What is Considered Wrongful Death in the state of California?

An accident is considered a wrongful death case in the state of California when a member of your family was caused fatal injuries by the negligence of another person, business, or government employee such a police officer or medical personnel. The person responsible for the wrongful death of your loved one may be convicted of a crime and be prosecuted in criminal court, but for your family to receive compensation for your losses a separate wrongful death case is required.

Wrongful Death Case Types

There are a variety of different types of wrongful death situations. A wrongful death lawsuit is needed as a result of any negligent act or failure to act resulting in death. Here are some examples of wrongful death situations in the state of California:

  • Medical Malpractice
  • Deaths involving dangerously defective products
  • Premises liability fatalities
  • Motor vehicle accidents caused by neglectful driver
  • Other transportation accidents caused by a negligent driver

Wrongful Death Statute in the State of California

A wrongful death civil lawsuit is filed by survivors of the crash, by a family member or loved one of the deceased, or by the personal representative of the person who died in a wrongful death accident due to accidental or intentional fatal injury. If the individual responsible for the wrongful death of your loved one is held accountable, that individual will be ordered to compensate the deceased family members for any damages they’ve suffered. Wrongful death statutes vary by state. You can find California’s wrongful death statute at CCP section 377.60.

The Statute of Limitations in a Wrongful Death

According to CCP 335.1, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the death of your loved one. There are some exceptions, and a lawyer can inform you of those.

What is Considered Damages in Wrongful Death?

Compensation for wrongful death cases are separated into two categories These are damages awarded to the deceased surviving family members or damages awarded to the deceased estate.  

Damages awarded to the deceased estate include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical bills associated to the deceased fatal illness or injury
  • Lost income and income expected to be made in the future

Damages awarded to the deceased surviving family members include:

  • Loss of affection, moral support
  • Expected counseling services expenses
  • Loss of future financial support
  • The value of the deceased household services

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Others may be able to bring the wrongful death lawsuit, but generally preferred people are the spouse of the deceased, the children of the deceased or dependent minors of the deceased, and the parents of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of California.

Even if the loss of your loved one is unclear, if you suspect their death to be wrongful or negligent it is extremely important that you contact a lawyer that specializes in wrongful death cases. It is important that your loved one receives justice and that your family received compensation for the damages caused to your deceased loved one. Please contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible, the call and consultation is always free on any wrongful death claim.