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San Francisco Wrongful Death Lawyer

Personal injury lawsuits arise when an individual’s injuries are caused by the negligence of another party. When a person sustains injuries so severe that it causes their death, they cannot file a personal injury lawsuit. Instead, under the California Code of Civil Procedure §377.60, family members or a personal representative of their estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf with the help of a seasoned San Francisco wrongful death attorney

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Since the deceased person is not alive to file a personal injury lawsuit on their own behalf, California law must dictate who can file one for them. If you want to file such a lawsuit for a family member who died, it is best to consult with an experienced San Francisco wrongful death lawyer who can help you determine who has the right to file the lawsuit.

California law states that the following people can bring a wrongful death case:

  • The decedent’s surviving spouse
  • The decedent’s domestic partner
  • The decedent’s surviving children

If none of these people exist or are alive, then a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed by anyone who would be entitled to the decedent’s property by intestate succession. This could include the deceased person’s parents or the deceased person’s siblings.

In addition, if they can show they were dependent on the deceased person’s financial support, the following people can also file a wrongful death lawsuit in California:

  • The decedent’s putative spouse and children of the putative spouse
  • The decedent’s stepchildren 
  • The decedent’s parents

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in California

The law limits the amount of time all personal injury plaintiffs have to file their claim, and the same is true for wrongful death cases. Known as the statute of limitations, this law helps ensure that the outcome of the lawsuit is just in that it arose from recent evidence. In California, wrongful death cases must be filed within two years from the date of the death in question. 

If no eligible parties file a wrongful death case within the two-year deadline, they will no longer have a valid claim. Even if they file their case, it will more than likely be dismissed by the court because of the expired statute of limitations. It is imperative that you contact an attorney as soon as possible after the death of a loved one to ensure you have time to exercise your potential legal rights.

Call a Compassionate San Francisco Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you recently said your final goodbyes to a loved one believing that their death was the result of someone else’s negligence, reach out to a compassionate wrongful death lawyer in San Francisco. An attorney from our firm can help you determine if you have a case, and if so, which parties should file the claim. We can also explain what damages you could claim and what your case might be worth. To schedule your case consultation, contact Bogaards Law Trial Attorneys via phone or use our online contact form.

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