What’s considered wrongful death in California? According to the CA Code of Civil Procedure section 377.60, a wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to negligence, intentional act, or a wrongful act perpetrated by another person. 


Generally, when a wrongful death occurs, certain members of the individual’s family or a personal representative of the deceased can pursue a wrongful death personal injury claim. However, there are certain steps that every family should take soon after losing a loved one to wrongful death.


Continue reading to learn more. 

Determine Who Can Assert A Wrongful Death Claim 

Before you or your family can pursue a wrongful death claim, you must determine who is eligible to bring a lawsuit against the responsible parties. In California, wrongful death laws allow for the following personal representatives or loved ones to file a claim (but not limited to). 

  • Domestic partners and surviving spouses 

  • Children of the deceased or grandchildren if the children are not alive 

  • Stepkids or other financial dependents (depending on the circumstances)

  • Other parties eligible to the deceased person’s property (including personal representatives)


Contact Steinberg Injury Lawyers today for help determining eligibility to pursue a wrongful death. 

Calculate Potential Damages 

Next, you must calculate potentially recoverable damages. For the most part, a wrongful death claim allows family members and other dependents to seek compensation for the lost value of their deceased loved one’s support. 


That includes both economic and non-economic damages. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Financial support from the deceased family member that they would have received if not for the wrongful death 

  • The cost of the funeral and burial 

  • Cost to replace general household work the deceased would have contributed (i.e., handiwork, gardening, etc.)

  • Loss of companionship, physical affection, emotional support, etc.

  • Pain and suffering resulting from the wrongful death of a loved one 


Calculating eligible damages can be a confusing and complicated process without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Seeking ineligible damages in your claim can result in a wrongful death claim denial, delay, or underpayment. Contact us today to learn more. 

Hire The Best Wrongful Death Attorney For Your Needs 

Winning a wrongful death personal injury lawsuit requires the plaintiff to show proof of a qualifying relationship with the deceased and proof of lost income, support, etc., resulting from the wrongful death. With that in mind, it’s in your best interest to work with a wrongful death lawyer who: 

  • Understands California personal injury law

  • Can spot undeniable evidence of a qualifying relationship (i.e., pictures, bank statements, videos, lease agreements, etc.)

  • Is willing to fight for maximum compensation for your loss 


Our wrongful death attorneys at Steinberg Injury Lawyers understand that nothing can replace the life of your loved one. However, if they’ve been killed due to negligence, wrongful act, or intentional act of another, you deserve justice, and we can help you get it. Contact us today for your free initial consultation with the best wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles. 

Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982
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