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Wrongful Death Blog Post

Answers to Common Questions on Wrongful Death Claims

If you have a loved one who recently passed away from injuries that occurred due to another party’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation to cover medical bills, loss of financial support, funeral costs and other damages. The following some of the questions we most commonly receive when it comes to wrongful death claims:

Q: Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Not just any relative may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Typically, a spouse, children or any other person who depended on the deceased for support can legally file such a claim.

Q: How do courts determine the damages handed out in wrongful death cases?

In most cases, family members may recover compensation for the amount of financial support they would have received had the deceased lived, the loss of emotional support they’ve experienced, the cost of funeral and burial expenses, the cost of medical treatment leading up to the victim’s death and various other losses. Punitive damages may be available in special circumstances.

Q: How is wrongful death different from murder or manslaughter?

Causing a wrongful death is not a crime — it simply indicates that one party was liable for another’s death. Murder, for example, requires there to be intent and most often results in prison. Wrongful death claims are a civil matter and only result in financial damages paid to the surviving family members or the victim’s estate. Additionally, there is a lower burden of proof in wrongful death claims than in murder cases.

Q: What is the statute of limitations in a wrongful death claim?

In California, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death case is two years from the time of the victim’s death.

For more information on how to proceed after the death of a loved one, contact a trusted San Diego wrongful death attorney at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.

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Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire
2550 Fifth Avenue, 11th Floor
San Diego, California, 92103-6612 USA