In California, the following parties are generally eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit:
- The deceased person’s surviving spouse or domestic partner
- The deceased person’s surviving children
- If there is no surviving spouse or children, then the deceased person’s parents or siblings may be eligible to file the lawsuit
- If the deceased person was a minor, then their parents or legal guardian may be eligible to file the lawsuit
In addition, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may also be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
The damages that may be recoverable in a California wrongful death lawsuit can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Some potential damages that may be available include:
- Economic damages, such as medical expenses, funeral expenses, and loss of financial support
- Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress
- Punitive damages, which are intended to punish the at-fault party for their conduct and deter future similar conduct
It’s important to note that California law places limits on the amount of damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, non-economic damages are subject to a cap of $250,000 in medical malpractice cases, and $350,000 in cases involving a government entity. An experienced personal injury attorney can help evaluate the potential damages in your case and advise you on the best course of action.