Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

After losing someone you love in an accident that should never have happened, filing a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. However, filing a wrongful death claim is often the only way to get the closure you need and to pursue some semblance of justice and compensation for what you've lost.

In California, the deceased person’s spouse, domestic partner, or surviving children may file a wrongful death claim. If there is no surviving family, the state of California allows individuals who are in succession of the deceased person’s loved ones to file a claim. Individuals in succession may include a putative spouse or putative children, stepchildren, or parents of the deceased.

Anyone who is filing a wrongful death claim in San Diego, California should seek legal representation from a personal injury or wrongful death lawyer. An attorney can help the surviving family identify the at-fault party, estimate the value of the claim, and pursue financial recovery for all damages. A lawyer is also invaluable if there are any legal disputes among family members or others who are competing for the wrongful death claim.

At the Law Offices of Elliott Kanter, we proudly serve the legal needs of individuals and families throughout the greater San Diego, California area.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

In California, a wrongful death claim is filed by the family of a loved one who was killed as a result of someone’s negligence or reckless actions. The family may pursue compensation directly from the at-fault party or their insurance company. If the other party or the insurance company does not settle the claim, then the family may pursue compensation by filing a lawsuit and taking their case to court.

A wrongful death claim involves your family meeting with an attorney to establish who is liable for your loved one’s death. You also need to establish the accident is what led to the death of your loved one. Your attorney must then submit the claim and the estimated value of your losses to the insurance company. From there, the lawyer will negotiate a settlement based on the total amount of your damages.

Should You File a Wrongful Death Claim?

If you believe that someone else is responsible for the death of a loved one, then you may want to file a claim. There are several reasons why filing a claim can be beneficial, including:

Establish Fault and Liability

If someone’s negligence led to the death of a family member, then you will likely want to hold that person accountable. Furthermore, the negligent party should be responsible for compensating you for your losses. A wrongful death attorney can speak with witnesses, look at accident reports, view photos/videos of the accidents, and investigate the scene to determine what happened and who is at fault.

Find Out What Your Case is Worth

Chances are, you will incur a wide range of economic and noneconomic losses as a result of a family member’s death. Some of your damages may include:

  • Pre-death medical expenses
  • Funeral/burial expenses
  • Lost household income
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium/companionship
  • Loss of parenting

Although you can’t bring your loved one back, your family should not feel the weight of your economic losses. A wrongful death claim can help you pursue compensation for all of your damages.

Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in San Diego, California

When taking on the insurance companies, it is important to work with a lawyer that is effective, knowledgeable, and empathetic to your situation. When you have legal representation, you can submit your wrongful death claim with confidence that a legal team is advocating on your behalf.

At the Law Offices of Elliot Kanter, we work with clients in a wide range of personal injury and wrongful death cases. If you have lost a loved one due to someone’s negligence, then let our law firm help you submit your claim and fight to recover your losses. Call our office today to get a free case assessment with a wrongful death attorney in San Diego, California.


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