California Wrongful Death Attorney
Dealing with the unexpected death of a loved one can be devastating. At Wakeford Gelini, we know that the process of grieving can be extensive, but we also want to help families who have lost loved ones due to another party’s negligence or reckless behavior.
If you recently lost a loved one in an accident, or as a result of another party’s carelessness or wrongdoing, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. While a wrongful death lawsuit California cannot bring back your loved one or ever fully repair the damage that has been done, by seeking wrongful death damages, you can hold the at-fault party responsible and can seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and lost companionship.
A compassionate California wrongful death attorney at our firm can speak with you today about your case.
What is a California Wrongful Death Claim?
The California wrongful death statute governs wrongful death cases in the state. You might be wondering: what is a wrongful death claim, and why should I work with a personal injury law team on a wrongful death case? You may have searched terms like “wrongful death damages California” or “wrongful death California” looking for answers. In short, wrongful death lawsuits are similar to personal injury lawsuits in many ways, and personal injury attorneys often specialize in both personal injury and wrongful death claims.
How is a wrongful death lawsuit similar to a personal injury claim? In short, both personal injury law and wrongful death law allow an injured person to hold the responsible party accountable financially for his or her injuries. In personal injury law, the injured person brings the claim himself. In wrongful death law, however, the injured person cannot bring the claim himself because the injuries were fatal.
Wrongful death law recognizes the right of another person to step into the shoes, so to speak, of the deceased in order to seek compensation on behalf of the deceased. Wrongful death law also allows a representative of the deceased to seek damages for losses affecting the deceased’s family, such as loss of companionship.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death Damages in California?
Under California law, any of the following persons may be eligible to bring a wrongful death claim:
- Surviving spouse;
- Domestic partner;
- Persons dependent on the deceased, such as a putative spouse, putative children of the putative spouse, and stepchildren;
- Parents of the deceased; and
- Personal representative of the deceased.
Other parties may be eligible to bring a claim, but the law is complex, and you should speak with a California wrongful death lawyer about your case.
Statute of Limitations for Seeking Wrongful Death Damages in California
One important distinction between personal injury claims and wrongful death claims is when the clock on the statute of limitations begins “ticking.” In a personal injury claim, the clock starts “ticking” when the party suffers the injury. Differently, in a wrongful death lawsuit, the clock starts “ticking” on the date of the deceased’s death. The clock starts ticking on the date of death even if the deceased survived with serious injuries for quite some time before succumbing to those injuries.
Types of Damages in a California Wrongful Death Claim
In suing for damages, you may be able to receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Future wages;
- Funeral and burial expenses; and
- Loss of companionship of the deceased.