Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in California?

When tragedy strikes and a life is lost due to the wrongful conduct of another, several parties are given the authority to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit. This typically encompasses the immediate family of the deceased, including the surviving spouse, children, and parents, who can seek monetary restitution through legal means. There are also instances where others, such as dependent minors living with the deceased, other inheritors, and blood relatives, may be entitled to instigate a wrongful death claim.

Additionally, a representative appointed for the deceased’s estate may have the authorization to lodge a legal suit. However, navigating the complex maze of a wrongful death lawsuit can be an arduous task, given its intricate nature. This is where the assistance of a proficient wrongful death attorney, such as Belal Hamideh, can be crucial. Reach out to us for a complimentary case assessment, either on our website or through a phone call.

The Role of a Wrongful Death Attorney in Your Legal Battle

The premature demise of a loved one due to another’s thoughtless actions can be profoundly distressing. The reckless conduct of a person can lead to the irreparable loss of a precious life. While it’s a known fact that no financial reparation can truly offset your loss, it is imperative to comprehend your right to seek financial relief. Formulating a resilient lawsuit with the guidance of a skilled wrongful death attorney can help procure this compensation. This financial remuneration can aid in meeting expenses for the funeral, medical bills, and other pain and suffering, thus providing some financial ease as you face this challenging time.

Allow us to introduce Belal Hamideh, a seasoned wrongful death attorney based in California. With numerous wrongful death litigations to his credit, his exceptional acumen can serve as an invaluable resource in your pursuit of justice. Leveraging his extensive experience, he offers fervent representation to ensure you obtain the maximum possible compensation for your loss. In addition, he offers a free case evaluation, during which he will assess your claim’s potential worth and how he can support your cause.

Grasping the Concept of Wrongful Death

Under California law, wrongful death is defined as a scenario where an individual’s wrongful conduct leads to the demise of another. These wrongful acts can range from careless and reckless behavior to intentional harm. If the act was intentional, it may warrant criminal charges against the offender.

In case you find yourself in similar circumstances, you may have a valid cause for a wrongful death lawsuit. If you are unsure about your eligibility to proceed with a lawsuit, it would be prudent to seek the counsel of a competent attorney.

Advocating a Wrongful Death Claim

In order to validate a wrongful death claim, four distinct elements must be demonstrated. The primary requirement is to present proof that the defendant’s negligent, reckless, or imprudent actions were a significant factor in the untimely demise of your loved one. It is noteworthy to mention that even if the defendant’s actions were only a partial contributor to the demise, your claim still holds weight.

Secondly, it is essential to prove that the defendant held a duty of care towards the deceased – your loved one. The nature of this duty can be variable and context-specific, such as a doctor’s commitment to their patient’s wellbeing or a motorist’s duty to comply with road safety regulations.

Following this, it must be proven unequivocally that the defendant’s neglect of the aforementioned duty resulted directly in the tragic passing of your loved one. Lastly, credible evidence must be provided substantiating that the premature demise of your loved one resulted in quantifiable damages. These could include medical bills, funeral expenses, lost earnings or potential future income, along with your personal suffering. The loss of guidance, protection, and potential inheritance are also factored in.

Embarking on the path of a wrongful death lawsuit can be a daunting proposition, fraught with legal complexities and emotional challenges. However, seasoned attorneys such as Belal Hamideh are readily available to guide you through this taxing process. Equipped with an extensive background in navigating California wrongful death cases, Belal provides unwavering support and relentless representation to help you secure the justice that you rightfully deserve.

Understanding Compensation in California’s Wrongful Death Cases

A common concern that often arises is the nature and extent of compensation available for a wrongful death claim in California. The financial restitution in such events is typically divided into two primary categories – economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages refer to tangible and quantifiable expenses such as burial and funeral costs, medical bills incurred, and loss of earnings. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, relate to more abstract and often hard-to-measure emotional suffering, loss of companionship, and the absence of moral support that is experienced.

Despite the inherent difficulty in placing a financial value on these non-economic damages, our devotion to ensuring our clients receive the maximum possible compensation remains unfaltering.

Examining Types of Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases

The compensation awarded in wrongful death cases often relies on several variables such as the deceased’s life expectancy at the time of the wrongful act, the claimant’s life expectancy, among other factors.

Economic damages generally include costs associated with the funeral or burial, the lost financial support that the heirs were predicted to receive, loss of household services, and potential gifts or benefits from the deceased.

Non-economic damages, however, address the emotional distress caused by the loss of a loved one. This might encompass the loss of companionship, affection, protection, moral support, guidance, training, and loss of consortium.

It is important to understand that California law does not permit punitive damages for wrongful death cases. To claim punitive damages, one would need to initiate a survival action along with the wrongful death claim if both arise from the same wrongful act.

In your consultation with Belal, he will provide clear insight into the likely outcomes of your case. Leveraging his extensive experience, he will formulate a comprehensive strategy aimed at positioning you for optimal results.

