When a loved one dies because of the negligence of another person, it can be a very difficult thing to accept. You may feel the need to hold the person accountable, including in criminal and civil court. This can be done by filing a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court against the responsible person or entities.
Do you know who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in a California court? There are some stipulations set forth in the California Code of Civil Procedure, specifically in Section 377.60-377.62. This code states that only the following may file a wrongful death lawsuit:
— A surviving spouse, children or a domestic partner. The domestic partner must be in a registered domestic partnership with the deceased.
— A putative spouse and his or her children, stepchildren or parents. This means even if the marriage was determined to be void, if the spouse believed the marriage was valid, the above would be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
— A minor who was dependent on the decedent’s support for at least half of his or her care for the last 180 days.
The court will determine the rights of persons who filed the wrongful death action when it comes to damage awards.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be quite complex and may require testimony from experts in specific fields. By utilizing an experienced personal injury attorney as your legal representative, you will be able to focus more on healing and moving forward during this difficult time. While no amount of compensation will bring your loved back into your life, it can help bring a sense of closure.
Source: leginfo.ca.gov, “Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60-377.62” Oct. 06, 2014