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Understanding California’s Wrongful Death Law

The sudden and unexpected death of a loved one rattles an entire family to its core. Most families are bound to experience some kind of financial hardship as the result of a loved one’s death.

California state allows certain retains of descendants to obtain wrongful death benefits. Authorized parties can be entitled to various damages.

Was your loved one recently killed as the result of another party’s negligence or wrongful act? You only have two years to take legal action.

Contact the Los Angeles Injury Group today. Call (310) 954-7248 to receive a free consultation.

Parties Eligible to File Wrongful Death Claims in California

wrongful death lawyerCalifornia Code of Civil Procedure § 377.60(a) establishes that the parties that have a cause of action for wrongful death include a decedent’s personal representative, a decedent’s surviving spouse, a decedent’s domestic partner, a decedent’s children, and persons—including the surviving spouse or domestic partner—who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession when there is no surviving issue of the decedent.

Under California Code of Civil Procedure § 377.60(b), parties that can also assert causes of action when they were dependent on the descendant include a putative spouse (a surviving spouse of a voided marriage who the court finds to have believed in good faith that the marriage was valid), children of the decedent’s putative spouse, a decedent’s stepchildren, and a decedent’s parents.

California Wrongful Death Causes

Any number of accidents could potentially result in a wrongful death. Some of the most common causes in wrongful death actions include:

Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Auto Accidents
Bicycle Accidents
Boat Accidents
Construction Accidents
Plane Accidents
Slip and Fall Accidents
Train Accidents
Workplace Accidents

Plaintiffs in wrongful death cases may receive various kinds of compensatory damages. While no amount can ever truly compensate for a loved one’s death, compensatory damages are intended to try and restore a victim to his or her state before the accident or as close as possible.

Compensatory damages may be economic (also known as special damages). These are adjusted for calculable losses for victims, such as funeral expenses, lost income, and other financial harm. Noneconomic damages (or general damages) are more subjective types of harm such as loss of consortium or mental anguish.

In some rare cases, a jury may award punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish defendants for particularly egregious conduct, and California Code § 3294 limits punitive damages to cases in which a defendant’s guilt of oppression, fraud, or malice has been proven by clear and convincing evidence.

Find a Wrongful Death Attorney in California

If your loved one was killed by another party’s negligence in California, it is in your best interest to quickly seek legal representation. Contact the Los Angeles Injury Group as soon as possible.

Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (310) 954-7248 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.

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    Note for the readers: This post has been derived from the use of secondary sources and the information provided has not been independently confirmed. The photos depicted in these posts are not representative of the actual accident.  Any inaccuracies will be swiftly corrected once they have been brought to the site’s attention and all requests to remove posts will be honored.

    Disclaimer: This post is intended to provide general information to our readers and to honor the victims of everyday tragedies. We do not wish to cause any disrespect and none of the information contained in this post should be construed to constitute legal or medical advice. Laws vary by jurisdiction and cases often turn on minor differences In fact. Do not rely exclusively on any of the information contained in this post and seek further assistance from a legal or medical professional, where necessary.

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