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Understanding Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California

Seeking Justice: Understanding Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California

In California, a wrongful death claim seeks compensation for the death of a loved one caused by another party’s negligence. Typically, these claims are filed by family members or spouses. The California Code of Civil Procedure 337.60 and CACI 3921 outline who can file and the potential damages that may be claimed.

Eligible Parties to File a Wrongful Death Claim:

  • Spouses: Can file to receive compensation for future earnings and loss of consortium (companionship).

  • Domestic Partners: Entitled to file and seek compensation similarly to spouses.

  • Children (Minors): Can file for compensation for the loss of future financial support and parental guidance.

  • Parents: Can file on behalf of their deceased minor or adult child.

Other Eligible Parties: If there are no surviving descendants, those entitled to the deceased’s property by intestate succession (such as parents or siblings) can file a claim.

Additionally, financially dependent individuals may also file a wrongful death claim, including:

The decedent’s putative spouse (someone who believed they were in a lawful marriage)

  • Children of the putative spouse

  • Stepchildren

  • Parents

  • Legal guardians (if the parents are deceased)

Types of Recoverable Damages:

Economic Damages:

  • Funeral expenses

  • Medical expenses related to the victim’s injury or illness

  • Financial support and lost wages

  • Reasonable value of household services

  • Loss of gifts and benefits

Non-Economic Damages:

  • Loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support

Case Spotlight:

In a recent case handled by our office, we represented the mother of a driver involved in a three-vehicle accident. The mother sustained severe injuries, including a brain injury, and tragically passed away one year after the collision. We successfully obtained a $500,000 settlement for her injuries and wrongful death, demonstrating our commitment to securing justice and compensation for our clients.

Disclaimer: Every case is unique, and past results do not guarantee future outcomes. Settlements and verdicts vary based on the specific facts and circumstances of each case.

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, Coastline Law Firm is here to help you navigate the complexities of a wrongful death claim and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for expert legal guidance and support.

Contact Coastline Law Firm today and schedule a FREE consultation now.