Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

Losing a loved one can be among the most difficult situations a person can go through. When that loss is due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful act, the grieving process can be even more complicated. In California, a wrongful death claim allows certain family members and individuals to seek compensation for the loss of their loved one.

The surviving spouse, children, parents, or other heirs of the victim can initiate a wrongful death claim for negligent conduct. The wrongful death lawyers at Eric Ratinoff Law Corp. know that no amount of compensation can alleviate the pain of losing a loved one. However, recovering funeral and burial expenses, final medical bills, or pain and suffering damages can help families obtain the resources they need to move forward.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit that is filed when a victim dies due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional acts of another person or entity. In such cases, the surviving family members or beneficiaries of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party seeking compensation for the damages that resulted from the death.

Wrongful death claims can arise from a variety of situations, including the following:

  • Car accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace accidents
  • Criminal acts

The damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death claim may include compensation for medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost income, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering. Speak with a wrongful death lawyer to understand your legal options to pursue justice for the loss of a loved one.

5 Parties Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California

Under California law, only certain parties are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, including:

  1. Surviving spouse: If the deceased was married or had a domestic partner at the time of their death, they will have a primary right to file a wrongful death claim.
  2. Surviving children: If the deceased had no surviving spouse, then the surviving children of the decedent can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes biological children, fully adopted children, and stepchildren.
  3. Parents of the deceased: Parents who were financially dependent on the deceased have a right to bring a wrongful death claim. In instances where the deceased was a minor or unmarried with no children, the priority to pursue a claim will pass to surviving parents.
  4. Next of kin: Any of the victim’s next of kin will be eligible to file a wrongful death claim in cases where none of the relatives entitled to the deceased’s property are available.
  5. A personal representative of the deceased estate: Often, a personal representative of the deceased estate will seek compensation in a personal injury claim on behalf of all eligible parties.

To ensure your wrongful death claim is properly handled, speak with the wrongful death lawyers at Eric Ratinoff Law Corp. We can help you understand your best legal options and offer compassionate guidance throughout the legal process.

Contact the Wrongful Death Lawyers at Eric Ratinoff Law Corp.

If you are considering seeking a wrongful death lawsuit in California, contact the highly-qualified wrongful death lawyers at Eric Ratinoff Law Corp. We will fight for the justice you deserve while you focus on your family during this difficult time. We can thoroughly investigate your claim, obtain evidence of negligence, and negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf.

Schedule a free consultation by calling (916) 970-9100 or filling out our contact form today.