Wrongful Death Claims: What Are California Wrongful Death Laws?
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?California laws clearly define the various individuals who can seek wrongful death compensation on behalf of the deceased. As per these laws, a compensation claim can be filed by:
- A surviving spouse of the deceased person
- A domestic partner of the deceased person
- Any surviving children of the deceased person
- Any person entitled through intestate succession in the absence of direct children. These may include parents, legal guardians if the parents are deceased, and the siblings of the deceased
- Stepchildren of the deceased
- A putative spouse, if it can be shown that the individual was financially dependent on the deceased person
- Any children of the putative spouse, again if it can be proven that they financially depended on the deceased person
Damages You Can Seek in Wrongful Death ClaimsYou can apply for different types of damages in a wrongful death claim. These include:
- Funeral and burial costs. The law allows you to recover reasonable funeral and burial expenses in a wrongful death claim. The actual amount awarded for these damages will depend on the financial condition of the deceased person’s estate and the deceased person’s station in life.
- Medical costs. Any medical costs incurred before the death of the deceased. This usually applies in cases where death is not sudden and the deceased passes away after remaining under treatment for a period.
- Lost Wages. These are the wages that the deceased would have reasonably earned had he or she continued to live to the average expected age.
- Loss of Companionship or Affection. The close relatives of the deceased can claim damages in lieu of loss of companionship (in the case of spouse or partner) or affection for the emotional loss suffered because of wrongful death.
- Loss of Financial Support. Damages of this type can be claimed by any financial dependents of the deceased.