Our No-Fee Promise: You Don’t Pay Unless We Win

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

May 8, 2024 | Wrongful Death

When the unthinkable happens, and a loved one passes away due to misconduct or the negligence of someone else, the pain and confusion can be overwhelming. In these dark times, it may provide some reassurance that the law in California provides a path to justice for those left behind. While no amount of money or legal action can bring back what you have lost, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help people gain a sense of closure and financial stability for the future.

Before making any decisions or concessions after the death of a loved one, knowing whether you can pursue a legal claim is vital. In California, specific individuals closely related to the deceased have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. These typically include:

  • The surviving spouse
  • A domestic partner
  • Children of the deceased
  • The parents or siblings of the victim (in some cases)
  • Personal representatives of the decedent’s estate

These parties can be in a position to file a claim, but there are state-specific legal requirements that establish the order of priority. You can confirm eligibility by consulting an experienced wrongful death attorney.

Key aspects of a wrongful death claim

If you are indeed eligible to pursue a claim, you will also want to be sure there are grounds for a lawsuit. Simplistically, parties must do the following for a successful claim:

  • Establish liability by proving that the death resulted from someone else’s negligence or intentional harm.
  • Calculate damages by assessing the full impact of your loss, including financial support, companionship, and funeral expenses.
  • Fulfill legal requirements, including filing within the statute of limitations and filing all paperwork correctly.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it can give you an idea of the components involved in these cases.

Getting help when seeking justice

Losing a loved one is a harrowing experience, and the thought of taking legal action can seem daunting. However, remember that you are not alone in this. There are options and steps you can take to find some semblance of justice and peace.

A wrongful death lawyer is not just a legal representative; they are a compassionate ally in your time of need. They understand the emotional and financial toll this process can take on a family and can direct you through the legal process so you can focus on coping with your loss.