Pursuing a Wrongful Death Case by a Non-Family Member in California
In most wrongful death cases it is the family that is left to find justice for the death of their loved one. But what happens to victims who let no family behind? Can a non-family member file a wrongful death suit and lawfully compensate for the untimely death of an individual? Our team of Los Angeles personal injury lawyers talk about the laws in California that allow non-family members to seek justice in wrongful death cases.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit as a non-family member
California allows for a number of individuals to pursue legal justice by filing a lawsuit after the wrongful death of a beloved individual. The parties allowed to seek legal justice will include the spouses, children, parents, brothers and sisters and domestic partners. However, the law is also permissive towards individuals who were dependent on the individual who suffered an untimely or wrongful death. Also included on the list of individuals who can claim compensations are stepchildren.
While it is normal or expected of these blood relatives or spouses to seek legal aid in case of the wrongful death of a loved one, there are those cases in which the deceased had no such relatives or spouses. In these cases, it is possible for non-blood related individuals to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A non-blood relative is more likely to have a solid claim in this case if he or she was included in the will of the deceased.
Wrongful death suits filed by multiple parties
It is common practice that when the plaintiff is included in the will of the deceased individual, the compensation for the wrongful death will be included in the estate and will split among the heirs. This means that even if only one of the heirs filed the wrongful death lawsuit, the value of the settlement will be included in the total value of the estate for all heirs to benefit from.
In those cases where there are multiple parties claiming a wrongful death claim who are not related and who are not blood relatives of the deceased, the claims will be brought together to form a single claim.
One of our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers can help you submit a wrongful death claim either as a surviving relative or as a non-blood relation who has suffered from the death of an individual. Contact us for more information on how we can help you.