In the state of California, not just anyone can file a lawsuit following the wrongful death of another person. The ability to file a suit seeking compensation depends upon the relationship you shared with the person who died in a wrongful manner. In other words, you must have a very close familial type of relationship with the victim in order to seek a legal remedy
Obviously, immediate surviving family members have the right to take action when a loved one dies wrongfully. To clarify further about whom may file a lawsuit, the section below will provide specifics about those who are eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim in the California court system.
The spouse and the children of the deceased can seek compensation by way of a wrongful death claim in California. The grandchildren of the deceased may also make a claim if their parents are also deceased. Additionally, parents and other family members, including stepchildren, may also file a suit provided they can prove they were dependent upon the deceased.
If the victim was not legally married, his or her domestic partner or acknowledged “spouse” can also seek a wrongful death claim. In the case of an acknowledged or putative spouse, the court must find that he or she believed “in good faith” that the marriage to the deceased was valid.
Knowing ahead of time whether you are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit can save you from additional heartache. Speaking with a lawyer can put you on the right path and give you sound advice about how to proceed with your case.