Wrongful Death Laws That May Pertain to Your Situation 

If you have any further questions, contact Belal. 

California Code, Code of Civil Procedure – CCP § 377.60


A cause of action for the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another may be asserted by any of the following persons or by the decedent’s personal representative on their behalf:

(a) The decedent’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, and issue of deceased children, or, if there is no surviving issue of the decedent, the persons, including the surviving spouse or domestic partner, who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession.If the parents of the decedent would be entitled to bring an action under this subdivision, and the parents are deceased, then the legal guardians of the decedent, if any, may bring an action under this subdivision as if they were the decedent’s parents.

(b)(1) Whether or not qualified under subdivision (a), if they were dependent on the decedent, the putative spouse, children of the putative spouse, stepchildren, parents, or the legal guardians of the decedent if the parents are deceased.

(2) As used in this subdivision, “putative spouse” means the surviving spouse of a void or voidable marriage who is found by the court to have believed in good faith that the marriage to the decedent was valid.

(c) A minor, whether or not qualified under subdivision (a) or (b), if, at the time of the decedent’s death, the minor resided for the previous 180 days in the decedent’s household and was dependent on the decedent for one-half or more of the minor’s support.

(d) This section applies to any cause of action arising on or after January 1, 1993.

(e) The addition of this section by Chapter 178 of the Statutes of 1992 was not intended to adversely affect the standing of any party having standing under prior law, and the standing of parties governed by that version of this section as added by Chapter 178 of the Statutes of 1992 shall be the same as specified herein as amended by Chapter 563 of the Statutes of 1996.

(f)(1) For the purpose of this section, “domestic partner” means a person who, at the time of the decedent’s death, was the domestic partner of the decedent in a registered domestic partnership established in accordance with subdivision (b) of Section 297 of the Family Code.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), for a death occurring prior to January 1, 2002, a person may maintain a cause of action pursuant to this section as a domestic partner of the decedent by establishing the factors listed in paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 297 of the Family Code, as it read pursuant to Section 3 of Chapter 893 of the Statutes of 2001, prior to its becoming inoperative on January 1, 2005.

(3) The amendments made to this subdivision during the 2003-04 Regular Session of the Legislature are not intended to revive any cause of action that has been fully and finally adjudicated by the courts, or that has been settled, or as to which the applicable limitations period has run.

California Code, Code of Civil Procedure – CCP § 335.1


Within two years: An action for assault, battery, or injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.

California Code, Code of Civil Procedure – CCP § 377.61


In an action under this article, damages may be awarded that, under all the circumstances of the case, may be just, but may not include damages recoverable under Section 377.34. The court shall determine the respective rights in an award of the persons entitled to assert the cause of action.

California Code, Code of Civil Procedure – CCP § 377.34


(a) In an action or proceeding by a decedent’s personal representative or successor in interest on the decedent’s cause of action, the damages recoverable are limited to the loss or damage that the decedent sustained or incurred before death, including any penalties or punitive or exemplary damages that the decedent would have been entitled to recover had the decedent lived, and do not include damages for pain, suffering, or disfigurement.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), in an action or proceeding by a decedent’s personal representative or successor in interest on the decedent’s cause of action, the damages recoverable may include damages for pain, suffering, or disfigurement if the action or proceeding was granted a preference pursuant to Section 36 before January 1, 2022, or was filed on or after January 1, 2022, and before January 1, 2026.

(c) A plaintiff who recovers damages pursuant to subdivision (b) between January 1, 2022, and January 1, 2025, inclusive, shall, within 60 days after obtaining a judgment, consent judgment, or court-approved settlement agreement entitling the plaintiff to the damages, submit to the Judicial Council a copy of the judgment, consent judgment, or court-approved settlement agreement, along with a cover sheet detailing all of the following information:

(1) The date the action was filed.

(2) The date of the final disposition of the action.

(3) The amount and type of damages awarded, including economic damages and damages for pain, suffering, or disfigurement.

(d)(1) On or before January 1, 2025, the Judicial Council shall transmit to the Legislature a report detailing the information received pursuant to subdivision (c) for all judgements, consent judgements, or court-approved settlement agreements rendered from January 1, 2022, to July 31, 2024, inclusive, in which damages were recovered pursuant to subdivision (b). The report shall comply with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

(2) This subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2029, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.

(e) Nothing in this section alters Section 3333.2 of the Civil Code.

(f) Nothing in this section affects claims brought pursuant to Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 15600) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.


Opt for a Highly Skilled California Wrongful Death Lawyer

Coping with the demise of a loved one due to the recklessness of another can prove to be among the most challenging moments in life. Recognized as a reputable wrongful death attorney in California, Belal Hamideh acknowledges that he can’t eliminate this tough situation alone, but he can provide significant relief. Committed to advocating for you, he utilizes his extensive knowledge to ensure you receive the highest possible recompense for your unthinkable ordeal.

Connect with us through our website or place a call for a no-cost case assessment.