Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful Death Claims

When a person dies because of an accident, and another person caused that accident either by being negligent or by intentionally attempting to cause harm, then the family of the deceased person has the right to file a claim for compensation against the person who caused the death. These actions are referred to as wrongful death actions.

Grounds for a Wrongful Death Action in California

The legal grounds for most personal injury claims is negligence. For a person to be considered negligent, they must have failed to act as a reasonably prudent person at the time of the accident. Thus, a wrongful death claim could occur as the result of someone causing a car accident because they were looking at their smartphone instead of the road.

Wrongful death claims can also be filed when a person is killed as the result of another person trying to harm them. It does not matter if the defendant did not mean to kill the person but only intended to hurt them. The intent to harm is enough to make a person liable. Sometimes a person who causes the death of another will be tried in a criminal proceeding, but also sued in civil court for wrongful death. A wrongful death claim has a lower burden of proof compared to a criminal case, giving it a higher chance of success.

Who File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California

In California family members, including spouses, children, domestic partners, and the issue of deceased children can file a wrongful death claim. It is possible for stepchildren, putative spouses, children of putative spouses and parents to collect compensation in circumstances where these people were dependents of the deceased. Additionally, a minor who depended on the decedent can sue even if they were not related if they depended on the deceased for at least half of their support, and if they lived with the decedent for at least 180 days prior to the decedent’s death.

Damages That May Be Awarded in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The damages on wrongful death claims include any medical costs that were incurred prior to the person dying, funeral expenses, income the deceased would reasonably have earned if they had not been killed, and the loss of companionship.

Call For Your Free Consultation Today

Wrongful death cases are highly emotional and require compassionate, sensitive legal representation. For more information about filing a wrongful death claim in California, please contact Maire & Deedon at 530-246-6050.

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