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How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

The death of a loved one can be one of the darkest times in a person’s or family’s life. As if losing a companion wasn’t already challenging enough, you may also be losing income if the deceased was the family’s breadwinner, and you may be crippled with debt after receiving medical or funeral bills. None of it is far if the death was caused by another entity’s negligence – your loved one and your family shouldn’t have to pay.

It’s important that your family seeks justice through a wrongful death claim in order to move on. However, different states have different statutes of limitations, or deadlines to file a claim. For California, wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the date of death.

Special Cases in California

While most wrongful death claims are given two years before families can no longer seek compensation, there are special cases that have different deadlines.

If the death occurred as the result of medical malpractice, the deceased’s family has three years to file a claim, while a death that occurred through the negligence of a governmental body gives families just six months to file a claim. Government claims generally have strict procedures, so it’s important to contact a team of professional personal injury lawyers to help you get started.

Every family deserves to move on. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

The surviving spouse or domestic partner, children, and those inheriting property of the deceased person through succession can file wrongful death claims. Stepchildren and parents may also file wrongful death claims if they can prove they were financially dependent on the deceased person.

Fighting on the Behalf of Families

Smolich and Smolich is dedicated to helping families heal and move on from their troubles, especially if they recently lost a beloved family member. No one should have to lose a spouse, parent, or child as a result of carelessness. We understand that our clients want justice for what happened, which is why we’re proud to have successfully negotiated and settled countless wrongful death claims. Nothing can bring your loved one back, but we can win compensation so that your family can pay your bills and concentrate on the next step forward.

Call Smolich and Smolich for a free consultation at (916) 571-0400, or contact us online if you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. Our personal injury lawyers have decades of experience in helping clients fight for justice and can help your family achieve maximum compensation so you can begin the healing process.