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San Francisco Wrongful Death Lawyer

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San Francisco Wrongful Death Lawyer


Dealing with the aftermath of a fatal incident is challenging in itself, let alone the stress of filing a wrongful death action against the individual or entity responsible for the loss of life. Surviving family members are often faced with anger and frustration in addition to grief in these devastating situations. Fatal accidents may occur suddenly, and when they do, families can trust an experienced California wrongful death lawyer to help them move forward in their pursuit of justice and financial relief.

The legal team at AutoAccident.com is committed to helping families explore their options after a loved one has been killed in an accident. Our skilled wrongful death lawyers in San Francisco are available to provide free, friendly case advice at your convenience at (415) 805-7284 or (800) 404-5400.

Our compassionate attorneys will guide your family through the legal process, ensuring that you understand your rights, explore the options available, and provide valuable information on what to expect moving forward. When you contact our law firm for assistance, we will provide the compassion and guidance your family needs. We represent clients in San Francisco and throughout California. Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced and knowledgeable lawyers today.

Who Can Be Held Accountable?

When coping with loss and grief following the death of a close relative in an accident, it may be challenging to determine who is responsible for the fatal incident. An experienced wrongful death lawyer serving San Francisco can assist surviving family members by conducting an in-depth investigation and properly establishing liability. Possible defendants may include but are not limited to:

  • Individual: An individual may be deemed negligent if they fail to exercise due care, causing a fatal incident. In a traffic collision, a motorist may be held accountable for the incident if they were speeding, driving while impaired, texting and driving, or engaged in other careless driving behaviors.
  • Employer: If a fatal incident was caused by an individual during their course of employment, the employer may be held liable for failure to maintain safe working conditions, the actions of their employees, and other forms of negligence.
  • Government Entity: In fatal accident cases where a public agency’s negligent actions lead to a fatal incident, the government entity may be held accountable. This may include motor vehicle collisions caused by government employee negligence or unsafe road conditions.
  • Product Manufacturer: If a flaw in the design, manufacturing, or marketing of a product results in a loss of life, the manufacturer may be held liable for their negligence. Depending on the facts of the matter, the retailer or distributor of the faulty product may also be held accountable.
What Must Be Proven in a Fatal Accident Case?

To bring a successful wrongful death lawsuit for a fatal accident, various elements must be proven through clear and compelling evidence. These include:

  • Duty of Care: The concept of duty of care entails the legal obligation that an individual or entity must exercise reasonable caution and avoid causing harm to others. It is grounded in the belief that an incident causing harm or injury to others occurs through negligence.
  • Breach of Duty: If a duty of care is shown to have existed between the defendant and the decedent, the family and their attorney will provide compelling evidence demonstrating that this duty was breached or violated through negligence.
  • Causation: A surviving family member and their lawyer must prove that the breach of duty was the direct cause of the incident resulting in the decedent’s demise. This is done through presenting evidence showing how the opposing party’s negligence was the direct cause of the fatal accident.
  • Damages: Establishing liability and damages requires evidence that the surviving family members have been harmed emotionally and financially. An experienced lawyer will consult experts to determine the extent of damages incurred.

Our legal team at AutoAccident.com is available to assist your family with your potential case. Contact our SF wrongful death attorneys for a free consultation today.

Who Can File for Wrongful Death in California?

The immediate family of the deceased has priority and grounds to bring a wrongful death case in the state of California. This includes:

  • Surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children

If there are no surviving children, domestic partner, or spouse, other family members may be eligible to bring a claim. This may include:

  • Parents, stepchildren, putative spouse, children of the putative spouse, and other relatives who had financial dependence on the deceased

Filing eligibility is outlined in the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60. To determine if you are eligible to file a wrongful death action in San Francisco, contact our legal team for a free case review.

What Damages Can Surviving Family Members Recover?

A wrongful death action is filed when an individual is killed in an incident due to another party’s recklessness or negligence, whether in San Francisco or elsewhere in California. The purpose of these cases is to provide monetary relief to survivors who have suffered financially and emotionally due to the unexpected loss of life. Eligible claimants may seek reimbursement of economic and non-economic damages, including:

  • Expenses for final resting arrangements
  • Mental anguish experienced by surviving family members
  • The decedent’s services and financial contributions provided to the household
  • The deceased’s medical bills for final injuries in the accident (recovered through a survival action)
  • Loss of benefits, such as pension and health insurance, the deceased would have provided to the family if not for the fatal incident

In rare cases, the court may award the plaintiff with punitive damages. These are awarded separately from compensatory damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the at-fault party for egregious conduct and deter others from carrying out similar actions in the future. Examples of fatal car accident cases where punitive damages may be warranted include those involving excessive speeding or DUI. For additional details, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney near you.

San Francisco Wrongful Death FAQ

How long does it take for a case to resolve?

A case of wrongful death may usually take months or years to reach a resolution with the other side. This is due to the unique facts and circumstances involved in each matter. Understanding the timelines in these cases can help you and your SF wrongful death lawyer work better together when bringing a claim against the opposing party and their insurer.

How much time does a survivor have to file a case?

Surviving family members must file a wrongful death case within the statute of limitations in California. This is generally within two years of the fatal incident date, as outlined in CCP 335.1. It is best for survivors to explore their options with an experienced attorney and bring a claim immediately. The right lawyer will work diligently to obtain a successful case outcome.

Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in San Francisco, CA

If you have lost a family member in San Francisco, California, and are considering taking legal action against the party responsible for your loss, it is essential to understand that the claims process is often challenging and requires a considerable amount of experience, skills, and resources. We have what it takes to effectively manage your case, seek justice, and recover the maximum financial relief you deserve. For more information about our law office, we invite you to consult with one of our wrongful death attorneys serving San Francisco. Dial (415) 805-7284 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

Photo Source: Pexels.com User – PavelDanilyuk

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