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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?

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In the wake of a tragedy that has led to the untimely death of a loved one, families are often left grappling with not only their grief but also the uncertainty of the future. In California, the law provides a pathway for family members or representatives of the deceased to seek justice and compensation through wrongful death lawsuits. This legal avenue is crucial for those affected, offering them a measure of financial security, while also providing accountability to those who have caused or are responsible for the harm. Continue reading for a discussion regarding who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in California. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or wrongful act of another in San Diego or Southern California, contact The Kalfayan Law Firm to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Eligibility to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that allows the survivors of the deceased to claim damages from the person or entity legally responsible for the death. This type of lawsuit can arise from various scenarios, including car and truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, slip and fall, trip and fall, dog bites and animal attacks, and other situations where negligence or intentional misconduct resulted in a fatality.

California law is specific about who can initiate a wrongful death claim. A person who initiates a wrongful death claim is known as a “claimant.” Eligibility to file suit is primarily determined by the deceased person’s relationship to the claimant. The following are the parties who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in California:

  1. Spouses or Domestic Partners: The surviving spouse or domestic partner of the deceased is at the forefront of those eligible to file a wrongful death claim.

  2. Children: The deceased’s children are also entitled to bring forth a wrongful death lawsuit. In the absence of children, the lawsuit may be filed by anyone who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession, which can include parents or siblings.

  3. Dependent Minors: In some cases, if a minor lived with the deceased for at least 180 days prior to the death and was dependent on the deceased for at least 50% of their financial support, they might be eligible to file a claim. This category would include stepchildren, for instance.

  4. Other Dependents: California law extends the right to certain other dependents, including the deceased’s parents or siblings, provided they were financially dependent on the deceased.

  5. Personal Representatives: In certain cases, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file the lawsuit on behalf of eligible family members.

What Damages Can Be Recovered?

Wrongful death claims in California aim to compensate the survivors for their losses, which include both economic and non-economic damages:

  • Economic Damages: These can cover funeral and burial expenses, lost income, and potential earnings that the deceased would have contributed to the family, as well as the value of household services.

  • Non-Economic Damages: These are more subjective and include compensation for the loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support.

Why Choose The Kalfayan Law Firm?

At The Kalfayan Law Firm, we understand the profound impact the loss of a loved one can have on a family. Our dedicated team practices extensively in the area of personal injury law, with a deep commitment to providing personalized and effective legal representation for wrongful death claims. Serving clients throughout San Diego and Southern California, we strive to ensure that families receive the justice and compensation they deserve.

Navigating the complexities of a wrongful death lawsuit requires steadfast and dedicated legal guidance from skilled and qualified legal counsel. With a comprehensive understanding of California’s wrongful death statutes and a compassionate approach, The Kalfayan Law Firm is here to support you every step of the way. Our goal is not only to secure the financial compensation our clients are entitled to but also to provide a pathway to healing and closure.

Call The Kalfayan Law Firm for Help After a Wrongful Death in California

If you believe you have a wrongful death claim in San Diego or Southern California, contact The Kalfayan Law Firm today. Our experienced team is ready to evaluate your case, explain your legal options, and embark on the journey to justice and recovery with you. In these trying times, let our family help yours. Call us at 619-232-0331 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.

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