Wrongful death is a claim that can be filed when a death results from an intentional act, misconduct or someone’s negligence. The law for wrongful death was established to help keep our communities safe, and prevent people from acting in a way that unreasonably raises the risk to seriously harm or kill someone else in the community.

Who can bring the claim?

In order to bring a suit for wrongful death, someone related to the decedent must bring the claim. A parent, child, or spouses are the most common relatives who use this type of action.

Statute of Limitations
There is a statue of limitations for wrongful death claims. Each state has specific time limits for how long after the incident someone can file. In California the statute of limitations is 2 years. The limitation comes from California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, which provides:

  • 335.1. Within two years: An action for assault, battery, or injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.

This means that from the date of the incident, the suit must be filed within 2 years. This does not mean it must be completed within two years, but rather just must be filed. If the suit is not filed within two years of the incident, generally the person loses the right to file a lawsuit for their damages or other relief.

Governmental Entity
If the intentional or negligent act is from a government entity or organization, the statute of limitations is reduced to 6 months, and the case becomes a “public entity case.” This is a very short period of time, and you need to speak with an attorney immediately if this applies to you.

The Ernst Law Group has a history of exceptional results on behalf of clients with wrongful death claims. With awards and prior verdicts to demonstrate our skill, feel comfortable that you are represented by the best. Please call us today if you need help.

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