People have a duty of care to others, meaning they should be careful with their actions in order to prevent the occurrence of accidents that can end up in serious injuries or deaths. If a person performed a negligent action and a person died as a result of it, he may be liable in a wrongful death case.
A wrongful death case may be filed if an individual was killed because someone acted recklessly. The right to take legal action was only enforced during the last century. Today, all states are enforcing their own wrongful death law in order to give justice to the decedent's surviving family members.
Wrongful death may be caused by different kinds of accidents such as slip and fall and car accidents. Companies, individuals, and even government agencies may be liable in a wrongful death case if it was proven that they were negligent.
Filing a Case after a loved one's Death
A death of a person can cause emotional and financial problems to people. Fortunately, the decedent's surviving dependents can receive monetary support from the person at fault if they were able to prove that their loved one's death is the reason why they are suffering from financial problems.
However, not all people who know the victim are allowed to take legal action. Here are some people who can file a wrongful death case:
- The decedent's immediate family members
- Parents of an unborn child
- All people who are facing financial problems due to the victim's death
- The decedent's distant family members
- The decedent's financial dependents, putative spouses, and life partners
Meanwhile, here are some people who may be sued for wrongful death:
- A driver who fatally struck a pedestrian
- The owner of the bar, restaurant, or any establishment that sold the alcoholic beverage to a drunken driver who was involved in a fatal crash
- The manufacturer or designer of a product that malfunctioned while being used
- A government agency which failed to provide signs or warnings about the presence of road hazards
Statute of Limitations
After your loved one was killed in the accident, you should file a wrongful death case as soon as you can because failure to do so may result in grave consequences. If you were not able to file a case against him within a certain period of time, which is called statute of limitations, you may lose your right to take legal action.
In California, the time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years. However, a different rule applies to minors and people who are suffering from a mental disability.
You will have a bigger chance of proving the defendant's guilt if you seek legal representation from a Los Angeles personal injury attorney. He will help you convince the judge or jury that your loved one would still be alive today if the defendant acted reasonably.