In California, a wrongful death occurs when one person dies as a result of the negligence or misconduct of another person or entity. A wrongful death claim differs from a criminal case for homicide in that fault is expressed solely in terms of money damages, as opposed to prison time and/or probation. Additionally, California families may pursue a wrongful death claim even if a criminal case is already moving forward.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
The following people are eligible to file wrongful death lawsuits in the state of California:
- the deceased person’s surviving spouse
- the deceased person’s surviving domestic partner
- the deceased person’s surviving children
- if there is no surviving person in the deceased person’s line of descent, then a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by anyone “who would be entitled to the property of the deceased by intestate succession” – i.e. the deceased person’s surviving parents, siblings, or stepchildren
If someone you know has recently died due to the negligence or misconduct of another, please contact the compassionate legal team at Hales & Associates, Attorneys for a complimentary consultation. With over two decades’ experience representing the families of wrongful death victims, we are uniquely equipped to help you obtain the outcome you deserve.