An Overview of California's Wrongful Death Law

An Overview of California's Wrongful Death Law

funeralReckless actions of any kind can lead to individuals sustaining serious injuries. Unfortunately, there are times when these types of actions can also lead to fatalities. In legal terminology, this is referred to as a wrongful death because it is a preventable action caused by negligence or an intentional act. A wrongful death lawsuit is brought forward by certain parties allowable under California law in order to hold the negligent party accountable and seek compensation. Our Los Angeles wrongful death lawyers at Biren Law Group explain California’s wrongful death statute to help clients understand more about this legal action.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Under California law, only specific parties may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. This includes the deceased party’s surviving spouse or domestic partner and surviving children.

In situations where there are no surviving spouses or children, the wrongful death lawsuit may be filed by anyone who the law deems would be entitled to the decedent’s estate by intestate succession. This could include the surviving parents or siblings if they are alive at the time of death.

California allows other parties to file the lawsuit if it can be shown that they were financially dependent on the decedent, such as a putative spouse, the putative spouse’s children, stepchildren, and parents.

Potential Recoverable Damages

The damages that may be recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit are dependent on a number of factors. At the end of the day, the individual facts of the specific case will be the determining factor regarding the damages awarded. For instance, the court may consider the age of the decedent and earning capacity to determine the value of the losses suffered by the surviving family. There are some general losses that are attributed to the estate and some that are attributed to the surviving family members.

The estate may be eligible to receive compensation for funeral expenses, medical bills from the date of the injury until the date of the death, and lost past and potential income that would have reasonably been expected had the individual survived. The surviving family members may be compensated for the lost value of household services, lost financial support, and lost guidance, love, affection, moral support, and companionship.

How a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help You

In California, the party filing a wrongful death lawsuit has two years from the date of the death to take action. This means time is of the essence. While legal action may not be at the top of a grieving family’s priority list, it is important to know that this can help them obtain justice and recover damages associated with the death.

Any family going through this difficult time should take the steps to understand their options. With Biren Law Group, any family enduring a wrongful death can have the trusted advocacy they need to move forward with their lives. We encourage the families of wrongful death actions to learn their rights to seek compensation with the help of our legal team. You can count on us to stand by your side every step of the way.

Call our firm today to discuss your potential lawsuit.


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