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CA Wrongful Death Law: What Is It How to File A Claim

Understanding CA Wrongful Death Law & Claim Process

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Did you know that in California, more than 3,000 people died from wrongful deaths in 2020?

Losing a loved one is always hard. But when their death is caused by someone’s careless actions, it feels even worse.

If someone in your family died because of another person’s actions, it’s important to know your rights. This article will talk about California’s wrongful death law and how to make a claim. We’ll help you understand the legal steps to seek money for your loss. Whether you’re thinking about making a claim or just want to know your options, this guide can help.

Key Takeaways:

  • Over 3,000 wrongful deaths happened in California in 2020.
  • It’s crucial to understand CA’s wrongful death law for seeking justice.
  • This guide will help you with the claim process, including who can file, what damages you can claim, and deadlines.
  • Super Attorneys Of Irvine can help you through the difficult process of a wrongful death claim in California.
  • Getting professional legal help is important to protect your rights and improve your chance of getting proper compensation.

What Is “Wrongful Death” in California?

In California, wrongful death happens when someone dies due to another’s wrong actions or neglect. This can happen in various situations like car crashes, medical mistakes, deliberate actions, and crimes.

wrongful death definition in California

We need to grasp the difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and a criminal homicide case. Even though both stem from the same incident, they carry different legal outcomes and proof requirements.

Who Can File a California Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In California, certain people can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes the dead person’s spouse, domestic partner, and kids. They get the first chance to ask for money for their losses.

If there’s no spouse, partner, or kids, other family members can file. This means parents, siblings, and close relatives who would get the dead person’s things. They must prove the death caused them financial and emotional harm.

Also, people who depended on the dead person for money might have the right to sue. This includes anyone who needed the deceased for their living costs.

Getting advice from a skilled wrongful death lawyer is key. They can explain who can sue and how to do it. They’ll help collect evidence and protect your rights.

If you think you can sue for wrongful death in California, don’t wait. You usually have two years from the death date to file. Waiting too long could mean you can’t get compensation.

Wrongful Death Damages You Might Be Able to Collect

In a successful wrongful death lawsuit in California, plaintiffs may receive damages for their losses. There are two main types: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages cover the financial losses the family faces due to the death. This includes the money and support the deceased would have provided. Examples of economic damages are:

  • Financial support for dependents
  • Loss of gifts or benefits family members would have gotten
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Value of household services the deceased would have done

Figuring out economic damages needs a deep look at the deceased’s finances and future earnings. Experts and financial records help find the right value for these damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages deal with the intangible losses family members face after their loved one’s death. They address the emotional pain of the loss. Examples include:

  • Loss of love, companionship, and emotional support
  • Loss of guidance and mentorship
  • Pain, suffering, and emotional distress of the family

Putting a number on non-economic damages depends on the case’s details. The deceased’s relationship with their family, family members’ ages, and life impact matter.

types of damages in a wrongful death claim

In California, wrongful death claims don’t have a general damages cap. But, there’s a cap for medical malpractice cases. This cap is for claims that come from medical mistakes. The limits for medical malpractice cases vary, so it’s wise to talk to a lawyer to see if they apply.

How Long Do I Have to File a California Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In California, you have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This period starts from the date the person died. If you don’t file within this time frame, you could lose your chance to sue. It’s wise to talk to an attorney quickly to make sure you file on time.

The statute of limitations sets a two-year limit for filing a wrongful death claim in California. You must act within this period after your loved one’s death to take legal action.

Gathering evidence and preparing your case can take a lot of time. That’s why getting legal advice early is key to file your claim in time. Starting early helps you build a strong case within the deadline.

Getting help from a lawyer early gives you a good understanding of your rights and what to do next. They’ll help ensure all the needed paperwork is done right and on time.

Seeking legal help quickly helps protect your rights to file a wrongful death claim. Time matters greatly in filing a lawsuit in California. Acting fast is crucial for justice for your loved one.

Consult with an Attorney to Protect Your Rights

If a loved one was lost due to someone’s wrong actions, knowing your legal rights is very important. Contact a lawyer who knows wrongful death cases to talk about your options. They will guide you, fight for you to get compensation, and support you in this tough time.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in California Two years from the date of the decedent’s death
Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Two years from the date of the decedent’s death


Filing a wrongful death claim in California can be complex. You need legal help to manage the claim properly. Super Attorneys Of Irvine is here to connect you with expert lawyers.

They specialize in wrongful death cases. With their guidance and expertise, they can help you file a successful claim. You can seek the compensation you deserve.

Looking for Super Attorneys near you for wrongful death claims? Contact Super Attorneys Of Irvine at 949-996-9546 or visit Their team of skilled attorneys offers top-notch legal support in California.

They are dedicated to helping you with wrongful death claims. Don’t go through the legal process alone. Let Super Attorneys Of Irvine guide you at every step.

Getting the right legal representation is crucial in California wrongful death law. Don’t wait to get the help you need. Reach out to Super Attorneys Of Irvine today.


What is a wrongful death in California?

A wrongful death in California happens when someone dies due to another’s wrongful act or neglect. This includes events like car crashes, medical errors, purposeful acts, and crimes.

What is the difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and a criminal homicide case?

A wrongful death lawsuit is about getting money for the victim’s family. A criminal homicide case is to punish the person who caused the death. They have different rules and goals.

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in California?

The person’s spouse, domestic partner, or kids can first file the lawsuit. If they aren’t there, others who would get the deceased’s things can file. People who relied on the deceased for money can also sue.

What damages can I collect in a California wrongful death claim?

In these lawsuits, families can get money for their losses. This includes the deceased’s expected financial support and funeral costs. They can also get money for the loss of love and companionship. California has no general limit on these damages. However, there’s a cap for cases due to medical mistakes.

How long do I have to file a California wrongful death lawsuit?

You have two years from the death date to sue. If you wait too long, you might lose the right to sue. It’s wise to talk to a lawyer soon to make sure you file on time.

How can Super Attorneys Of Irvine assist with filing a wrongful death claim?

Super Attorneys Of Irvine helps folks in California find skilled wrongful death lawyers. They offer advice and legal know-how to help you file a claim and get what you’re owed. Call Super Attorneys Of Irvine at 949-996-9546 or visit their website to learn more about filing a wrongful death claim in California.

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