Wrongful death compensation in California

If you lost a loved one in an unexpected accident, you may have questions about the circumstances of his or her death. If another person caused the incident, your family may be eligible for wrongful death benefits to cover final expenses.

Learn how a California wrongful death lawsuit may help reduce your family’s financial burden in this difficult situation.

Filing process

To successfully receive wrongful death compensation, you must prove in court that a third party’s action or failure to act caused your family member’s death. You must also detail the financial damages resulting from the fatal incident and appoint a personal representative if your loved one did not already do so.

If your spouse, domestic partner or parent dies, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit in California. When the person does not have a surviving spouse, partner or children, the court may allow his or her former spouse, in-laws or stepchildren to sue for wrongful death.

Available damages

Your family may be eligible for a legal award that covers the deceased person’s final medical costs and funeral expenses. California courts may also award coverage for lost wages, financial support, affection, companionship, guidance and love.

The statute of limitations for wrongful death in California is two years. For this reason, you must gather evidence early if you suspect that third-party negligence contributed to your family member’s death. Wrongful death may occur in motor vehicle accidents, the workplace, in a medical setting and in other situations where error or lack of care becomes life-threatening.

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