Who Can Submit a Wrongful Death Claim?

Who Can Submit a Wrongful Death Claim?

Losing a loved one is a painful experience, and when someone’s negligence or intentional actions cause their death, it can be even more traumatic. In California, wrongful death claims are a way to seek compensation for damages resulting from a loved one’s death caused by someone’s wrongful act.

However, not everyone is entitled to file a wrongful death claim in California. Read on to discover who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in California and how a Ventura County lawyer can help.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Many people often ask what a wrongful death claim means. A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that allows people to seek compensation for the damages resulting from a person’s death caused by someone’s wrongful act, whether that action is a result of neglect or default. The purpose of this type of lawsuit is to compensate the surviving family members for the loss of their loved one and hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.

Who Can Submit a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

For wrongful death California, the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) § 377.60 that only certain individuals are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. These individuals could be an estate representative, surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, parents/guardians, and siblings.

Surviving Spouse or Domestic Partner

Under the category of wrongful death California, the law gives priority to surviving spouses and domestic partners over other potential claimants. If the deceased person leaves behind a spouse or a partner, then the next group of people who can start a wrongful death claim is their children.


The children must be the biological or adopted children of the deceased person, and they must have been financially dependent on the deceased person at the time of their death. In California, minors are not allowed to pursue legal action, which includes personal injury and wrongful death cases. To pursue compensation for the wrongful death, the minor will require the assistance of a living guardian.


If the deceased person did not have a living spouse, domestic partner, or children, then their parents can file a wrongful death claim. However, the parents must also be able to prove that they were financially dependent on their deceased child.


If the deceased person did not have living parents, children, a surviving spouse, a domestic partner, or heirs, then their siblings have the right to file a wrongful death claim.

In addition to the individuals listed above, it is essential to note that heirs and estate representatives can also file wrongful death claims in California. It is crucial to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can guide you through the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims

It is important to note that in California, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is 2 years from the date of the person’s death. Failure to file a claim within this time results in losing the right to seek compensation for the loss of the deceased individual.

It is also important to note that not all wrongful deaths are eligible for a claim. For example, if the deceased died as a result of natural causes, due to their own actions, or because they engaged in illegal activities at the time of their death, then nobody in their life can file a wrongful death claim.

Evidence Needed for a Wrongful Death Claim

If you suspect a loved one has experienced a wrongful death, there are attorneys in Thousand Oaks, CA, who can help. Speaking to a Ventura County lawyer can help you determine your eligibility to start a wrongful death claim and discuss your options.

However, you also need evidence to prove the negligence and liability of the other party. Evidence in a wrongful death claim includes:

  • Criminal Records
  • Medical Records
  • Expert Testimony
  • Police Reports
  • Surveillance Video
  • Photos

If you believe you may have a wrongful death claim, speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to explore your legal options. Mark S. Glazer, APC, has developed a well-regarded reputation for creativity, resourcefulness, and thoroughness. Based in Thousand Oaks, California, we treat our clients’ matters like ours. Contact us today at 818-591-0190 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys.