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California Wrongful Death Law

A wrongful death lawsuit is different than a personal injury lawsuit. Instead of an injured person bringing a case against the negligent party, the family of a deceased person brings the case to recover for their losses after their loved one’s death. Below is a basic breakdown of California’s wrongful death law.

Possible Plaintiffs in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The following people can bring a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • The surviving spouse or domestic partner of the deceased person (also known as the decedent),
  • Children of the decedent,
  • Dependent stepchildren,
  • An ex-spouse and his or her children if they were dependent on the decedent,
  • The decedent’s parents, and/or
  • A minor who lived with the decedent for the previous 180 days and was dependent for half of his or her support or more.

The people who may bring a wrongful death suit depend largely on the person who died and who depended financially on him or her.

Proving a Wrongful Death Case

In order to recover for their losses, a wrongful death attorney must show that certain facts are true. These facts include that:

  • A person died,
  • The death was a result of negligence, carelessness, or intent to harm, and
  • The surviving family is suffering financially as a result of the death.

The attorney may seek economic and non-economic damages on behalf of the victim’s family.

Time Limits in California Wrongful Death Law

California limits the amount of time a family can seek to recover for their losses after a loved one’s death. The statute of limitations on wrongful death actions is two years from the date of the person’s death. However, when the negligent party is a governmental entity, the time limit is six months. If you lost a family member, it’s critical to contact a California law firm with vast experience with wrongful death cases. Acting quickly can preserve your right to take action against the responsible party.

We welcome you to contact CaseyGerry to schedule a confidential consultation. We will explain the next steps and what you can expect. You can reach our office at 619-238-1811.

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