Burbank Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a loved one unexpectedly is a tragic event that could challenge a family’s ability to cope. If the death was the result of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional act, it can be even more difficult to make sense of the loss.

When a loved one dies because of someone else’s negligence, there are two legal remedies available. A family member could bring a wrongful death lawsuit, and the decedent’s estate could bring a survival action. Sometimes, it is possible to combine a wrongful death claim and a survival suit, as a knowledgeable attorney could further explain.

Holding the responsible parties accountable by seeking damages for the loss of your loved one could provide some satisfaction. A Burbank wrongful death lawyer might be able to help you find closure.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In California, the right to file a wrongful death claim is primarily granted to close relatives of the deceased according the California Code of Civil Procedure §377.60. This includes the deceased’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, and children.

In cases where these immediate family members do not exist, other dependents who may have been financially reliant on the deceased, such as stepchildren or parents, could also be eligible to file a claim. These laws ensure that those most affected by the loss have the means to seek compensation for their emotional and financial suffering.

Aside from family members, anyone who depended on the decedent for more than 50 percent of their support has standing to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. An experienced attorney could identify the appropriate plaintiffs in a particular case.

Furthermore, there are special cases where claims can be made against government entities. This usually requires adherence to specific procedures and often must be initiated within a shorter timeframe, typically six months from the date of the incident.

What Are The Factors For Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The plaintiff must prove that the death was more likely than not the result of the defendant’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional act. Sometimes, defendants in wrongful death actions also face criminal charges for the act that resulted in the death. A plaintiff could bring a successful wrongful death action even if the defendant were not convicted of a crime.

Types of Wrongful Death Recoverable Damages

Damages in a successful wrongful death case could include:

  • Medical Expenses: Costs incurred from the deceased’s medical care before death.
  • Funeral and Burial Costs: Expenses associated with funeral services and burial.
  • Lost Wages: The deceased’s income would have been earned had they lived.
  • Loss of Financial Support: Financial contributions the deceased would have provided to their dependents.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the loss of companionship and support suffered by the surviving spouse or family members.
  • Loss of Inheritance: The potential future inheritance lost due to the untimely death.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the emotional pain and suffering endured by the survivors.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of egregious wrongdoing, these are awarded to punish the defendant and deter similar actions in the future.

Survival Actions in Burbank

If the decedent survived for any amount of time after the action that caused their death, their estate could bring a suit seeking damages for the decedent’s injuries and suffering. The estate’s representative is the plaintiff in a survival lawsuit. In many cases, but not all, the plaintiff in the wrongful death suit and the survival action are the same person.

Damages go to the decedent’s estate and are distributed to the decedent’s heirs after paying any estate debts. The damages could include medical expenses related to the fatal injury and income the decedent lost between the wrongful act and their death. Importantly, the estate could seek punitive damages in a survival action.

Punitive damages punish a defendant for callously irresponsible or intentional behavior unrelated to the plaintiff’s losses. Instead, a court will consider the egregiousness of the defendant’s actions and their financial condition and make an award large enough to have a deterrent effect. A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney in the area could advise about whether punitive damages might be appropriate in a specific case.

Be Aware of the Statute of Limitations

Statutes of limitations are laws defining the timeframe in which people can bring lawsuits. Although the same event might form the basis of both a wrongful death and a survival lawsuit, different timeframes govern the two actions.

California law allows plaintiffs to file a wrongful death action two years from the date of the decedent’s death. In a survival action, the estate must file the lawsuit within two years of the act that eventually caused the decedent’s death or six months after the death. A capable attorney could ensure that the plaintiffs meet all statutory deadlines and preserve their rights to seek damages from the party responsible for the decedent’s death.

Why Choose Benji Personal Injury?

Choosing Benji Personal Injury means selecting a firm that stands out for its proven track record and deep commitment to client care.

The firm prides itself on securing substantial settlements and verdicts for clients, demonstrating its capability and dedication in handling complex personal injury and wrongful death cases.

Client testimonials reflect satisfaction with the outcomes and the compassionate and personalized approach the firm maintains throughout the legal process. This commitment ensures each client feels supported and valued, a testament to the firm’s core values of integrity and excellence in all aspects of their practice.


What is a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim is a legal action that allows close relatives or dependents of a deceased individual to seek compensation from those responsible for their loved one’s death due to negligence or intentional harm.

Who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim in Burbank, California?

In California, the deceased’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, or, if no such survivors, other family members who were financially dependent on the deceased may file a wrongful death claim.

What types of damages are recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit?

Damages may include medical costs before death, funeral and burial expenses, lost income and potential earnings, and loss of love, companionship, and moral support.

How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim in California?

The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in California is typically two years from the date of the deceased’s death, but this can vary depending on specific circumstances.

Can I file a wrongful death claim if the deceased person was at fault in part for the accident?

Yes, California follows a comparative negligence rule, which means you can still file a claim even if the deceased was partially at fault, although the compensation may be reduced by the deceased’s percentage of fault.

Contact a Burbank Wrongful Death Attorney

It could be difficult for grieving families to focus on practical matters like seeking damages when they are still trying to process the loss of their loved one. However, when someone’s wrongful act results in loss of life, it is important for the people most affected to take action.

Trust a Burbank wrongful death lawyer to handle your case capably and sensitively. Schedule a consultation to discuss your legal options as soon as you can.

Benji Personal Injury – Accident Attorneys, A.P.C.

Benji Personal Injury – Accident Attorneys, A.P.C.