The death of children is a subject that brings up terrible emotional issues for everyone involved. Parents are often prostrated with grief and anguish and may not be thinking about a lawsuit at the time of the death or immediately afterwards. However, they are required by law to file a suit for damages within a given time period or they could lose the right to collect damages.
Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, 45, there is a strict time limit that parents have in bringing a legal action when they lose a child to a wrongful death accident. Normally, the parents of children have the full two years allowed by law in which to file a suit. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
If the death resulted from medical malpractice, the statute of limitations may be increased to three years in the case of a child. In some cases, the time limit does not begin until the parents are given information that allows them to deduce that a wrongful act has occurred. However, if a government agency is involved, the statute of limitations shrinks to six months. During that time, the parents must file a government claim, and it is only after that claim is rejected that they are statutorily allowed to file a lawsuit.
Children are often killed in car collisions, pedestrian crashes, and bicycle accidents, although any type of accident could produce a wrongful death claim regarding a child. Attorneys for wrongful death not only handle the claims of parents who have lost children in accidents; they also help guide the parents through the process. This is often extremely painful and requires an understanding of the psychology of grief to allow these attorneys to deal with not only the legal but the mental aspects of the case.
A professional Sacramento wrongful death attorney understands that part of his or her job is to work with grieving parents to ensure that their rights are protected, even if they do not understand this process or are not mentally invested in it due to the struggle with grief. While money will never replace a lost loved one, especially a child, it is important that the family of a victim who has been killed in a senseless accident be compensated justly for that loss. When families need help in achieving that goal, there are good personal injury attorneys who understand what they are going through and will act on their behalf to prevent anyone from taking advantage of their vulnerability and loss.