What to know before pursuing a wrongful death claim

The loss of a loved one can be devastating. It can leave a California family grieving and unsure of how to put the pieces back together. In addition to the emotional trauma one may experience after an unexpected loss, a family may experience financial loss as well. If your loved one died as the result of the reckless or negligent actions of another person, you could have grounds to pursue a wrongful death claim. 

A wrongful death claim is a civil suit filed against the party responsible for the fatal accident. The civil justice system provides the opportunity for the wronged party to pursue compensation for losses, as well as damages for non-economic losses. If you believe you could have a valid claim, you may find it helpful to learn about the specific types of damages available to you and how you can initiate this process. 

Do you have a valid claim? 

The first step is to determine if you have a valid claim. You could have legitimate grounds to move forward with a wrongful death claim if you have evidence the death was the result of the negligence or recklessness of another party. You must also have proof of financial suffering as a result of that death, and you must appoint one person to act as representative of the estate. If all of these apply to your situation, you may have grounds to pursue this type of civil claim. 

There are many situations that could lead to a wrongful death. Fatalities related to medical malpractice, car accidents, airplane accidents, occupational exposure, criminal activity or a supervised activity could be wrongful deaths, and therefore grounds for litigation. 

How much is the claim worth? 

Each accident claim is different, and the amount of damages available to you depends on the specific details of the individual case. You may pursue compensation for specific losses, such as emergency medical bills, funeral costs and more. You may also have a claim for non-economic and future losses, such as loss of income, loss of companionship and more.  

A careful assessment of your situation may help you understand what options are available to you. If you think you could have grounds for a wrongful death claim, it is useful to move forward with this process as soon as possible. These cases are time-sensitive, and your quick action could make a significant difference in the success of your claim.