Wrongful Death

When a loved one unexpectedly passes because of another person’s irresponsible behavior, the emotional trauma can be much more difficult. This kind of death is often classified as a wrongful death. Wrongful deaths are often determined to be preventable if proper action had been taken. The healing process following the wrongful death of a loved one is often made much more difficult by the financial hardships that follow.

At Live Oak Injury Law Group, we are dedicated to helping you resolve your personal injury claim with a maximum recovery at a reasonable cost. If you have lost a loved one due to another party’s negligence, speak with a skilled personal injury attorney today. To learn more, read below, and schedule a free consultation.

Who is Legally Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim can be filed to seek damages for the death of your loved one caused by a negligent accident. Generally, this means that you must be a family member or spouse in order to file a wrongful death claim but California Code of Civil Procedure 337.60 and CACI 3921 provide the specifics on who can file and what might be claimed as damages.

  • Spouses are entitled to file a wrongful death claim so they can receive compensation for their spouse’s future earnings and their loss of consortium. Consortium is the right to have the companionship of your husband or wife. It’s important to note that emotional distress is not often included in a wrongful death claim.
  • Domestic partners are able to file wrongful death claims to seek compensation just as a spouse.
  • Children who are minors at the time of death are able to file a wrongful death claim to receive compensation for loss of future financial help and loss of parental guidance.
  • Parents of wrongful death victims are able to file wrongful death claims on behalf of their child who is a minor or an adult.
  • If there is no surviving person in the deceased person’s line of descent, a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by anyone “who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession”; that can include the deceased person’s parents, or the deceased person’s siblings, depending on who is living at the time of the deceased person’s death.
  • In addition to the above-identified individuals, the following people can also bring a wrongful death lawsuit in California if they can show they were financially dependent on the deceased:
  • the decedent’s “putative spouse” (someone who had a good faith but mistaken belief that they were in a lawful marriage with the deceased)
  • children of the decedent’s putative spouse
  • the deceased person’s stepchildren
  • the deceased person’s parents, and
  • the legal guardians of the decedent, if the parents are deceased.


The damages that these individuals receive can be for economic damages such as funeral expenses, medical expenses associated with the victim’s illness/injury, financial support/lost wages, the reasonable value of household services, loss of gifts and benefits; and non-economic damages for loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support, etc.

Is There a Time Limit on Wrongful Death Claims?

Like many claims, there is a statute of limitations on how long the potential claimants have to file their wrongful death claim. In California, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death claim is two years from the date that the victim passed. If the family members miss this time frame, they risk losing their right to file their claim. See California Code of Civil Procedure 335.1.

However, if your wrongful death claim is founded on medical malpractice, your statute of limitation differs. In this case, the statute of limitations in California is “three years from the date of injury, or one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered the injury”, whichever occurs first.

If Your Loved One Has Passed Due to a Wrongful Death, Speak With a Personal Injury Attorney Today.

There is no emotional pain that compares to losing your loved one. If their death was preventable and due to someone else’s negligent behavior, it can be harder to accept your reality. At Live Oak Injury Law Group, we know how traumatic it can be when you lose a loved one in a wrongful death. We are committed to getting you the maximum recovery you are entitled to under the law. If your loved one has passed in a wrongful death, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a consultation with a skilled personal injury attorney from Live Oak Injury Law Group.


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