Casket - Civil law in San Francisco, CA

Wrongful death claims fall under personal injury law, and occur when a person dies due to negligence or the intentional act of another party. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the surviving family members of the deceased person file a claim against the person legally responsible for the death. The process can be complicated, and it's best to talk with a legal professional before proceeding.

Wrongful death suits can be filed in a variety of situations. Three common examples are:

  • Death by intentional act – suit against the person convicted of murder.
  • Death from medical malpractice – suit against a doctor for failing to diagnose a condition or providing inadequate care.
  • Death in an auto accident – suit against the person responsible for the accident due to negligence.

In all wrongful death suits, the plaintiff must meet the burden of proof required to legally declare the defendant responsible.

Filing a Lawsuit

Wrongful death claims are usually filed on behalf of survivors who are related to the victim or had a personal relationship with him or her. The suit is made by a representative of the victim's estate. The exact requirements for who can file suit vary by state. In a successful suit, damages are awarded to the victim's estate and legally divided among interested parties.

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be complicated, and there are many subtleties to the law. Call The Law Office of Fernando Hidalgo to learn more and find out your legal rights regarding wrongful death claims.