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Ask a Personal Injury Attorney: Wrongful Death


Unexpected deaths are always a tragic event, and this is especially true when the death was a result of another person’s negligence or carelessness. In these instances, any survivors of the deceased are entitled to file a wrongful death claim. We’ve gotten our fair share of questions on this topic recently, so today, we’re covering wrongful death suits in California.

Remember, these types of issues, along with any other matter relating to personal injury law, are complex legal affairs that should be handled by a qualified professional. Keep in mind that this post is just a brief, general overview.

Who can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful deaths can stem from a variety of situations and accidents, including vehicle accidents, medical procedures gone wrong, deaths resulting from faulty tools or products, and more. When tragedy strikes, usually it’s up to the survivors of the victim to move forward with a wrongful death suit. In some instances, those whose finances were tied to the deceased may also have a right to file. This includes:

  • Family members, both immediate and distant
  • Spouses or life partners
  • Financial dependants

Who can be Held Liable for a Wrongful Death?

This depends on the circumstances of the accident, and at times there might even be multiple parties whom the suit could be levied against. For example, say a drunk driver was operating a vehicle on a dangerous road when he hit another driver, leading to the death of the other party. In this instance, multiple parties could be held liable, including the driver himself, the manufacturer of the car if it is a model with known defects, the government agency responsible for maintaining the road, and the party that furnished the alcohol or drugs to the impaired driver.

It goes without saying, but wrongful death suits can quickly become complicated. Worse yet, most survivors of the victim will likely be too struck with grief or busy dealing with other problems to properly focus on the legal aspect of filing a claim and securing deserved compensation.

Here’s where a skilled personal injury can come into play. We hope this post was informative and help shed some light on wrongful death suits in California. If you’d like to learn more, be sure to give the reputable personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Dean Petrulakis a call.