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What is the Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in California?

Wrongful death due to negligence may occur for a variety of reasons. However, the wrongful death statute of limitations in California is the same regardless.

Coping with the death of a loved one is one of the most difficult processes that we can go through.

This grief process is more difficult when the death is due to negligence – or worse – on the part of another person or entity.

In recognition of this, our nation has developed the legal concept of “wrongful death.” This can occur from car accidents, malpractice, or other serious injury.

In a wrongful death situation, those who are most affected by the loss can seek to obtain compensation from the parties who played a role in the circumstances which contributed.

  • Financial: 
    • This is the most popular type of compensation. The grieving party seeks to prevent undue hardship by replacing the income or wages that the deceased family member was responsible for providing. In addition, grieving party may seek reimbursement of medical or funeral expenses as well.
  • Emotional and Cognitive Distress:
    • In less tangible cases, the grieving family can attempt to sue for distress. They may do this even in an attempt to force the responsible party to change business conduct. However, in all cases, the relief is through monetary compensation.

What Are Statutes of Limitations?

Because of the way that our government is designed, each state has the ability to decide, independently, on the regulations and timelines that are available to those seeking wrongful death judgments.

These regulations are statutes.

Timeline established is the limitation on how long one has to file the claim.

The combination of these concepts gives us the term, “statute of limitations,” which is the maximum amount of time available for a person to file a claim.