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What Legal Actions To Take After A Boat Accident Death?

Boat And Watercraft Accidents And Wrongful Death Claims In California

Like other common accidents, boating and watercraft injuries can be unpredictable. You might have the training, license, and safety precautions in place, but no one really knows when things can go wrong. If you've lost a family member or a loved one due to a boating accident, it helps to know your legal options—specifically, your right to monetary compensation.

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Wrongful death can be the most difficult and emotionally painful situation anybody can face. Yet, after the devastating loss of a loved one, taking legal action may not be the first thing that springs to mind.

However, doing so may help to prevent a repeat of the situation in the future. Although no one can bring your loved one back, getting a wrongful death award to compensate for financial damages and hold the guilty party accountable may help you move on from this painful time.

Wrongful Death Laws in California

Wrongful death lawsuits are distinct from personal injury claims. In California, they are governed by special laws. Here's a quick guide to familiarize yourself with a handful of the state's most important statutes to aid in the preparation of your claim:

  • There are limitations on who can bring a wrongful death case. In California, a surviving spouse, domestic partner, or child has the right to file such a lawsuit. If these parties do not exist, anyone with an intestate succession right to the deceased person's property may file.

  • There are different damages payable to claimant families. Therefore, you and your family can use a wrongful death claim to seek a variety of damages, including:

    • Medical expenditures

    • Funeral and burial costs

    • The value of the decedent's home services

    • Lost inheritance

  • There is a deadline for filing claims in California. The discovery rule, which extends the period until the date of injury discovery, is a popular exception for injury claims. However, there is no similar exception in the case of wrongful death lawsuits. In most wrongful death lawsuits, the two-year limit is vigorously enforced by the courts.

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Wrongful Death claims are handled differently than most non-fatal accident claims and necessitate specialized legal knowledge. However, you will not have to juggle with the laws since an attorney will.

Your California Wrongful Death Attorney can assist you in understanding the laws of California as they apply to your case. They can also help you follow the legislation so that you do not miss any critical deadlines or filing requirements.

Survival Action and Wrongful Death: What's The Difference?

You and your family may be able to file two types of civil claims after losing a loved one in an accident. A wrongful death claim, for example, seeks to compensate surviving family members for their losses. A survival action, on the other hand, compensates the decedent's estate for particular losses.

Only a representative of the estate can pursue a survival action while surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim. The representative has six months from the date of death or two years from the date of the wrongful act to bring a survival action. Each has its own set of damages.

The main purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to compensate the family for the economic losses (anything with set monetary value) and non-economic losses(also known as "intangible" values, like emotional distress) they have incurred due to the death of a loved one. Compensation awards may include:

  • Mental distress

  • Psychological stress

  • Lost parental direction

  • Lost spousal love and support

  • Lost home tasks

  • Fair funeral and burial expenses

  • Medical bills covered by the family

To be eligible for an award, dependents must show that they suffered damages due to the death of a loved one.

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If the decedent had not died as a result of their injuries, a survival cause of action might result in compensation equivalent to what the deceased person could have obtained in a personal injury claim. This may include:

  • Personal property repairs

  • Medical bills

  • The loved one's lost wages

  • Lost inheritance

  • Out-of-pocket expenses

  • Punitive damages

During a survival action, the California courts will determine the right amount to award.

Find A California Wrongful Death Attorney Near Me

Worried about lawyer fees? helps clients find a Contingency Lawyer for their Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases in California.

No win, no fees! You can complete our submission form for a free case review.


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