When a person dies suddenly as the result of another party’s negligence, it is commonly referred to as a “wrongful death.” The families of those killed in these types of accidents are often much too overwhelmed with grief to consider or be prepared for filing a legal claim in court to pursue much-needed compensation for lost income, medical bills, and other damages.

It is important for all people in such circumstances to understand that California has a statute of limitations (time limit) of two years on wrongful death claims. For this reason, it is critical for any person whose loved one was killed by the negligence of another party to immediately retain legal counsel for assistance taking appropriate legal action.

Under California Code of Civil Procedure ยง 337.60, the following parties have the right to file causes of action for the deaths of loved ones caused by the wrongful acts or negligence of other parties:

  • Spouse of the deceased;
  • Domestic partner of the deceased; and
  • Children of the deceased.

When the deceased person’s children are no longer living, his or her grandchildren may have the right to pursue wrongful death actions. Other minor children who lived with the deceased’s household for the 180 days prior to his or her death and were dependent on the deceased for at least 50 percent of their support can also be entitled to file legal claims. Other parties entitled to the deceased’s property under intestate succession laws may also be able to file wrongful death claims.

If your loved one was killed as the result of another party’s negligent or deliberate actions, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to immediately conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your loved one’s death and make all court appearances on your behalf so you can take all the time you need to mourn.

Hogan Injury has office locations in San Francisco, Oakland, Modesto, Stockton, and Sacramento. We represent clients all over Northern California. Contact us today to receive a free, no obligation consultation that will let our lawyers review your case and help you understand all of your legal options.


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