San Francisco Wrongful Death Lawyer


The pain of losing a loved one is like nothing else. When that loss comes from a needless accident or wrongful death, the family experiences added misery. 

Under California law, the family can initiate a wrongful death claim in civil court when someone loses their life because of another’s negligence, recklessness, or wrongful actions, regardless of whether that party is a business or an individual. 

Wrongful death claims are unrelated to any criminal charges that may accrue against the responsible party, focusing solely on obtaining financial compensation for the grieving family.

Filing a wrongful death claim is confusing. It requires legal knowledge and an understanding of local justice to complete successfully.

Our San Francisco wrongful death lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm can file your wrongful death claim correctly and on time so your family can begin to heal.

Why Choose Our San Francisco Wrongful Death Lawyer?

We network with highly skilled medical, legal, and forensic professionals at Wilshire Law Firm to empower our clients. We serve clients in California with personalized legal assistance, making their needs a priority daily.

Our track record speaks for itself, with well over $1 billion in compensation secured for our clients, emphasizing our unwavering commitment to justice. The legal community has recognized us with accolades and awards, establishing Wilshire Law Firm’s reputation in the field.

Wilshire Law Firm

We also pride ourselves on our client-focused methodology. Your rights matter to us, and choosing Wilshire Law Firm means aggressively maintaining those rights. We support you at every step with skilled and competent legal representation.

We recently won a $38.5 million settlement in a rear-end collision case where the insurance company didn’t want to pay our client fairly. Our victories show how determined we are to fight for justice for our clients.

Because we are the Official Personal Injury Partners of the Los Angeles Chargers, our lawyers are known for their merit in personal injury, employment law, and class action cases. U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers named us one of the best law firms for four years straight.

No matter which of our locations you visit, you’ll find exceptional legal assistance. We provide a comfortable and professional atmosphere to ensure every client receives the support they need.

When you choose San Francisco personal injury lawyer at Wilshire Law Firm, you choose a legal partner who cares about your success, with a proven history of winning results and a commitment to personalized representation.

Who Can File for Wrongful Death in California?

Only heirs to the victim are permitted to file a wrongful death claim. Spouses and children are typical survivors but can also be parents or siblings.  

Following immediate heirs, grandparents, and anyone dependent on the deceased may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. 

An experienced San Francisco wrongful death attorney can tell you who is eligible for a wrongful death settlement and how much it may be worth.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death 

Wrongful death can occur because of various circumstances, but some of the most common causes include:

A flower-adorned coffin in a morgue, symbolizing loss and mourning.
  • Car accidents: Fatalities resulting from car crashes often occur due to negligence, reckless driving, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Workplace accidents: Fatal workplace accidents can happen in construction, manufacturing, or transportation industries. Lack of safety measures, equipment malfunctions, or employer negligence can be contributing factors.
  • Defective products: Products with design flaws or manufacturing defects can cause fatal accidents. These might include faulty machinery, appliances, or pharmaceuticals.
  • Slip and fall accidents: Property owners are responsible if their negligence leads to fatal accidents, especially in stores, restaurants, or public spaces.
  • Recreational activities: Fatalities can occur during recreational activities like boating, swimming, or sports due to negligence, lack of safety precautions, or equipment failures.
  • Dangerous premises: Property owners who don’t maintain safe conditions can be liable for wrongful deaths caused by hazards like broken stairs, slippery floors, or inadequate security.

Each wrongful death case is unique, and the circumstances surrounding each case can vary widely. Legal action may be pursued against responsible parties when negligence or wrongful actions lead to death.

What Damages Can You Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim?

In a wrongful death claim, the damages vary depending on the specific circumstances, the applicable laws, and the jurisdiction. 

Common types of damages that may be recoverable in a wrongful death claim include:

Economic Damages:

  • Medical expenses incurred before the victim’s death because of the accident.
  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • Loss of financial support, including the victim’s income and potential future earnings.
  • Loss of the value of services, such as household chores, childcare, or other contributions the deceased would have provided.

Non-Economic Damages:

  • Pain and suffering of the deceased before their death.
  • Loss of companionship, guidance, and emotional support experienced by surviving family members.
  • Mental and emotional distress suffered by surviving family members.
  • Loss of consortium refers to the impact on the marital relationship.

Punitive Damages:

The court awards punitive damage in cases of extreme negligence or intentional misconduct. They punish the at-fault party to deter similar behavior.

Consult with a qualified attorney focusing on wrongful death cases to understand the specific damages available to you and navigate the legal process effectively. 

The availability and calculation of damages can vary significantly from one case to another and from one jurisdiction to another.

What factors affect the amount of compensation awarded in wrongful death cases?

The circumstances of the case, the jurisdiction, and applicable laws can influence the amount of compensation awarded in wrongful death cases. 

