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What's the deadline for filing a California wrongful death claim?

The death of a person in California can only be considered "wrongful" if negligence contributed to the unfortunate event. A fatality due to a trip and fall, defective products, elder abuse and auto crashes are often considered wrongful deaths due to the possibility of negligence as a main contributing factor. If you are living in Los Angeles, California, and you recently lost your loved one in a tragic car accident, for example, you may have a lot of questions.

You may wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one died in a car accident that was caused by a drunk driver. As the surviving family member, you have the right to seek damages based on your incurred losses, including medical expenses, if your loved one was taken to a hospital or was confined for a certain period of time before that person died. You may also be entitled to funeral expenses if you paid for the funeral of the deceased. If you are still grieving for the sudden demise of your loved one, you have to take note that there is a deadline for filing wrongful death claims in California, also known as statute of limitations.

Wrongful death claims should be filed no more than two years from the date of the person's death. People who are planning to file such claims should take note of the deadline to ensure that their legal action is valid.

To ensure that wrongful death claims are filed in a timely manner, a potential plaintiff may wish to speak with an attorney who is well-versed with the legal system. A legal professional's advice can help potential plaintiffs make sound decisions, especially when filing civil claims that can bring compensation or awards.

Source:, "Statute of limitations," accessed on Dec. 16, 2014

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