The term wrongful death describes the situation where one person’s careless, reckless or deliberate act causes the death of another. The defendant may or may not face criminal charges. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action to recover damages for the decedent’s estate and for individuals who claim losses due to the decedent’s death. Only certain parties may file a wrongful death action in California:

  • The decedent’s surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • Children and issue of deceased children
  • If none of the above exist, then individuals who are entitled to inherit from the decedent under California law
  • Individuals who were financially dependent on the decedent, including:
    • A putative spouse (surviving spouse of a void or voidable marriage who had a good faith belief that the marriage was valid)
    • Children of a putative spouse
    • Stepchildren
    • Parents
    • A minor who resided for the previous 180 days in the decedent’s household and was dependent on the decedent for one-half or more of support

Damages for the estate generally include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical bills for the deceased person’s treatment due to the injury event
  • Lost income, including potential income the deceased person would have earned in the future had he or she lived

Damages for the individual claimants usually include:

  • The value of household services the decedent had performed
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of love, affection, moral support and guidance

If you’ve suffered the tragic loss of a loved one, the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker can help you get justice with a wrongful death suit. Call us at 800-333-0000 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation at one of our offices conveniently located in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange County, Bakersfield, Fresno, Phoenix, or Tucson.