Do you have questions about how wrongful death cases work in California? If you do, the best next move is to contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation. You can also keep reading to get answers to three of the most common questions we are asked.
- Who Has Legal Standing to Sue for Wrongful Death in California?
- When Can a Person Be Held Liable for a Wrongful Death?
- What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Case?
Not just anyone can file this type of case. The surviving spouse or the legal domestic partner can file a wrongful death case. So can children of the deceased, and if the children of the deceased are also deceased, then their grandchildren can file. Minor children who depended on the deceased for at least half of their financial support, such as a stepchild, can file.
Additionally, anyone who would be entitled to the estate under laws on intestate succession can file. For example, if the deceased did not have a Will and the only surviving member of their family was a nephew, then that nephew would be able to file a wrongful death case if all other requirements are met.
If the death involved negligence, gross negligence, recklessness, or an intentional wrongful act on the part of the at-fault party, then a wrongful death lawsuit might apply. This would include situations such as car accidents, pedestrian accidents, drowning, assault and battery, child abuse, medical malpractice, murder, or elder abuse.
Note that if the at-fault party was arrested and tried in a criminal court and found not guilty, this does not mean that they cannot be sued in a civil court.
The purpose of these cases is to compensate the heirs for the support they would likely have received if the deceased had survived. This can include economic like medical bills prior to their death, property damage, and loss of future income, as well as noneconomic damages such as loss of consortium.
You might be able to recover for whichever is shorter – the life expectancy of the deceased at the time the wrongful act occurred or the life expectancy of the plaintiff when the wrongful act occurred. The jury is who decides the life expectancy, and they can consider the person’s health, lifestyle, job, and other factors.
Call Now for a Free Legal Consultation
If you are ready to request a free legal consultation, we invite you to reach out to The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000. We will go over the basics of the case and let you know what your options are. Call now, and we can get started right away.