Oakland Wrongful Death Attorneys
Representing Families Throughout Northern California
The unexpected loss of a loved one is perhaps the most devastating and challenging thing a person can experience. Sadly, far too many deaths occur as a result of entirely preventable accidents. When someone’s death is caused by another person or party’s negligent or wrongful actions, the surviving family members are allowed to file what is known as a wrongful death lawsuit. This is a civil action (as opposed to a criminal action) that is intended to compensate the deceased’s family members and dependents for certain financial losses and intangible damages.
At Pacific Workers', The Lawyers for Injured Workers, we understand that no financial recovery could ever truly “compensate” you for your loss. However, we also realize that an unexpected death also brings unanticipated costs. A successful wrongful death lawsuit can not only allow you to recover for those costs, but it can also provide you and your family with a much-needed sense of justice.
With offices located in Oakland, Concord, Stockton, and Sacramento, we represent individuals and families throughout Northern California who have suffered unimaginable loss as a result of someone else’s careless, reckless, or wrongful actions. We are ready to put over 130 years of collective legal experience and a proven record of success on your side.
What Makes a Death “Wrongful?”
California law allows certain surviving family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit when the death of their loved one was caused by another person/party, whether as a result of negligence or malice. By law, death is “wrongful” when it resulted from someone else’s negligence or intent to cause harm.
In order to file a wrongful death lawsuit, an eligible party must prove the following:
- A person died
- The death was the result of someone else’s negligent or intentional actions
- The death resulted in surviving family members suffering financial consequences
Additionally, there must be a personal representative for the deceased’s estate, either someone appointed in a will or someone selected by the court.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
Only certain individuals are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim in the state of California.
These individuals include:
- The surviving spouse or domestic partner
- The surviving child/children (if any)
If there are no family members or surviving individuals in the direct line of descent, then anyone who can prove that they would be entitled to the deceased’s estate via succession may file the wrongful death claim. Additionally, an individual who can prove that they were dependent financially on the deceased prior to the death may also be permitted to bring a claim.
These individuals may include:
- The surviving parent(s)
- The surviving sibling(s)
- The surviving putative spouse/putative spouse’s children
- The surviving stepchildren
What Damages Are Available?
California law allows eligible individuals to seek certain economic and non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Generally speaking, some damages are generally attributed to the estate, whereas others are attributed to surviving family members.
With some exceptions, surviving family members can often recover the following damages:
- The value of services, including household services, provided by the deceased
- Loss of expected/anticipated income and/or financial support
- Loss of love, attention, community, affection, guidance, and moral support
Meanwhile, the estate can typically recover damages for the following monetary losses:
- Medical bills associated with treatment provided to the deceased for the final injury/illness prior to death
- Funeral and/or burial costs
- Lost wages/income
- Lost potential income the deceased could reasonably be expected to have earned had he or she not died
You Only Have Two Years to File a Wrongful Death Claim in California
It is important that you do not wait to file a wrongful death claim, as the statute of limitations on wrongful death in California is only two years from the date of death. We encourage you to reach out to our Oakland wrongful death attorneys as soon as possible to discuss your potential case with our experienced and dedicated team.
At Pacific Workers', The Lawyers for Injured Workers, we assist families who have lost loved ones due to tragic workplace accidents, motor vehicle collisions, defective products, and other devastating incidents. When you work with our firm, you get an entire team dedicated to you and your case. We have earned a reputation for our hard-hitting, aggressive legal representation and our willingness to go to trial whenever necessary. Our team has over a 98% success rate in the cases they handle; learn how we can help you and your family today.