A wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to some sort of act of negligence or wrongdoing by another person. It can also apply to medical malpractice in relatively more uncommon cases. In opposition to something such as a murder, wrongful death is typically handled as a civil lawsuit. This means either a surviving family member(s) will directly bring it forth into a court of law or an official representative of the deceased person’s estate, to then decide upon an appropriate amount of compensation paid for by the defendant.
A civil lawsuit of this nature can, and often is, brought forth simultaneously with an ongoing criminal case addressing the said person’s death. There are some factors to consider in cases such as this which I will demonstrate below.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in San Francisco
In the state of California, whoever may be responsible for bringing forth the case must do so within a two-year window of the accident. There are also some specific details on whom is allowed to file this claim. It must either be:
The deceased’s surviving spouse.
The deceased’s surviving children.
In cases where there are no surviving descendants, the next order in line would possibly be family members such as siblings or parents of the deceased. It can also possibly be someone who had been living with the deceased, but this varies and is dependent on the individual case.
Expenses in Wrongful Death
Obviously, there is a multitude of different expenses that must be covered upon the death of a human being. These expenses are exactly what must be deciphered in a wrongful death civil lawsuit by injury lawyers. The specific amounts can vary greatly from case to case. The expenses are usually divided between costs that compensate in regard to the estate of the deceased and the surviving family members of the deceased.
Funeral and burial expenses.
Potential medical and hospital bills.
Any possible income that should have been awarded to the deceased if he/she should have survived.
The loss of expected financial support by the deceased.
Compensation for non-physical things may be included as well such as emotional support, affection, moral guidance.
If you believe there may have been a wrongful death in your family, don’t hesitate to contact an injury lawyer. Contact Choulos, Choulos, & Wyle for further information.