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Claim Against Government: Filing a Wrongful Death

Jun 6, 2023 | Wrongful Death

To lose a family member in a wrongful death accident is a devastating and emotionally traumatic life event. When the accident has happened with the negligence of the government, family members are less likely to accept the cause of death. That is when realizing they might be able to prevent that tragic event. In this case, the family members can file a claim against the government.

Negligence Claim Against Government

There may be cases in which the government is to blame for a deadly accident. In California, the family members can pursue a wrongful death action against the accountable government body. The period a victim has to submit a claim is constrained by the California Tort Claims Act, which authorizes these cases to be brought a claim against the government. Generally, family members will lose their chance to pursue damages if they don’t fill the claim within six months of the accident.

Claim Against Government: The Legal Principle of Sovereign Immunity

Under the American legal system, governmental organizations and entities are formally “immune” from lawsuits. This is due to the concept of sovereign immunity. You can file a claim against the government without its permission, including for personal damage and wrongful death. This is the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity. However, federal and state legislation created various exceptions. These exceptions allow lawsuits against federal, state, and local governments for wrongful deaths in various situations.

California and Federal Tort Claims Acts

According to the Federal Tort Claims Act, you can sue federal entities for various tort infractions, including wrongful death. California has a state law in place that is quite similar to this. Sovereign immunity has been waived for state and municipal government entities facing various tort actions under the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA).

Examples of Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Which a Government Entity is a Party Include:

  • Accidents at a public school,
  • Collisions involving a government vehicle
  • Malpractice cases at a publicly funded healthcare facility.

The Government Wrongful Death Cases Statute of Limitations

Wrongful death cases have a two-year statute of limitations in the state of California. Therefore, there is an additional deadline for the California Tort Claims Act. If a family member wants to sue the government, it must be through a written notice filed within six months. Afterward, you can lose your right of recompense if the statute of limitations for a wrongful death case isn’t filed within a time frame.

California Tort Claims Act and Written Notice of a Wrongful Death

To move forward in California, you must fulfill all of the written notice requirements within the CTCA for your wrongful death claim against a state or local government entity. In this way, you must formally take note of the claim against the government within six months from the date of the passing of a family member. The composed notice ought to moreover contain the following data:

  • Name and address of wrongful death claimant(s).
  • When, where, and how long ago the tragic incident occurred;
  • A thorough account of the deadly catastrophe, addressing the government’s responsibility; and
  • who the individuals working for or on behalf of the public sector are.

It is difficult to prove wrongful death in any case. You have to negotiate your obligations under the California Tort Claims Act, which makes the procedure considerably more challenging when the government is the main defendant. A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney will defend your rights and interests.

Call KAASS LAW Attorneys Now!

Understanding the law is necessary before filing a wrongful death claim against the government. Our wrongful death attorneys at KAASS LAW can assist if your family is getting ready to sue a government agency for wrongful death. Contact us at 310-933-5171 to get an initial consultation with an attorney. You can find help with other potential cases by visiting this link.

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