Richmond Wrongful Death Lawyer


It is tragic when a wrongful death occurs in a family. Many people are aware of wrongful death, which occurs when a negligent individual or entity causes a fatality to another. When someone you love dies in an accident that could have been avoided, it is even more difficult. The most common cause of wrongful death is a traffic accident, but families can also lose a loved one for other reasons.

The Injury Attorneys at Are Here to Help

The injury lawyers at can help when you have lost a family member in a wrongful death accident and need financial help and justice for your loved one. We have successfully handled many wrongful death claims over the years, and turning to a Richmond wrongful death attorney in your time of need can help you obtain a sense of closure for your loved one's death and financial help when you require it most. Call our law office at (510) 631-0200 or (800) 404-5400 for a free consultation if you need assistance with your wrongful death claim.

What Members of the Family Can Join a Wrongful Death Claim?

There are two ways a wrongful death claim can be placed in California. However, only one claim may be filed. The personal representative of the estate or the immediate family may file a claim under Section 377.60 - 377.62 of the California Code of Civil Procedure. Those who can join the suit are:

  • The spouse or putative spouse of the decedent may file. Someone who believes they are legally married but are unmarried is referred to as a putative spouse.
  • The children can join in the wrongful death claim and may be natural or adopted. Stepchildren might participate in the lawsuit if the decedent provided at least 50 percent of their support.
  • The children of a deceased decedent's offspring may file an action.
  • A claim can be made by the parents whose support came from the deceased family member by at least 50 percent.
  • Other family members, including siblings and parents, may file if the decedent dies without immediate heirs.
Wrongful Death Claims Can Help in What Way?

In addition to bringing closure to their family, filing a wrongful death claim can ease their financial stress since their loved one is not returning. An accident lawyer from Richmond can assist them in obtaining compensation, so they will no longer have to worry about finances during the transition period.

What Compensation Can Be Recovered by Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?

The following compensation can be recovered by a family who loses a loved one due to negligence by another individual or entity:

  • It is possible to recover the costs of the funeral and burial.
  • Recoverable losses include lost wages the deceased person would have earned up until retirement, pension, insurance benefits, bonuses, and more.
  • A spouse or putative spouse can receive damages for the loss of consortium, comfort, moral support, and affection provided by the deceased.
  • Damages can be recovered from the loss of the decedent's training, guidance, and care for the children in the family.
  • The beneficiaries of the decedent's estate may be able to recover the loss of inheritance.
  • A survival action might be used to award punitive damages if the death was caused by egregious negligence or an intentional act.
What Are Examples of Accidents That Can Lead to Wrongful Death?

There are many different ways that wrongful deaths can occur. Wrongful death can be caused by a negligent individual, government entity, or company, and their only common feature is that negligence or intentional misconduct was involved. Wrongful deaths can occur in the following ways:

  • Collisions in traffic: Automobiles, trucks, and other vehicles may collide in traffic collisions. Speeding, distracted or drunk driving, and running red lights are all negligence. Likely, a fatality would not occur if another person or entity hadn't been negligent.
  • Accidents involving motorcycles: Wrongful death claims can be filed in the event the fatality is caused by the negligence of a vehicle driver, a defect in a vehicle part, or other causes.
  • Pedestrian fatality accidents: Automobiles are commonly at fault for pedestrian accidents. A lack of maintenance by the government can also lead to pedestrian fatalities.
  • Workplace fatalities: Workers' compensation covers most work-related deaths. The family of a person who died may file a lawsuit for wrongful death when the fatality was caused by a third party or negligence by the employer was responsible.
  • Product liability: The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that more than 21,000 deaths are caused by product defects yearly. It is possible to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer if a loved one died due to a defective item.
  • Farming accidents: Among the causes of farm fatalities are entanglement accidents, falls, and rollovers. A grieving family may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim when safety measures were not taken, or hazards were present.
  • Common carriers: In an accident involving a fatality caused by negligence, the owners of common carriers, including taxis, rideshare vehicles such as Uber, buses, and trains, may be held liable with the help of a Richmond wrongful death attorney.
  • Medical malpractice: This can lead to wrongful death, such as misdiagnosis, incorrect surgery site, and negligent hospital care.
Providing Support to Grieving Families

It can sometimes be difficult for some people to express their sympathy and support for grieving families. Grief, shock, and disbelief are all overwhelming phenomena that make it difficult to cope and respond. However, some of how you can help are to show as much support as you can, including:

  • Don't hesitate to send flowers, send a sympathy card or call the family to let them know you are thinking of them.
  • Pay your visit to the grieving family and listen sympathetically whenever you can. Someone who has lost a loved one needs to speak about that person, which is one method of going through the grief stages.
  • Food is typically delivered to the house after a family loses a loved one. Some dishes are prepared at home and delivered, while others are ordered by sympathetic friends. A person who has lost a loved one is usually surrounded by lots of company doesn't think about preparing food for themselves, and might even forget to eat. Having prepared food on hand can be helpful.
  • When you can, assist with household chores. Examples include mowing the lawn and washing the dishes. Additionally, offering to run errands, such as picking up children from school, can be helpful.
  • Remember that grief doesn't stop after the funeral, so stay in touch with a sympathetic ear and offer help where you can.

Attorney Ed Smith discusses filing a wrongful death lawsuit in the following video:

Contact Our Wrongful Death Lawyers in Richmond, CA

When your family has lost a loved one because another driver or other entity was negligent, you may want to place a claim for wrongful death. Legal representation can make a difference in the amount that you recover. Our Richmond wrongful death lawyers at have the determination and skills you need to resolve your case successfully. You are welcome to review our verdicts and settlements page to see how we've helped others. Call us at (510) 631-0200 or (800) 404-5400 to set up a free consultation today. We can be reached online as well.

Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 7.19.22]

Photo attribution: by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay

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