should Someone Contact An Attorney For A Wrongful Death Case?
It is advised to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. When someone passes away from a wrongful death incident, the evidence should be immediately preserved. An attorney can assist with you with gathering this information and recording it. Since evidence tends to get misplaced, lost, forgotten, or destroyed over time, it is recommended to get all documents and evidence in order immediately. The collected and recorded evidence then needs to be reviewed by an attorney as soon as possible in order to determine liability, which is the first step in filing a wrongful death case.
What is the Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Cases in CA?
As with most other personal injury type of claims, wrongful death claims in California must be filed within a specific time frame, also known as the statute of limitations. In California, the law states that a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date of the deceased person’s death. A claim must be filed within those two years, or else the family forfeits the right to bring about a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the descendent.
For more information on Wrongful Death Claims In California, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (760) 837-1884 today.
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