If a patient’s death is a result of medical negligence, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit. To establish a wrongful death claim, you must be able to prove that a healthcare provider’s negligence directly caused the patient’s death. In a wrongful death case, the potential plaintiffs are the heirs of the deceased who have suffered the loss.
In California, if the deceased was married, the spouse and children would typically be the potential plaintiffs. If the case involves the death of a child, the parents would be the plaintiffs. Determining the correct plaintiffs can be complex, but all eligible heirs must be named in the wrongful death action.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a California Wrongful Death Claim?
Unlike other medical malpractice cases, California law does not allow the plaintiffs to recover damages for the decedent’s pain and suffering prior to death. The state also imposes a cap on the maximum amount that a jury can award all plaintiffs combined for general (non-economic) damages, limiting it to $500,000. However, economic damages are not capped in California.
Components of Wrongful Death Cases
A wrongful death case based on medical negligence involves various components. Economic losses resulting from the wrongful death are always considered, regardless of whether the patient was employed at the time. Factors such as “home services” may also be assessed to determine the full extent of damages. It is crucial to hire an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can maximize your potential recovery in such cases.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in California
The statute of limitations sets the time limit for filing a wrongful death action. In California, survivors have up to three years from the date of their loved one’s death or one year from the date they became aware or suspected that medical negligence caused the death, whichever occurs first. Working with a knowledgeable medical negligence attorney from ACTS Law is essential to ensure that your lawsuit is timely filed and that your family receives maximum compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one.
Contact Bruce Brusavich and Eduardo J. Ascencio if you believe you have been a victim of medical wrongful death or medical malpractice. Our dedicated team of lawyers has nearly 70 years of combined experience and is committed to helping you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.