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Have You Lost a Loved One Due to Negligence? We Are Dedicated to Seeking Justice for Your Family.

San Francisco Wrongful Death Attorneys

Let The Matiasic Firm Help You Seek Justice for Your Loss

There are many legal, financial, and emotional hardships associated with the premature loss of a beloved family member. If your loved one has passed away due to someone else’s reckless actions or negligent choices, you may have grounds to pursue justice and monetary damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.

While nothing can replace the life of your loved one, seeking financial compensation for the wrongdoings your family has suffered can have considerable value during this time. A favorable settlement or verdict can cover your loved one’s medical bills and funeral expenses, as well as any estate taxes and probate fees.

We know that it can be difficult to find closure when your grieving process is hindered by a lawsuit. However, the San Francisco wrongful death lawyers at The Matiasic Firm can deftly manage every facet of your case, giving you and your family the time and space to concentrate on what truly matters: recovering.

Call The Matiasic Firm at (415) 858-6692 to arrange a free case evaluation.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

California Code of Civil Procedure Section 337.60 defines wrongful death as a “cause of action for the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.” It’s important to recognize that a wrongful death case is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal case, and that fault can only be expressed in monetary damages. That said, you can file a wrongful death claim even if there is a separate criminal case pending against the defendant.

The following parties can file a wrongful death claim in California:

  • A representative of the decedent’s estate
  • The decedent’s surviving spouse
  • The decedent’s surviving domestic partner
  • The decedent’s surviving children

The following parties can also bring a wrongful death claim, so long as they were financially dependent on the decedent:

  • The decedent’s parents
  • The decedent’s putative spouse
  • Children of the decedent’s putative spouse
  • The decedent’s stepchildren

However, if there are no eligible family members available, then anyone “who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession” can file a wrongful death claim.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In California, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date of a decedent’s passing. The statute of limitations is a state-specific deadline that establishes a timeline for civil claims. If a plaintiff exceeds this deadline, the court may refuse to hear their case, and the defendant’s legal team could have grounds to request a case dismissal. Either way, the plaintiff’s path to restitution may be lost forever.

That said, there are legal nuances – including the discovery rule – that can challenge the statute of limitations. At The Matiasic Firm, our San Francisco wrongful death attorneys can investigate your case, identify the negligent parties, and calculate the maximum value of your claim. With our assistance, you can recover damages that safeguard your standard of living and prepare you for the next chapter of your life.

What Compensation Is Available in a Wrongful Death Case?

California courts recognize that many families will experience financial hardships after losing a loved one, especially if the decedent was the family “breadwinner.”

For this reason, a plaintiff can recover significant monetary damages by filing a wrongful death claim. Although settlement and verdict amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis, the damages are typically divided to compensate two entities: the decedent’s estate and the decedent’s surviving family members.

The decedent’s estate can recover the following economic damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost income and earning potential
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Property damage

Surviving family members can recover the following damages:

  • Loss of financial support to the household
  • Loss of services to the household
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of love, affection, and moral support
  • Loss of community

You can also recover damages by filing a survival action on behalf of the decedent. A survival action can be filed by an estate representative or the decedent’s successor-in-interest. However, unlike a wrongful death claim, a survival action can only be submitted if the decedent did not immediately die from their injuries.

Per California Code of Civil Procedure § 377.34, a survival cause of action can yield damages “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.”

Call Now for Your Free Consultation: (415) 858-6692

Our wrongful death attorneys in San Francisco stand ready to be your voice during this difficult time. If your loved one’s life ended in tragedy, we can fight for your family’s rights – and recognition of your loved one’s life – in a court of law. As surviving family members, you have the right to seek just compensation.

We at The Matiasic Firm understand that this is a challenging and emotional time for your family. By retaining our services, you can take comfort in the knowledge that your case is being handled by legal professionals who possess the experience, tenacity, and necessary resources to seek justice on your loved one’s behalf.

Get started on your case by contacting our wrongful death lawyers in San Francisco and scheduling your FREE case evaluation: (415) 858-6692.

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