According to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §377.60, the following family members might be eligible to sue in a fatal car accident claim:
- The deceased person’s spouse
- The deceased person’s domestic partner
- The deceased person’s children
- The deceased person’s grandchildren
- The deceased person’s parents or legal guardians
While your entire family might feel the loss of one of its members, California law only allows specific family members to file a wrongful death claim. Your legal team may help you define your relationship to the decedent and your possible right to pursue financial compensation with a wrongful death claim.
Pursue These Damages After a Fatal Car Accident
The sudden loss of a family member can leave your family stressed and frustrated. It can also leave surviving family members with financial expenses and losses. According to the California Civil Code (CIV) §1431.2, you might be able to recover the costs of your loved one’s funeral service and burial. You might also be eligible to collect compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages
- Loss of support
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of society
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
It can be difficult to calculate the financial impact of losing your loved one’s contributions to the household. When the dynamic of your family changes due to the unexpected demise of a loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit might help you recoup a portion of your loved one’s financial, household, and familial contributions. While your legal team is working on your compensation claim, they may also ensure your ability to collect compensation by ensuring your case complies with the state’s filing deadline.
The State Determines How Much Time You Have to File a Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit for the wrongful death of a family member must meet several important markers. Your wrongful death lawsuit may require certain legal elements a lawyer might be able to help you meet. Along with proving the duty, negligence, cause, and damages of the at-fault drivers, you must also ensure your lawsuit complies with the relevant statute of limitations.
In Los Angeles, you generally have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file your wrongful death lawsuit, according to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1. Your lawyer may use the official crash report, your loved one’s medical records, or their death certificate to establish their date of death and ensure compliance with the statute of limitations.
When you are ready to seek compensation for your family, comply with your lawyer’s request for this information to avoid missing the filing deadline or having your wrongful death lawsuit dismissed before it can even be heard. Involving a local law firm in your wrongful death case right away may help ensure the statute of limitations does not expire and your right to file your lawsuit is not placed at risk.
You Might Settle Your Wrongful Death Claim without Going to Court
When your family is dealing with the mental and emotional aftermath of a loved one’s demise, you might not be able to devote as much time to your potential claim as you might like. Should you decide to let a local law firm handle your wrongful death claim, your legal team can focus on pursuing your monetary compensation while your family can focus on coping with their loss.
Your legal team may focus on the logistics of your claim, which might include negotiating a financial settlement on your behalf. Settling your compensation claim out of court means you agree to accept an agreed-upon amount of monetary compensation in exchange for absolving the at-fault party of any further financial compensation beyond the settlement amount. You do not have to navigate the complexities of the wrongful death process on your own. While the final decision in settlement negotiations is always yours to make, your legal team might help you weigh each offer prior to making a final decision.
Explore Your Family’s Compensation Options
If you and your family lost a loved one in a car accident, you might have the basis for a wrongful death claim. Our case review team members may help you prove the at-fault driver’s negligence and your right to financial compensation for the loss of your loved one and their contributions to your family.
Our legal team may help you determine who can sue in a fatal car accident claim, which expenses are compensable, and how you can build a solid case for financial recovery. Contact the personal injury team at Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices by calling (888) 522-6291 when your family is ready to pursue the at-fault driver.