Lost A Loved One To An Accident? File A Wrongful Death Claim in California

Find A California Wrongful Death Attorney After An Unfortunate Accident

When an accident is caused by negligence, the defendant will usually need to compensate the plaintiff for the injuries sustained. However, when the victim dies from the accident, their surviving family will become eligible for Wrongful Death Damages. Consult A California Personal Injury Attorney to help you.

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What Qualifies As A Wrongful Death In California?

In California, wrongful death is defined as a legal claim that arises when someone dies due to the negligence of another person (or group of people). If a Wrongful Death action is successful, the family may recover damages such as burial and funeral fees and hold the responsible person accountable.


A wrongful death lawsuit differs from a trial for suicide or murder. It isn't even a court matter. Instead, it's a civil complaint brought in the state of California. Its goal is to hold a defendant civilly rather than legally liable for someone's death.

The family may have grounds to pursue a wrongful death case regardless of whether the at-fault party committed a crime. For example, while the defendant is awaiting a criminal trial, the family of a victim of an intentional crime, such as murder, will be able to bring a civil wrongful death complaint.

In addition, relatives will be allowed to sue for Wrongful Death based on an unanticipated tort, such as negligence.


Who Can Sue For Wrongful Death Claims in California?


In California, just a few survivors are permitted to pursue a claim. Therefore, you should be related to the victim in any of the following ways:

  • The spouse or recognized domestic partner of the deceased might launch a lawsuit if they were married or partners at the time of death.

  • If the deceased's children are still living, they may bring a lawsuit.

  • If a child or children have already passed away, the child's descendants (grandchildren) will be the ones to file a case.

  • If the deceased was married but had no children, their parents could launch a case.

  • Siblings or other dependents of the deceased may initiate a lawsuit if the deceased person's spouse, children, or parents are no longer alive.

  • A lawsuit can be filed by the parents of a minor child who has died.

  • The decedent's siblings will file a claim if the decedent's parents have died.

In most circumstances where the decedent did not prepare a will, individuals who may be entitled to inherit property and those who were financial dependents of the deceased would have the right to submit a wrongful death claim in California.


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How Much Is A Wrongful Death Claim Worth?


In a wrongful death case, several financial costs and damages, emotional burdens, and psychological impacts are all recoverable. In addition, injuries from the past, present, and future are all covered in these damages.

In California, punitive damages are not recoverable in wrongful death cases. They are, however, recoverable through "survival actions," which allow a decedent's estate to collect monetary losses sustained as a result of the event that caused death. The difficulty is to show that the decedent survived the initial collision, although for a short period, before succumbing to their injuries.


Survival actions can be combined with wrongful death suits to inherit/acquire the decedent's estate. Any money granted will go to the heirs of the estate.


Determining the value of damages (and doing so accurately) is critical in a wrongful death case. This is accomplished mainly through calculating the monetary value of losses, which includes the following:

  1. Expenses for care and medical treatment, as well as funeral expenditures

  2. The decedent's future financial contributions, personal care, nurturing, guidance, encouragement, training, services, and inheritance are all gone.

  3. These things can be lost, including joy, camaraderie, warmth, community, friendship, peace, and moral support.

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Several factors are considered when determining and fighting the amount of money given in a wrongful death claim. Expert witnesses (economists, psychologists, and medical practitioners, for example) will be needed to determine the case's absolute, equal, and real value.

  • Life expectancy, age, earning capacity, education, fitness, intelligence, character, parental commitments, spending and saving habits, and the conditions of survivors/beneficiaries may all be considerations to consider.

  • Even stay-at-home moms and fathers and unemployed individuals at the time of death might be valuable because the loss of contributions to the household and family can be quantified.

Financial compensation can help you deal with your injuries, pay for your expenses, and save for a more secure future. However, you can only establish the genuine value of your case via honest, dedicated counsel and representation.


Punitive damages are really only recoverable in "survival cases," which allow the deceased's estate to recover economic losses sustained due to their death, even if the deceased only lived for a short time after the deceased occurrence that killed them.

It is critical to seek legal counsel from a California Wrongful Death Lawyer as soon as feasible. Many circumstances can influence the result of your case, and all Personal Injury Lawsuits in California are subject to strict statutes of limitations.


How Long Do I Have To File A Wrongful Death Claim?


In most circumstances, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.


Other elements, such as the source and nature of the conduct that resulted in death. The circumstances of the plaintiff(s) and defendant(s), and other factors such as the following, all play a role:

  • Medical malpractice cases are subject to a one-year statute of limitations.

  • If a complaint is filed against a California government entity, a government tort case must be filed first. There is a 180-day limitation period on specific assertions.

If you go over or past the statute of limitations, you'll likely lose your chance to ever file a claim. Consult your California Wrongful Death Lawyer to help you beat the deadlines.


Find A Wrongful Death Attorney in California


Gency.org can help you find a Contingency Lawyer for your 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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