Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In California ?
In California, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit is primarily extended to the closest relatives of the deceased. This typically includes:
- The deceased’s spouse or domestic partner.
- The deceased’s children.
If there are no surviving individuals in the deceased’s line of descent, the lawsuit can be brought by anyone “who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession.” This could potentially include the deceased’s parents or siblings.
In addition to these, others who can demonstrate financial dependence on the deceased, such as the deceased’s stepchildren or putative spouse (someone who had a good faith belief that they were in a lawful marriage with the deceased), may also be able to file a lawsuit.
Given the complexity of such cases, consulting with a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney is recommended to understand potential rights and options.