Experienced Wrongful Death Attorneys
The loss of a loved one can leave you with unexpected monetary, physical, and emotional damages. Let the dedicated and compassionate wrongful death attorneys at Sweet Lawyers hold those at-fault accountable and protect you from further losses, while you and your family grieve the loss of your loved one.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death is defined as a person or business that is liable for the death of an innocent victim. When a person dies or is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another, the surviving family members of the deceased can sue the negligent parties for the damages that they caused. Wrongful death can be a result of homicide, medical malpractice, transportation accidents, exposure to toxic substances, product malfunctions, pedestrian collisions, police brutality, and any other instance caused by the wrongdoing of another.
Economic and non-economic damages are taken into consideration when looking into a wrongful death claim. These can include high medical bills, loss of benefits, funeral services costs, emotional distress, loss of income, loss of companionship, and much more. Wrongful death lawsuits are sometimes combined with a “survival action” case.
The main difference between a wrongful death claim and a survival action claim is that wrongful death focuses on the damages of the deceased's family members. While a survival action case focuses on the damages and suffering caused to the deceased and what compensation they would have recovered had they not passed.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Each state has their own laws covering who can file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the deceased. These people usually include individuals that are related to or depend financially on the person that died. The law usually allows the following people to file a wrongful death case:
- Surviving spouses;
- Domestic partners (registered domestic partnership);
- Children of the deceased;
- Financial dependents, parents, minors under the care of the deceased;
- Personal representatives.
These people can differ from state to state; our wrongful death lawyers will help you discover if you are eligible to file a case on behalf of your loved one.
While no amount of money will bring back a lost loved one, the justice and compensation our attorneys will achieve can help with expenses for funeral costs, medical bills, therapy treatment, and other assistance you and your family may need.
Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Cases
With a wrongful death case, there is a time limit on when family members can take legal action. These restrictions are called the statute of limitations and only allow you to file a wrongful death lawsuit within a certain amount of time. When these expire, the legal claim is no longer valid and the family cannot file a lawsuit. It is important to know and understand these time limitations, as they vary from state to state and case to case.
For example, in the state of California, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two (2) years of death of the victim. With wrongful death from medical malpractice, the statute of limitations will be either be three (3) years from the date of the fatal injury or one (1) year from the date the victim discovered their injury.
In Nevada, a wrongful death claim must be filed or pursued within two (2) years from the date of the death of the victim. Once two years passes, it is not possible to file a wrongful death action in Nevada.
In Washington, a wrongful death claim must be filed or pursued within three (3) years from the date of the death of the victim. Once three years passes, you can not file a wrongful death action in Washington.
Each state has their own statute of limitations that apply to wrongful death cases, and exceptions within them. Speak to the wrongful death attorneys at Sweet Lawyers to discover if your case is still within the statute of limitations, and what your next step should be.
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