Some of the key factors include:

  • Liability: The defendant’s degree of fault or negligence can significantly impact the compensation amount. If the defendant’s actions were clearly negligent or intentional, it may lead to higher compensation.
  • Economic damages: Economic damages, such as medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and lost financial support, are typically quantifiable and play a significant role in determining compensation. The higher the economic losses, the higher the potential compensation.
  • Non-economic damages: Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress, are subjective and more challenging to quantify. Jurors or insurers may consider the emotional impact on surviving family members when determining compensation.
  • Insurance coverage: The availability and limits of insurance coverage held by the at-fault party can affect the compensation amount. If the defendant has substantial insurance coverage, it may increase the potential compensation.
  • Professional testimony: Professional witnesses can provide testimony on various aspects of the case, such as the extent of the injuries, the economic losses, and the long-term impact on surviving family members. Their testimony can influence the compensation awarded.

Consult with an experienced attorney who understands San Francisco wrongful death cases to assess the unique factors and circumstances of your case so they can pursue the appropriate compensation on behalf of the surviving family members. 

How Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help Me in San Francisco?

A lawyer can be helpful with a wrongful death case in San Francisco by providing the following services and support:

  • Legal knowhow: Lawyers focusing in wrongful death cases have a deep understanding of California’s laws and regulations related to wrongful death claims. They can navigate the legal complexities and ensure your case is filed correctly.
  • Investigation: Attorneys can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the death to gather evidence and establish liability, by collecting witness statements, obtaining medical records, analyzing accident reports, and consulting with authorities, if necessary.
  • Identifying responsible parties: Your lawyer will help identify and hold the responsible parties accountable, whether individuals, corporations, healthcare providers, or other entities.
  • Valuing the claim: Determining the value of the wrongful death claim is a crucial aspect of the case. An attorney will assess economic and non-economic damages, such as medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship, to ensure you seek fair compensation.
  • Negotiation: Lawyers are skilled negotiators who can engage in settlement discussions with insurance companies or opposing parties on your behalf. They will work to secure a fair settlement that meets your needs.
  • Litigation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your attorney will be prepared to take your case to court and advocate for your rights before a judge and jury.
  • Statute of limitations compliance: California has a statute that sets a time limit on filing wrongful death claims. An attorney will ensure that your claim is filed within the two-year timeframe in San Francisco.
  • Emotional support: Dealing with a wrongful death case is emotionally challenging. A lawyer can provide guidance, support, and a compassionate approach to help you navigate this complicated process.
  • Estate administration: In cases where the deceased had an estate, your attorney can assist with the administration of the estate, including probate matters, if necessary.
  • Pursuit of justice: Lawyers seek justice for their clients and hold those responsible accountable for their actions. They fight for a just outcome for you and your family.

Having an experienced wrongful death attorney in California drastically enhances your probability of obtaining fair compensation and achieving closure in a difficult time. 

Using Grief Support Groups in San Francisco

We realize the importance of proper counseling after a wrongful death experience and help our clients find the services they need to cope with their loss. 

If you’d like to check around on your own, here are some great places to get started:

  • Hospitals and medical centers: Many hospitals and medical centers offer grief support services or can provide referrals to local support groups. Reach out to the hospital where your loved one was treated or the nearest medical center for information.
  • Mental health organizations: Contact local mental health organizations or counseling centers. They often have information about grief support groups in the area. Search online for “grief support groups in San Francisco.” Many support groups have websites or listings you can find on Google or Bing.
  • Social media and forums: Social media platforms and online forums often have groups and communities dedicated to grief support. Look for Facebook groups or online forums that cater to your specific situation.
  • Places of worship: If you are part of a religious community, it may offer grief support groups or provide information about them.
  • Hospice organizations: Hospice organizations frequently provide grief support services for those who have lost loved ones. Even if your loved one was not in hospice care, these organizations may be able to assist you.
  • Community centers: Local community centers, libraries, or senior centers sometimes host grief support groups or can direct you to nearby resources.
  • Counseling and therapy services: Contact therapists or counselors in your area who are trained in grief and loss. They may offer individual counseling or be aware of group therapy options.
  • Word of mouth: Reach out to friends, family members, or acquaintances who may have experienced similar losses. They might be able to recommend support groups. 
  • National organizations: Some national organizations, such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention or The Compassionate Friends, have local chapters or resources to help you find support groups.

Grief support groups can take various forms, including in-person meetings, online groups, and phone-based support. Choose the format that works best for you and your comfort level. 

Let Wilshire Law Help You

By choosing Wilshire Law Firm, you’re selecting a team devoted to your cause, providing customized legal support tailored to your specific circumstances. 

Our track record of over $1 billion in favorable results for our clients speaks to our dedication and experience. We work tirelessly to ensure that you obtain the compensation you’re entitled to for the challenges you’ve endured.

If you’ve been in an accident, don’t hesitate. Reach out to us today for a complimentary consultation. 

Allow us to alleviate the legal burdens so you can concentrate on what matters most – your recovery and well-being. Count on us to be your advocate and guide as you pursue the justice and compensation you rightfully deserve. Call us at (213) 712-4459.

Our San Francisco Location

Wilshire Law Firm

75 Broadway, Suite 202
San Francisco, CA 94111
Tel: (415) 968-4279

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Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
By submitting this form, you agree to receive telephone calls and text messages at anytime, which include hours outside of business hours (8:00 a.m. PST - 9:00 p.m. PST). This is so that we may reach you as soon as possible in order to consult on your potential case.