A wrongful death is when one person dies because of the wrong-doing of another individual. The underlying cause may be intentional, such as the shooting or stabbing of a person, or may be caused by negligence, such as a car accident or bus accident.
If someone you care about has been killed as the result of a wrongful death, you may have legal options. If there is an estate open, the executor of the estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, if there is no estate, you may still be able to file a lawsuit if you qualify as the decedent’s heir or dependent.
There may also be several defendants involved in a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, in an auto accident, your attorney may sue the driver of the other car, the hospital that treated the victim and the manufacturer of one or both of the vehicles.
California has a statute of limitations which limits your ability to recover for bodily injury. For a wrongful death, your time to make a claim is limited to only two years. If there is a claim against the government, that time is shortened to six months.
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