In California, a wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that is filed by the surviving family members or the personal representative of the deceased person. This type of lawsuit seeks to hold the responsible party accountable for the death of their loved one and recover damages for the financial and emotional losses that resulted from the death.
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in California is two years from the date of the deceased person’s death. This means that the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of death, or it will be time-barred and cannot be pursued.
There are some exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations. For example, if the wrongful death was caused by medical malpractice, the statute of limitations may be extended to three years from the date of the injury or one year from the date that the injury was discovered, whichever comes first. Additionally, if the responsible party is a government entity, there may be shorter time limits for filing a claim.
It is important to note that the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is not the same as the time limit for reporting the death to the authorities. In California, deaths must be reported to the local registrar of births and deaths within eight days of the death. Failure to report the death can result in fines and other penalties.
If you believe that you have a wrongful death claim, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Waiting too long to file a claim can result in the loss of your legal rights and the ability to recover damages for your losses.
In addition to the statute of limitations, there are other factors that can impact the success of a wrongful death claim in California. These include the strength of the evidence, the extent of the damages suffered by the surviving family members, and the availability and liability of insurance coverage.
To pursue a successful wrongful death claim in California, it is important to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the legal process and provide the support and advocacy you need to achieve a fair and just outcome.