San Diego Wrongful Death Lawyers


When tragedy strikes in the form of an unexpected loss, navigating the aftermath can feel like wandering through scary, uncharted territory. This is where a skilled San Diego wrongful death lawyer steps in - not just as legal counsel but as a beacon of hope amidst despair. While obtaining compensation for your loved one's loss can make things much easier, when it comes to seeking justice for a lost family member, there are no percentages or statistics that could possibly quantify your grief.

San Diego Wrongful Death Law Firm

Let's walk through this journey together, exploring how having the right attorney by your side can make all the difference.

Table of Contents:

Understanding Wrongful Death Law in San Diego

Losing a loved one is never easy, especially when their death was caused by someone else's negligence or wrongdoing. In these tragic situations, surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim to seek justice and compensation for their losses.

But what exactly is wrongful death, and how does it work in San Diego? Let's break it down.

What Is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a legal term that refers to a death caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional act of another person or entity. In California, wrongful death claims are governed by Code of Civil Procedure 377.60, which allows certain family members to seek compensation for their losses.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In California, the following parties may file a wrongful death claim:

  • Surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • Surviving children
  • Surviving grandchildren (if the deceased person's children are also deceased)
  • Other dependent minors living in the household for at least 180 days
  • Parents, siblings, or children of siblings (if they were financially dependent on the deceased)

Damages Available in Wrongful Death Cases

Damages in a wrongful death case may include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of gifts or benefits expected to be received
  • Loss of household services
  • Loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support

Common Causes of Wrongful Death in San Diego

Wrongful death cases can arise from a variety of tragic situations. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death in San Diego include:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, there were 3,606 motor vehicle fatalities in California in 2019. Common causes of fatal car accidents include speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, and reckless driving.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide the standard of care, resulting in injury or death. Examples include surgical errors, misdiagnosis, medication errors, and birth injuries. A Johns Hopkins study suggests medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S.

Workplace Accidents

In 2019, there were 451 fatal work injuries in California according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Industries with high fatality rates include construction, transportation, agriculture, and manufacturing. Employers have a duty to provide a safe work environment and proper training.

Defective Products

Defective products, such as faulty vehicles, dangerous drugs, and malfunctioning machinery, can cause fatal injuries. Product liability law holds manufacturers, distributors, and retailers responsible for ensuring their products are safe for intended use.

How a San Diego Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

If you've lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence or wrongdoing, our skilled San Diego wrongful death lawyers can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.

Investigating Your Case

Our wrongful death attorneys will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one's death. This may involve gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, reviewing medical records, and consulting with experts to build a strong case on your behalf.

Identifying Liable Parties

In some cases, multiple parties may be liable for a wrongful death. Our experienced lawyers can identify all potential defendants, which may include individuals, businesses, government entities, or manufacturers, to ensure you receive maximum compensation.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies often try to settle wrongful death claims for less than they are worth. Our knowledgeable attorneys can handle all communication with insurers and negotiate aggressively for a fair settlement that accounts for all your damages.

Representing You in Court

If a fair settlement cannot be reached, our wrongful death lawyers will be prepared to take your case to trial. They will present compelling arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and fight for your rights in court to secure the justice and compensation you deserve.

Proving Liability in a Wrongful Death Claim

To win a wrongful death claim, you must prove that the defendant's negligence or wrongdoing caused your loved one's death. This involves establishing four key elements:

Establishing Duty of Care

First, you must show that the defendant owed your loved one a duty of care. This means they had a legal obligation to act in a manner that would not cause harm. For example, drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and follow traffic laws.

Showing Breach of Duty

Next, you must demonstrate that the defendant breached their duty of care by acting negligently, recklessly, or intentionally. Examples include a doctor failing to diagnose a serious condition or a manufacturer selling a defective product.

Proving Causation

You must establish a direct link between the defendant's breach of duty and your loved one's death. In other words, you must show that the death would not have occurred but for the defendant's actions or inaction.

Demonstrating Damages

Lastly, you must prove that you suffered damages as a result of your loved one's wrongful death, such as financial losses, emotional distress, and loss of companionship. An attorney can help you calculate and document your damages to ensure you are fully compensated.

Compensation in a San Diego Wrongful Death Lawsuit

If your wrongful death claim is successful, you may be entitled to various types of compensation for your losses. These damages can be divided into three main categories:

Economic Damages

Economic damages are quantifiable financial losses, such as:

  • Medical expenses related to your loved one's final injury or illness
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of the deceased's expected income and benefits
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Value of goods and services the deceased would have provided

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as:

  • Loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support
  • Loss of training and guidance (for surviving children)
  • Loss of sexual relations (for surviving spouse)

While difficult to quantify, these damages can be substantial and are an important part of a wrongful death claim.

Punitive Damages

In rare cases where the defendant's conduct was particularly egregious or intentional, the court may award punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future. However, punitive damages are not available in all wrongful death cases.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in California

It's important to note that there is a limited time frame in which you can file a wrongful death claim in California. This is known as the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in California is generally two years from the date of the deceased's death, per Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1. However, there are some exceptions:

  • Claims against government entities: You must file a notice of claim within 6 months of the death.
  • Medical malpractice: The statute of limitations is 3 years from the date of injury or 1 year from the date of discovery, whichever occurs first.

It is crucial to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your claim is filed within the applicable deadline.

Choosing the Right San Diego Wrongful Death Lawyer

When you're grieving the loss of a loved one, the thought of finding the right attorney to handle your wrongful death claim can feel overwhelming. But having a skilled, compassionate lawyer on your side can make all the difference in getting the justice and compensation you deserve.

Experience Handling Wrongful Death Cases

When selecting a wrongful death attorney, look for someone with extensive experience handling cases similar to yours. Ask about their track record of success, including settlements and verdicts obtained for clients. Our experienced lawyers have the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of your case.

Compassionate Representation

Losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult and emotional experience. Choose a wrongful death attorney who is compassionate, understanding, and supportive during this challenging time. They should be responsive to your needs, keep you informed throughout the process, and treat you with the respect and sensitivity you deserve.

Resources to Handle Complex Cases

Wrongful death cases in San Diego often involve complex legal and medical issues, requiring significant resources to build a strong case. Our law firm has access to expert witnesses, investigators, and other professionals who can help gather evidence and testify on your behalf. We have the financial capacity to take your case to trial if necessary.

Key Takeaway: 

Understanding wrongful death law is crucial when you lose someone due to another's fault. San Diego injury lawyers can help prove negligence, identify liable parties, and fight for fair compensation, covering everything from funeral costs to loss of companionship.


The road following a loved one's passing due to someone else's negligence is fraught with challenges both emotional and logistical. Yet amid this stormy weather stands something steadfast – A San Diego wrongful death lawyer ready to shoulder part of your burden.

This isn't about replacing what was lost; nothing ever could. It's about finding closure, securing justice for those who no longer can speak for themselves, and ensuring such tragedies are less likely down the line because someone decided enough was enough today.

A chapter may have ended tragically too soon due to circumstances beyond control but starting another wherein fairness prevails becomes possible with expert guidance from compassionate legal professionals committed not just towards winning cases but healing hearts along their quest toward righteousness.

[LAW FIRM NAME] Is Here for You

At [LAW FIRM NAME], [I/WE] focus on [PRACTICE AREA(S)] and [I/WE] [AM/ARE] here to listen to you and help you navigate the legal system.

We Focus On Your Case So You Can Focus On Healing

If you were injured as the result of someone else's negligence, our legal team is standing by to help. We've helped victims recover over $1 Billion with a 98% success rate. We can help guide you through the entire claim process. Call us at 310-777-7540 for a free, confidential consultation.