In the event that a loved one has passed away due to negligence in California, you may have the right to file for a wrongful death suit. However, not everybody is eligible to file for wrongful death. According to the State of California, if you are one of the following relations to the deceased, you are entitled to file a wrongful death claim:
Spouse. If you were legally married to the deceased prior to their death, you are entitled to file a wrongful lawsuit. In the state of California domestic partners are also entitled to file wrongful death. Additionally, if you happen to be a putative partner, or a person who believed that he or she was married to the deceased but turned out not to be, you are still entitled to file wrongful death if you were financially dependent on the deceased.
Children. Both biological and adoptive children are eligible to file wrongful death. Additionally, minors who had resided with the deceased for more than 180 days prior to death and were financially dependent upon the deceased may file wrongful death as a child of the deceased.
Parents. In the event that the deceased did not have legal descendants, parents may also file wrongful death. Parents who can prove that they were financially dependent upon their child may also file even if there are other descendants.
Different heirs. In the event that the deceased does not have a will or clear legal heirs, a third party may be eligible to file for wrongful death. Additionally, if there are multiple individuals who are eligible to file a wrongful death suit, sometimes the eligible parties will choose one individual to act as the heir to file the suit for simplicity’s sake.