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Can I file for wrongful death during a missing person case?

missing-personWhat happened? I won’t ever see them again! How on earth will I go on? Who can I turn to for help? These are all questions running through one’s mind if a loved one has been killed. We know this process won’t be easy. It is never easy. Please know that you are not alone—at Heiting & Irwin Attorneys at Law, we’re here to help and to help answer all of your questions.

Each case is different, so it is extremely important to consult a wrongful death attorney on the best course of action as soon as possible. Below, we’ve outlined some processes and procedures that may apply to your situation.

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death occurs when someone’s acts or omissions (negligence) results in another person’s death. The family of the deceased person can recover damages in a lawsuit. Obviously, there must be evidence that death has occurred and that another’s negligence contributed to that death. This also means that a death certificate is usually necessary to proceed.

What Can I Do if there’s No Proof of Death?

If your loved one is missing and/or you do not have a death certificate to pursue wrongful death, you can still petition the court to establish facts necessary to perfect the claim. In California, a petition may be filed after the missing person has not been seen or heard from for a period of five years. This complicates time limits to bring claims and lawsuits, as well as many, many other aspects of what happens with business, assets, insurance, etc., etc. This is a long time to wait. Fortunately, there are steps you can take now to begin putting together the building blocks to stabilize the situation and possibly lay the foundation of a case.

Contact a California Wrongful Death Attorney

The lawyers at Heiting & Irwin Attorneys at Law understand this stressful and confusing time. We’re here to navigate the legal system with you to obtain the best possible outcome for your unique situation. Contact us today.

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