Who Can File for Wrongful Death?

Who Can File for Wrongful Death?

Who Can File for Wrongful Death?

Who Can File for Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death lawsuit allows the family to recover damages, both for what their loved one experienced before death and the losses from not having the decedent around. Here is who can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

The basic law in California is that family members or the estate can sue for wrongful death. The question is how far the definition of “family” stretches and whether there is a hierarchy of plaintiffs.

What California Law Says About Wrongful Death

The state’s law is set forth in the California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. The following people have the standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Domestic partners
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Anyone else who would be entitled to the deceased’s property

This does not mean that everyone could file their own lawsuit. Usually, the person who has standing under the order of hierarchy is the one who files the lawsuit, and others can join that lawsuit. In the ideal scenario, the family members will agree on how to distribute the proceeds of the lawsuit. There may be a dispute about dividing wrongful death settlement money.

There is a separate type of action related to a wrongful death claim that is brought by the deceased’s estate. In a survival action, the estate seeks damages for the deceased’s suffering and other damages that they suffered before their death. This legal action belongs to the estate, and any proceeds are divided according to the family members’ share of the estate.

Speak With Experienced Beverly Hills Wrongful Death Attorneys

Wrongful death claims can be complicated because of their special rules and the higher dollar amounts involved. The Beverly Hills wrongful death lawyers at Jalilvand Law can help you. Call us today at 310.478.5500 or contact us online to learn about your legal rights.