Can I File a Claim for a Fatal Car Accident?

cars on road

Fatalities caused by car crashes can be tragic and traumatic for everyone involved. If you lost a loved one because of the negligence of another driver, you are likely experiencing sadness, anger, and emotional anguish. While nothing will be able to bring back your loved one, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit to bring the negligent party to justice and receive compensation for your loss. To find out more about your rights and filing a wrongful death lawsuit, reach out to an experienced San Mateo County, California car accident lawyer for help.

Why Would I File a Claim for a Fatal Car Accident?

If a loved one died due to injuries in a car accident, it is important to file a wrongful death claim against the driver who was at fault. Not only will this lawsuit allow you to feel a sense of justice after your loved one’s death, but it will offer you compensation to help you deal with the aftermath of your loss.

Filing a claim can help you receive compensation that can cover the victim’s hospital bills and other medical costs, property damage, your pain and suffering, emotional anguish, loss of income, funeral and burial expenses, etc.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Depending on your relationship with the victim you may be able to file a wrongful death case. The following people can generally file.

  • The victim’s spouse or partner
  • The victim’s children
  • The victim’s grandchildren
  • Anyone who was financially dependent on the victim or would be entitled to the victim’s property under California law, including stepchildren, the victim’s parents, or a legal guardian

Is There a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is the period after an accident in which you are legally allowed to pursue legal action and compensation. There is a statute of limitations for most accidents and crimes, including wrongful death lawsuits. In California, the statute of limitations in a wrongful death suit is two years after the day of the victim’s death. Keep in mind that your loved one may not have passed away on the day of the accident. The two-year time limit begins on the date of their death.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Fatal Car Accident Claim?

It is highly recommended to acquire the services of a skilled attorney when filing a wrongful death claim. A lawyer will ensure that your claim is filed on time and follows proper legal procedures, as well as help you avoid a lowball settlement from an insurance company. They will communicate with all of the necessary entities, gather and present evidence from the accident, and negotiate for the most appropriate settlement for your case. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure fair compensation and justice for your loved one.

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