Bringing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in the State of California

Nothing hurts more than losing a loved one long before their time as the result of another person’s carelessness, recklessness, or intentionally wrongful act. First, there is the shock, grief, and sense of the loss one experiences. Then, there may be fears over the loss of financial support provided by the loved one. Finally, there is the deep need for justice. California’s Wrongful Death laws exist to make the pursuit of justice possible and to help the survivors of the deceased seek financial compensation for the support they were deprived of by a senseless act of carelessness, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing. If your loved one has suffered a wrongful death, contact a dedicated and experienced California wrongful death attorney.  Nothing can undo the loss you have experienced, but a wrongful death lawsuit can greatly aid your plight as a survivor.

The California Code of Civil Procedure Governs California Wrongful Death Lawsuits

California’s wrongful death law is California Code of Civil Procedure 337.60, et seq. It specifies what constitutes a wrongful death in the state, which survivors may file a wrongful death claim, and what damages are available to survivors through a wrongful death claim. Under the statute, a wrongful death occurs when a person is fatally injured as the result of the negligence or wrongful act of another person, corporation, institution, or entity. Negligence encompasses both carelessness and recklessness. Specifically, negligence is a breach of a duty of care owed that results in damages.

For example, we all owe duties of safe driving in accordance with the rules and regulations of the road to one another. If another person drives drunk and causes a fatal car crash, the fatality is considered a wrongful death under California’s wrongful death law. From this wrongful death arises a wrongful death legal claim. Only certain “survivors” of the deceased may rightfully bring the wrongful death claim. Eligible survivors include the surviving spouse, domestic partner, and children. If there is no surviving spouse, domestic partner, or child to bring the claim, the state allows for a wrongful death claim to be brought by anyone who would be entitled to inherit the property of the deceased through the process of intestate succession. In other words, if the deceased died without a spouse, partner, or children, and without a valid will, parents and other relatives may be eligible to bring a wrongful death claim.

Types of Damages Available to Survivors Under a Wrongful Death Claim

A California wrongful death claim makes available to survivors a number of damages, including lost income, loss of anticipated financial support, funeral and burial expenses, and other losses. If you have lost a loved one to a wrongful death in the state of California, contact an experienced California wrongful death attorney. Time is of the essence, as the state imposes a two-year statute of limitation from the date of death on the filing of a valid wrongful death claim .