In 2021, the State of California reported approximately 4,161 motor vehicle related deaths, an increase from the year before. Death from car crashes remains a big problem across the United States. In the U.S., a person’s lifetime odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash are about 1 in 101. There are many different causes of deadly car accidents, but the most common is when a careless driver engages in reckless behavior.
Although nothing can bring back your loved one, pursuing a wrongful death claim against the driver who caused the crash can help bring a sense of justice and provide financial compensation for you tragic loss.
What Is a Wrongful Death Action?
A wrongful death happens as a result of the careless or reckless actions of another person, company or organization. As the family member of a lost loved one, you can claim damages from these cases through a wrongful death claim brought in civil court. Therefore, depending on the facts of the case, the at-fault party for the collisions may be subject to both civil and criminal liability.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Only certain individuals are eligible to file a wrongful death claim in the event of a fatal car crash. Some of these include:
- Spouse of the deceased
- Parents of the victims
- The victim’s grandchildren, if the child has died
It should be noted that just about anybody entitled to the victim’s property may bring a wrongful death claim in the absence of the relatives listed above. These individuals may include the deceased’s parents or siblings.
Damages of Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death claims may be entitled to different types of damages that would support them in the same way as if the deceased loved one were alive. Common types of wrongful death damages include:
- Financial loss due to the victim’s provision of domestic services
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Expected loss of future earning capacity impacting the remaining family members
- Loss of the deceased relative’s company, affection, relationships, and emotion and mental support
Time Limit for Filing a Wrongful Death Action
Just like any other type of personal injury claim, you only have a certain time limit to file your wrongful death claim. The statute of limitations is set at two years from the time of death. This time frame may be different from the date of the car accident if your loved one survived but later succumbed to their injuries despite the hospital’s best efforts.
Call an Orange County Wrongful Death Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured or died in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. To ensure you get the full money damages you deserve, you need to consult with and hire an Orange County car accident attorney.
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