A wrongful death claim is a civil case filed against a person whose negligent, careless or deliberate action has caused the death of another person. This can be filed by the victim’s spouse or children, immediate family members, and parents in order to seek compensation for the financial and emotional damages they suffered due to the victim’s death.

A valid wrongful death claim has the following elements:
-Someone died because of the incident in question.
-The defendant’s negligence or intent to harm, caused, partly or wholly, the death of your loved one.
-Surviving family members who are suffering financial injuries
-A person appointed as a personal representative of the victim’s estate

Being a civil case, a lower standard of proof applies to wrongful death lawsuit. A preponderance of evidence is enough to win, as opposed to criminal cases, such as murder, which require proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

The statute of limitation for wrongful death varies across states. In California, the statute is set within two years of injuries or death in most cases, and within three years after the date of injury or one year after discovering the injury in case of medical malpractice.

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