Questions About California Civil Cases involving Wrongful Death

Redondo Beach, CA Attorneys serving Torrance and the South Bay Area

What is "wrongful death?"

This type of claim is called a "civil lawsuit." It is not a criminal case. Eligible survivors of the deceased may bring such a claim if their loved one's death was caused by someone else's negligence or a wrongful act.

Los Angeles wrongful death cases

Who can file a wrongful death claim in California?

California law defines who may bring a wrongful death claim:

  • Spouse
  • Domestic partner
  • Children

Those three groups are the most common claimants; however, if these parties are not part of the equation, then other types of relatives may be eligible to bring a claim:

  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Stepchildren

The only way to know if you can bring a claim is to consult our experienced attorneys. We will make sure you know what you are accorded by the law, and we will inform you of all the options in front of you.

What are the recognized causes of wrongful death?

Our attorneys have been handling the cases of families affected by wrongful death for many years. We have seen how devastating these situations are, and we know that there is a wide range of wrongful death causes. Some of the most common are:

  • Car crashes
  • Surgical errors
  • Medication errors
  • Defective products
  • Defective vehicles
  • Dangerous and defective drugs
  • Unsafe workplaces

Because we know you aren't sure whether you have a claim, we offer free case evaluations. We want to learn about you and your loved one's death, to help you determine if you can pursue a claim against the responsible party.

What if there is a criminal case pending as well?

Yes, you can file a civil lawsuit even if your loved one's death is also the subject of a pending criminal case.

What types of things are compensated in a successful claim?

Wrongful death damages – the compensation awarded in the case – may be awarded for a number of different things, such as:

  • Funeral costs
  • Burial costs
  • Deceased's medical bills related to the final illness or injury
  • Loss of loved one's future financial contributions
  • Loss of loved one's financial support
  • Loss of loved one's retirement, medical and other benefits
  • Loss of companionship, guidance and love

Damages – when they are awarded – vary by individual case. Although our attorneys cannot guarantee any specific outcome to your case, we may be able to provide an idea of what damages you may be able to pursue, after we review the details of your claim.

How long do I have to file a claim?

The relevant statute of limitations provides a deadline by which a wrongful death claim must be filed. In California, you have two years from the date of the death to file a claim. Typically, it is impossible to file a claim after the deadline has passed. If you have any questions about the eligibility of your claim, please consult our attorneys.

Your Free Consultation with our Experienced California Attorneys

Want to find out if you have a case? Please call the experienced Redondo Beach wrongful death attorneys at Kirtland & Packard, at 310-536-1000, for a free case evaluation. We are proud to fight for people from across California, including Torrance and South Bay.