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Defenses Against a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit arises when a loved one has sustained a fatal injury due to someone else’s negligence. It is still essential to know your rights and understand the available defenses people can claim when they have a wrongful death case suit against them by another party.

What is a Wrongful Death Action?

Though the regulations governing wrongful death cases can differ from state to state, the beneficiaries may file a personal injury lawsuit on the decedent’s behalf., Many defenses available in personal injury claims are also accessible in wrongful death litigation since these sorts of cases are based on the concept of personal injury.

What are the Common Defenses in California Wrongful Death Cases?

Here are some of the primary defenses available in wrongful death cases:

  • Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is an expiration date for bringing legal action based on a particular cause of action. Most accidents provide family members two years from the date of the death to initiate a case for wrongful death. However, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of death if the end was medical misconduct.

The usual statutes of limitations are subject to some exclusions, though. The discovery rule, for instance, might, in some circumstances, prolong the statute of limitations. A reasonable person would have known that another party’s negligence or wrongdoing resulted in the death by the time the deadline had passed.

On the other hand, in cases involving governmental institutions, the statute of limitations may be much shorter. In most cases, you must submit the claim notice to the government within six months of the decedent’s passing.

  • Self-Defense

Another frequent argument used in some wrongful death instances is self-defense. This defense is frequently invoked when there has been physical contact between the parties or when one party claims that their life or the life of another was in danger and that they were forced to “stop” the other party from harming themselves or another. A party must demonstrate that their acts were reasonable and justified, even if they put themselves at immediate risk.

  • No Causation

There must be a connection between the defendant’s actions and the death to hold them accountable for wrongful death. The cause doesn’t have to be apparent but must be connected to the defendant’s behavior. If the petitioner cannot demonstrate a relationship between the two, the offender will not be held accountable for wrongful death.

  • Release Agreement

Before participating in any semi-dangerous activity, there can be a requirement to sign a release agreement. These agreements are a legal form of self-defense in situations of simple negligence. Still, they are ineffective when the actions are deliberate or the consequence of extreme carelessness. Participants agree not to file a lawsuit if they suffer harm in accordance with the agreement.

  • Assumption of Risk

A defendant may contend that the deceased accepted the risk associated with the activities that led to their death. The decedent must have known and understood the risks associated with the conduct or behavior for this defense to apply, which is not always the case.

  • Decedent’s Involvement in an Illegal Activity

Some individuals can argue that the victim of the fatal injury was participating in an illegal activity. As Kaass Law wrongful death attorneys, we will evaluate each case differently. This will help us to see whether we can assist the decedent’s family.

When Should You Contact Kaass Law Attorneys When Accused Of Wrongful Death?

The defenses described here are just a sample of the most typical objections a decedent’s family may encounter when filing a claim following a fatal accident.

It is in your best interests to speak with a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney, regardless of whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant in a criminal death action. Your attorney can assist you in, in determining whether you have a strong case and defending your legal rights. Your attorney can also ensure to file the suit before the statute of limitations expires.

Contact Kaass Law Wrongful Death Experienced Attorneys Today!

Wrongful death cases are one of our many practices. Please dial 310.943.1171 to speak to our specialized attorneys.

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