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When Can You File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Many people wonder under what circumstances can you file a wrongful death after a loved one has died. In general, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that seeks monetary damages after the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of another.

​​​Wrongful death actions are similar to any other type of personal injury claim with the exception that the person bringing the suit is the surviving family member or spouse. These actions may arise out of any claim for negligence including automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, or criminal negligence (even if the defendant is facing criminal charges as well).

Typically, wrongful death suits may be brought by the decedent's surviving spouse or domestic partner, the surviving children or grandchildren. Where there are no surviving family members, anyone who may have a claim to the decedent’s property may be able to bring a suit. Additionally, in California, it may be possible to file a claim if you are able to show you are financially dependent on the decedent.

If you believe you may have a claim, it’s best to contact a San Francisco personal injury lawyer to discuss your options.

Wrongful death lawsuits provide a way to obtain financial support for the spouse and children who are affected by a loved one’s death due to the negligence of another. Types of damages include loss of income, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, medical expenses, loss of consortium and loss of love and companionship.

While it may be a difficult decision to pursue a lawsuit following the death of a loved one, speaking to a compassionate California personal injury lawyer can help put your mind at ease and determine your next steps.

For more information, please contact the San Francisco personal injury attorneys at Bostwick & Peterson for a confidential consultation.