Experienced Wrongful Death Attorneys
Dealing with the death of a loved one can be devastating. On top of that, there may be many medical costs, funeral costs, and other expenses when facing an unexpected passing of someone close. If the decedent (the person who has passed) earns income, the decedent’s family may also face financial issues due to the sudden lack of income.
It is extremely difficult to deal with a sudden death in the family. But if the death was the result of another person’s negligence or misconduct, we can help you hold the wrongdoer accountable for his or her acts. Sometimes the wrongdoer is not an individual but a corporation or another business entity. Regardless, our attorneys can help track down the responsible party.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim
Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the decedent’s personal representative on his behalf, or, by any of the following people:
- (a)The decedent’s surviving spouse, domestic partner1 , children, and issue of deceased children, or, if there is no surviving issue of the decedent, the persons, including the surviving spouse or domestic partner, who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession.
- (b)Whether or not qualified under subdivision (a), if they were dependent on the decedent, the putative spouse, children of the putative spouse, stepchildren, or parents. As used in this subdivision, “putative spouse” means the surviving spouse of a void or voidable marriage who is found by the court to have believed in good faith that the marriage to the decedent was valid.
- (c) A minor, whether or not qualified under subdivision (a) or (b), if, at the time of the decedent’s death, the minor resided for the previous 180 days in the decedent’s household and was dependent on the decedent for one-half or more of the minor’s support2.
What Damages Can Be Recovered
Family members of victims of wrongful death may be able to recover compensation for both the victim’s damages incurred as a result of the wrongful death and for their own damages. Damages of the decedent for which recovery may be sought include the following:
- The decedent’s medical expenses.
- Funeral and burial costs.
- Lost income which the decedent would have earned but for the wrongful death.
In addition, certain family members may also recover the following damages:
- could have earned during his or her lifetime.
Moreover, due to the extremely high damages involved in these cases, many times, a great deal of litigation is involved. It is in your best interest to receive the best representation available. If you have lost a loved one and believe you may have a wrongful death claim, call Koohanim Law Firm for your case evaluation.
1. For the purpose of this section, “domestic partner” means a person who, at the time of the decedent’s death, was the domestic partner of the decedent in a registered domestic partnership established in accordance with subdivision (b) of Section 297 of the Family Code. CCP § 377.60(f)(1).