205 S. Broadway, STE 708
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Wrongful Death Claims in San Diego, CA: All You Need to Know

If you live in San Diego and a beloved one dies in an accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your loss. Nothing can repay the life of a person. Seeking compensation can help the survivors cover the costs of the funeral and burial and unpaid medical bills, among many other expenses related to the loss of your relative or friend. In this article, we’ll explore all the essential details about wrongful death claims in San Diego, CA; if you’re going through such a difficult situation, you might find some clarity and guidance.

If you’re determined to start a claim and are looking for wrongful death lawyers in California, it’s crucial to act swiftly. Call Broadway Law Firm at (888) 824-1025 for a free consultation. Our experienced lawyers understand the law and know how to win. They will fight until the last penny so you get the full compensation you deserve by law.

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in San Diego, CA

How to Prove Liability

Proving liability in a wrongful death case in California is a complex process, but it’s fundamental to win your claim. To do that, you’ll typically need to establish several key points:

  • Loss of Life: It must be clear that someone has passed away.
  • Fault of Another Party: The death must be the result of another person’s carelessness, wrong actions, or intentional harm. This could involve recklessness, deliberate wrongdoing, or negligence that directly led to the fatality.
  • Direct Cause: There must be a clear connection between what the defendant did (or didn’t do) and the death. You’ll need to show the defendant’s actions were a major reason for the death.
  • Breach of Responsibility: You’ll need to establish that the defendant had an obligation to act safely towards the deceased and that they failed to do so by acting negligently or wrongly. For instance, in a car accident, you might need to prove the defendant broke traffic laws or drove carelessly.
  • Suffered Losses: Surviving family members or designated beneficiaries must have experienced tangible harm because of the death. This harm can include financial losses like medical bills, funeral costs, and loss of financial support from the deceased. It can also include emotional losses such as grief and suffering.

How Much Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Pay in California?

In California, settlements for wrongful death claims typically range from $250,000 to $500,000, reflecting the middle ground for most cases in the state. However, it’s important to remember that these numbers can vary greatly depending on each situation’s specific details and challenges. 

The severity of the carelessness involved, the deceased’s income and potential future earnings, and emotional losses like grief and suffering all significantly impact the final settlement amount. There’s no single “average” amount awarded in wrongful death lawsuits. However,  it’s safe to say that these claims often involve substantial compensation requests that might reach high six-figure or even seven-figure sums.

Who are the Beneficiaries of a Wrongful Death Claim?

According to the California Summary of State Wrongful Death and Intestacy Statutes, the beneficiaries of a wrongful death claim at priority level are:

Immediate Family

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Children (biological or adopted)

Other Dependents

If there’s no surviving spouse or children, then dependents who relied on the deceased’s financial support can file. This could include:

  • Stepchildren
  • Parents of an unmarried child
  • Other blood relatives

Putative Spouse and Children

In certain situations, a putative spouse (someone who believed they were married but the marriage was invalid) and their children may have filing rights.

How Long Does it Take to Settle a Wrongful Death Claim?

In California, resolving a wrongful death claim can take between a few months and four years. The exact timeframe depends on the case’s complexity and whether it goes to trial. Typically, a simple wrongful death insurance claim is resolved within one to three months. However, the majority of cases are settled over a period of one to four years. If the case proceeds to trial, the duration extends further, often taking a year or more.

How to Make Your Wrongful Death Claim Move Faster

Here are some factors that can help shorten the time of your wrongful death claim:

  • Strong Evidence: Having all your documents organized, including proof, medical history, and accident details, can speed things up by making the case clear.
  • Quick Action: Reporting the death quickly to the right people and insurance companies speeds up investigations and helps gather important information while it’s fresh.
  • Working Together: Everyone involved, from those bringing the claim to lawyers and insurance adjusters, should communicate openly and cooperate to avoid holdups.
  • Openness to Compromise: If both sides are willing to talk and reach a fair agreement, things can significantly speed up compared to a lengthy court case.
  • Experienced Help: Hiring an accident lawyer in San Diego who knows California’s wrongful death laws well can ensure your claim is handled smoothly and efficiently, with fewer delays.

Hire Our Experts to Handle Your Wrongful Death Claim

Broadway Law Firm’s lawyers have experience handling wrongful death claims in San Diego, CA. They will defend you fiercely while also providing caring, empathetic services to you. We understand this is a difficult time for you for obvious reasons. We always pick up the phone and have an answer for you. Let us help you fight to obtain the full compensation that you deserve for your beloved’s damages.

Call us today at (888) 824-1025 to make a free consultation.

Scroll to Top