Losing a loved one is never easy. When the death is unexpected and could have been prevented, dealing with this loss can be especially challenging. While you will likely be focused on your family and dealing with grief following the death of a loved one, you have to understand that this loss can also result in severe financial losses.
Recovering compensation from the liable party for a wrongful death is often critical. This is especially true when the deceased was the primary earner for your household. Fortunately, you can trust an experienced personal injury lawyer in Sacramento to protect your financial future while you cope with this tragic loss.
At Triumph Law, we know how challenging the loss of a loved one can be. Our legal team has helped our clients recover millions of dollars in damages over the years. Contact us today by phone or through our website to learn more about how we can help you get the money you need following a wrongful death.
Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Sacramento?
There are strict regulations on who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim and an order in which these potential claimants can file. Those who may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim include:
- The spouse of the deceased
- Surviving children of the deceased
- Other dependent minors living in the household of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased
- Other heirs
- A personal representative of the estate
The Spouse of the Deceased
The first person eligible to file a claim will be the spouse of the deceased if they were married at the time of the death or if they are a registered domestic partner. If the deceased was not married or the spouse or domestic partner waives their priority position, the next party in line will be able to file.
Surviving Children of the Deceased
Next in line to file a claim are any surviving children of the deceased. This category includes biological children, adopted children, and stepchildren. If the children are minors, a guardian will be appointed to pursue compensation on their behalf. If the children are deceased, but there are surviving grandchildren, they will be eligible to file.
Other Dependant Minors Living in the Household of the Deceased
Dependants living with the deceased at the time of their death who are not legal children of the wrongful death victim are next up to file a claim. To qualify, the claimant must have been dependent on the deceased for at least half of their financial support and lived in the household for at least six months.
Parents of the Deceased
If there were no claimants that fell into the above categories or if any potential claimants declined to pursue a claim, the wrongful death victim’s parents will be eligible to file if they can prove financial dependence.
If no other claimants come forward, other heirs will have the right to file a claim in the following order:
- Non-dependent parents
- Children of deceased siblings
- Children of any deceased spouse
- Next of kin
A Personal Representative of the Estate
In cases where numerous parties are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the claimants can choose to have a lawyer file a single claim on behalf of the estate, which will then be divided among the claimants as set forth under California’s wrongful death statute.
Be Sure to File Your Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawsuit Before Time Runs Out
When filing a wrongful death lawsuit following the death of a loved one in Sacramento, it is critical that you know the filing deadline. The wrongful death statute of limitations in California grants claimants two years to file a lawsuit against the liable party following the loss of a loved one. Missing this deadline could mean the loss of your right to recover compensation.
However, you need to understand that the standard two-year deadline does not apply in all cases. The details of your case could potentially enable you to file a lawsuit long after the typical deadline has passed. At the same time, you could just as easily find yourself in a position where you have far less than two years to file.
The best way to protect yourself against unexpected deadlines is by hiring an experienced wrongful death lawyer serving Sacramento soon after your accident.
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Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
After losing a loved one in a wrongful death accident, there are a variety of damages you will be eligible to recover. The exact damages you qualify for will depend on your case details. All of the compensatory damages you will be able to collect are split into the categories of economic and non-economic damages.
Every monetary loss caused by the death of your loved one is considered to belong in the category of economic damages. The economic damages most commonly associated with wrongful death cases include:
- Lost future earnings of the deceased
- Medical expenses for treatment to the deceased before their death
- Funeral costs
- Burial expenses
All other losses resulting from the death of a loved one belong in the incredibly broad category of non-economic damages. The non-economic damages most commonly associated with wrongful death cases include:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished ability to enjoy life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
In certain situations, you may also be eligible to collect punitive damages for the loss of your loved one. However, these damages are only available in a small percentage of wrongful death cases.
To qualify, the death of your loved one must have resulted from actions intended to cause harm or gross negligence.
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Reach Out to an Experienced Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
When dealing with the death of a loved one, the last thing you need to be worrying about is pursuing a legal claim. When you hire an experienced wrongful death attorney in Sacramento, they will take over every aspect of your case, leaving you free to focus on more important things. You can rest assured that your financial future is in good hands.
When choosing a lawyer, it’s essential that you go with a firm experienced in wrongful death cases and with a history of securing favorable outcomes for their clients both in and out of court. Contact us today by phone or through our website to schedule a free case consultation.
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