Losing a loved one is tragic. Losing a loved one because of someone’s negligence can feel unbearable. Financial recovery under wrongful death statutes is available in most states, including California. While the deceased likely left many people who cared deeply for them behind, state law limits who may file a wrongful death lawsuit and collect compensation.
What is Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death occurs when the victim dies because of the defendant’s negligence or otherwise wrongful action. A wrongful death lawsuit allows specific relatives to recover compensation for the loss of their loved one. Compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit typically includes recovery for financial losses caused by the death of a loved one. Examples of recoverable losses from a wrongful death claim can include loss of support and funeral and burial expenses, among others.
California Wrongful Death Law
Wrongful death laws vary by state. These laws often are complex, and victims need someone with legal expertise to ensure their rights are not trampled upon. While no amount of money can truly heal a family from losing a loved one, wrongful death law gives families a voice to speak against the negligent actions that claimed their loved one’s life.
California wrongful death law is codified in the California Code of Civil Procedure section 377.60.
Who Can Recover Compensation?
The law limits who may file a wrongful death lawsuit and who may receive the funds from a wrongful death settlement. Per California Code of Civil Procedure section 377.60, either a representative of the deceased’s estate or one of the following can file a claim and receive recovery from a wrongful death claim:
- The deceased’s surviving spouse or domestic partner and their children may recover. If the deceased does not have any living children, their grandchildren may receive compensation from a wrongful death case.
- The deceased’s surviving spouse or domestic partner will receive all compensation from the case if the deceased did not have any children or grandchildren.
- The deceased’s parents or legal guardians may recover compensation for the deceased’s wrongful death.
- The deceased’s putative spouse may recover if there is no legal spouse or domestic partner left behind by the deceased.
- A child may recover for the deceased’s wrongful death if the child lived in the deceased’s home for 180 days and received one-half or more of their financial support from the deceased.
Contact an Attorney
Wrongful death law and claims for wrongful death are complex. The emotions from losing a loved one due to another person or entity’s negligence make these cases even more taxing. Having a legal advocate working on your and your family’s behalf is the best way to ensure that you get the financial recovery you deserve for your loss.
Contact the attorneys at the Kuvara Law Firm to learn your legal rights after a wrongful death. Our advocates are here to help and support your family during a trying time. Call us today at 1-800-4-INJURY or send us a message online to schedule a free initial consultation.