CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Overview

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Overview

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by family members when they lose a loved one to negligence. When a parent, spouse or other close loved one is lost, it can leave the family in a precarious financial situation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional accidental death was the third highest cause of fatalities in the United States in 2015 and 2016. Only deaths from heart disease and cancer ranked higher. In this article, we will be exploring who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, types of traffic accidents that result in this type of claim and what compensation can be recovered.

Filing for the Loss of a Loved One

In California, the law is clear on who may file a wrongful death lawsuit claiming financial damages for their loved one’s loss. This comes under the California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. When an individual dies due to the negligence of another person or entity, the following family members may file for financial compensation.

  • Spouse or registered domestic partner
  • Children in the home or any child that lives there who is at least 50 percent supported by the decedent
  • The deceased person’s grandchildren if  their child has died
  • Parents that are living in the home and 50 percent supported by the deceased
  • Siblings and other relatives may place a claim if there are no surviving children, and they would have inherited if no will had been in place

Traffic Collisions That Can Cause a Wrongful Death

A wrongful death can occur in a number of situations such as a fall, defective product or medical malpractice. However, the majority of wrongful deaths occur as a result of traffic accidents. The one thing these accidents all have in common is negligence, including:

  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Distracted driving such as texting or talking on a cell phone
  • Speeding or not taking road conditions into consideration
  • Racing
  • Failure to yield to others, including vehicles, motorcycles, pedestrians, and others
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Accidents due to poor government maintenance of potholes, hanging tree limbs and other road problems
  • Turning left in front of an oncoming motorcycle
  • Truck drivers who are poorly trained or too fatigued from a tight delivery schedule
  • Drivers who do not look for pedestrians or bicycle riders at intersections

Recoverable Compensation

In a wrongful death lawsuit, there are two types of compensation that can be recovered. They are the economic (financial) based and the noneconomic (intangible value) based. Economic damages are meant to replace the loved ones lost earnings and other services the decedent provided to the family. This may include home repairs, childcare, and other services. The other type of damages, noneconomic, are for immeasurable losses. These can include loss of consortium, loss of affection, love, companionship, protection and more. In addition, the loss by a child of their parent’s guidance and direction is recoverable. A lawyer can explain better in person what is recoverable through a wrongful death claim.

Sacramento wrongful death lawyer explains claims and damages that can be recovered.

Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento wrongful death lawyer. Suffering the loss of a loved one can leave the family with financial problems. When negligence was the cause, they may place a claim for fair compensation. For my free and friendly advice, phone me at (916) 921-6400. You can reach me at (800) 404-5400 from other parts of Northern California. There is also a contact form online.

For 37 years, I’ve upheld my clients’ rights to compensation for their personal injuries. Some areas I work in include any type of motor vehicle accident and traumas such as brain injuries.

As a National Association of Distinguished Counsel member, I join other lawyers who uphold a standard of excellence in their practice of the law. In addition, I belong to the Million Dollar Forum. It rewards trial lawyers with membership when they have won more than one million dollars for a client.

Learning about a law practice is a good way to choose a lawyer. You are invited to read client reviews and look over some of the cases my law firm has handled at:

Photo Attribution:;

:cd llo [cs 710]

Contact Information