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What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death is a subsection of personal injury law. A wrongful death claim is a claim to recover compensation for the loss of a loved one when his or her death was caused by another person’s willful or negligent act.

Through a wrongful death claim, a family may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of economic support (what they would have received had the decedent lived), pain and suffering, and loss of services/companionship.

Who Can Bring a California Wrongful Death Claim?

Under the California Code of Civil Procedure, the following family members may bring a wrongful death claim:

  • Surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • Children of the victim
  • Grandchildren of the victim, if their parents are also deceased

If there is no surviving spouse, child or grandchild, then the person who would be entitled to the decedent’s property under California’s intestate succession laws can bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the victim.

Wrongful death lawsuits are usually filled with emotion, from intense sadness to anger. There is simply no way that monetary compensation can make up for the terrible loss a family has suffered. Yet, if you have lost a loved one, you likely need financial support to cover the expenses you face from the accident and help you through this difficult time. An experienced attorney can help you recover compensation through a wrongful death claim.

Source: California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 377.60-377.62, last accessed 2013