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How Is Wrongful Death In California Proven?

California’s wrongful death laws allow a surviving family member to file a wrongful death claim to receive compensation when another person’s actions lead to the death of their loved one. Learn below how to prove wrongful death, and if you have questions about a case, the Oakland wrongful death lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak can answer them today.

California Wrongful Death Overview

A wrongful death claim can arise from many kinds of accidents, including car accidents, truck accidents, criminal activity, medical malpractice, and exposure to dangerous chemicals. Regardless of why the accident happened, you must prove the following to obtain compensation in a wrongful death claim in California:

  • Your loved one died.
  • The death was caused by someone’s negligence or another person’s intent to cause harm.
  • The surviving family suffered monetary damages because of the death.
  • A personal representative for the deceased’s estate has been appointed.

Proving wrongful death in California only requires you to show a preponderance of the evidence to determine liability. This is a lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt, which is needed for a criminal trial.

Who Can File A California Wrongful Death Claim?

Those who can file a wrongful death claim in California are the deceased’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, and the issue of deceased children. Please consult a wrongful death attorney to determine who has standing to bring the wrongful death claim.

How Long Do You Have To File A Wrongful Death Claim?

California has a two-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit, stating that you have two years from the date of the deceased’s death to file suit. If you fail to file the claim within two years, the family will probably lose the right to obtain compensation.

What Compensation Can You Receive In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

If your wrongful death lawsuit succeeds, you can receive economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages can include:

  • Any financial support the deceased would have provided to the family.
  • Loss of benefits or gifts that the family would have received from the deceased.
  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • Reasonable dollar value of the household services that the deceased would have provided.

Non-economic damages may include the following:

  • Loss of the deceased’s companionship, love, care, comfort, assistance, protection, moral support, and affection.
  • The spouse’s loss of an intimate relationship with the deceased.
  • Loss of the deceased’s guidance.

There is no cap on wrongful death damages in California in most cases. However, one exception is the cap on damages for medical malpractice cases. For 2023, the medical malpractice damages cap was $350,000 for injuries related to medical malpractice that do not cause death and $500,000 for injuries that resulted in wrongful death.

Contact Our Oakland Wrongful Death Lawyers Today

Did you lose a loved one in an accident caused by someone’s negligence? You could be entitled to compensation for funeral and burial expenses, lost future earnings, loss of comfort, care and guidance, loss of inheritance, and more. Contact our Oakland wrongful death lawyers at Bracamontes & Vlasak. We are ready to fight for your rights today, so please call (415) 835-6777.