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Vaage Law > Practice Areas > Wrongful Death

San Diego Wrongful Death Attorney

Pursue Justice for Your Lost Loved One

The loss of a loved one can be the hardest and most painful thing a family may experience. When a loved one has been killed in an accident, the loss is sudden and devastating. We at Vaage Law can help you and your family obtain compensation for your loss by filing a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death occurs when a person is killed as a result of the negligence or misconduct of another person, company, or entity.

Wrongful death cases arise from a variety of circumstances, including, but not limited to:

Robert Vaage has more than 35 years of experience in representing families in wrongful death cases. Our firm has the legal and financial resources to successfully help victims seek justice and can advise you of your legal rights and options if you or a family member has been injured.


Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

In California, wrongful death statutes allow surviving heirs to seek specific damages for the death of a family member due to negligence. A wrongful death claim can be filed against individuals, companies, and organizations.
According to § 377.60-377.62 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, the following individuals are permitted to file a wrongful death claim:

  • Surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • Surviving children
    Under the statute, “domestic partner” means a person who, at the time of the decedent’s death, was in a registered domestic partnership with the deceased.
    If there is no surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children, then the following persons are permitted to file a claim:
  • Dependents of the deceased
  • A putative spouse (a surviving spouse of a void or voidable marriage)
  • The children of a putative spouse
  • Stepchildren
  • Parents

The plaintiffs must show that the death was caused by another party’s negligent or intentional conduct and that surviving family members have suffered economic and non-economic damages.

What Are the Damages for a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

The types of damages available to heirs are set forth in California Civil Jury Instruction (CACI) 3921. They include:

  • Financial support of the decedent
  • The loss of gifts and benefits expected
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The value of household services the decedent would have provided
  • Loss of the decedent’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, moral support
  • If applicable, loss of enjoyment of sexual relations
  • Loss of the decedent’s training and guidance.

A jury is specifically instructed not to consider the heirs’ grief, sorrow, mental anguish, the decedent’s pain and suffering or the poverty or wealth of the heirs.

Parents discuss the wrongful death of their daughter caused by hospital negligence.

Ready to begin filing a wrongful death claim? Request a free consultation online or by calling (619) 338-0505.

Millions of Dollars Recovered On Behalf of Clients

Wrongful Death

Our firm has successfully represented the heirs in a wide range of wrongful death cases. Over the years, we have recovered more than $150 million in compensation for our clients. Our San Diego wrongful death attorneys will work to recover the expenses related to your loss, replace wages, and secure the financial future of you and your family. We will protect your rights and make sure that you are treated fairly.

Because wrongful death claims have a strict statute of limitations or filing deadline, time is of the essence. Preserving evidence and identifying defendants are key factors involved in wrongful death cases. An autopsy can assist in helping to determine the cause of death.

Contact Our Team for Step-by-Step Guidance

It takes a trained and experienced wrongful death attorney to investigate the cause of death and identify the responsible party or parties. Our firm will conduct such an investigation into the incident, communicate with the insurance companies and defense counsel. You do not have to face this difficult moment alone.

Give us a call today to begin filing a wrongful death claim for your loved one.


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