San Jose Wrongful Death Attorney


San Jose is a city known for its constant innovation and technological advancements. However, like any bustling place, accidents can happen. These accidents might involve things breaking, people driving drunk, or companies not following safety rules.

When such accidents lead to someone losing their life, San Jose wrongful death lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm helps the family members left behind by representing them in legal cases called wrongful death lawsuits.

Why Choose Our San Jose Wrongful Death Attorneys?

We have a unique capability to manage wrongful death cases in San Jose. Wilshire Law Firm has achieved remarkable results in wrongful death lawsuits, such as a recent $14 million settlement where the evidence pointed to truck safety problems as the cause of the driver’s tragic demise.

Our ongoing success has garnered significant recognition. We were honored as a top-tier law firm by both U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® for four consecutive years. These multiple awards testify to our unwavering commitment to delivering outstanding legal services and staunchly advocating for our clients.

We have a skilled team of over 500 legal professionals at Wilshire Law Firm, each bringing experience and compassion to our practice. Our San Jose personal injury attorneys are advocating for families, seeking justice and rightful compensation in difficult times.

Our San Jose office is at 4340 Stevens Creek Blvd, Suite 287, San Jose, CA 95129. It is near some readily recognizable landmarks in the city, like John Mise Park and Harker Academy, providing easy admission for our clients.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in San Jose?

In San Jose, California, a wrongful death claim can typically be filed by specific individuals who are closely related to the deceased person.

California’s wrongful death statute, under California Code of Civil Procedure section 377.60, allows the following parties to bring a wrongful death lawsuit:

A diverse group of men, dressed in black, carrying a wooden coffin adorned with white flowers on the closed lid.
  • Surviving Spouse or Domestic Partner: The surviving spouse or domestic partner of the deceased person has the first right to file a wrongful death claim.
  • Children: If there is no surviving spouse or domestic partner, the deceased person’s surviving children can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Dependent Children: Even if there is a surviving spouse or domestic partner, dependent children (those who relied on the deceased for financial support) may also have the right to file a wrongful death claim.
  • Other Dependent Family Members: In some cases, other dependent family members, such as stepchildren, parents, or other individuals who were financially dependent on the deceased person, may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Personal Representative: If no surviving family members are eligible to file a claim, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may bring a wrongful death action on behalf of the estate.

Wrongful death claims in California are subject to specific legal requirements and deadlines. Consulting with an experienced attorney in San Jose is crucial if you believe you may have a valid claim or if you are uncertain about your eligibility to file a claim. 

An attorney can guide the legal process and help you determine the best course of action based on your specific circumstances.

Wrongful Death Compensation in San Jose

At Wilshire Law Firm, our San Jose attorneys experienced in wrongful death delve into every facet of your case, from financial losses to intangible damages, ensuring a thorough and inclusive strategy for obtaining compensation.

Earning Losses

Compensation for lost wages includes the potential income the deceased would have earned. Establishing this involves examining the deceased’s earnings history, career potential, and future earnings projections based on their age, skills, and experience.

Our firm uses expert witnesses to project these earnings accurately, ensuring they are factored into the compensation claim.

Lost Benefits

Repayment for lost benefits includes all the deceased would have received, such as pension plans, medical benefits, and retirement funds. We collect employment records and benefit statements, calculating the monetary value of these benefits to incorporate them into the claim.

Medical and Funeral Expenses

These damages encompass the medical expenses resulting from the fatal injury, as well as the expenses associated with funeral arrangements. These costs are usually a substantial portion of the claim. We gather all pertinent invoices and work toward their complete reimbursement, easing the financial strain on the family.

Loss of Companionship and Guidance

This non-economic damage reflects the loss of love, companionship, comfort, and guidance from the deceased. We show the intensity of the relationship between the claimants and their loved one and the deep impact of the loss. We show the court these intangible losses through personal testimonies and psychological evaluations.

Emotional Distress

The mental anguish of the bereaved is another factor in wrongful death cases. We use psychological assessments and testimonies about the mental health impacts to establish this hardship. We quantify and seek recognition for this suffering in the compensation.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages punish the wrongdoer in cases of intentional harm or flagrant neglect. We provide strong evidence and legal arguments to support wrongful death damages and discourage similar behavior.

At Wilshire Law Firm, our approach to wrongful death claims combines sympathetic legal counsel and rigorous, evidence-based strategy, ensuring that every possible damage is accounted for.

Our San Jose wrongful death attorneys negotiate skillfully with insurance companies and are prepared to take the case to trial if necessary. We aim to provide a sense of justice and support to families in San Jose who are struggling with the outcome of a wrongful death.

Time Frame and Scheduling

The time limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in California is typically two years from the date the person passed away. However, there are some unique situations:

If the healthcare provider hid the negligence or lied about the cause of death, you have one year from when you discovered the deception but not more than four years from the date of death.

The discovery rule means that the clock doesn’t start ticking until you, as a family member, find out or should have found out what caused the death. This can extend the two-year limit but doesn’t apply to cases against the government.

If the wrongful death involves the government, you have only six months from the date of death to take legal action. 

For example, accidents at public schools, or with government-owned vehicles, or malpractice at public medical centers, are exemptions.

You must file a claim with the relevant government agency. If they deny your claim or don’t respond within 45 days, you have six months from the date of denial or the end of the 45 days to file a lawsuit.

When a minor is filing a wrongful death claim for the loss of a parent, they have two years from turning 18 years old or six months after the date of death, whichever comes later. 

For example, if a 12-year-old loses a parent, they have until they’re 20 years and six months old to take legal action. 

The San Jose Statute of Limitations is confusing. One slight misunderstanding can cost you your compensation. Consulting an experienced San Jose wrongful death lawyer can ensure you get the settlement you’re owed for the loss of your loved one.

What Accidents Can Cause a Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death can result from various types of accidents and incidents. Some common examples include:

  • Car Accidents: Fatalities can occur due to car, motorcycle, or truck accidents caused by factors like speeding, reckless driving, drunk driving, or distracted driving.
  • Workplace Accidents: Fatal workplace accidents may occur in construction, manufacturing, or transportation industries due to unsafe working conditions or equipment malfunctions.
  • Product Liability: Defective products or medications can cause fatal injuries, leading to wrongful death claims against manufacturers or distributors.
  • Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse: Negligence or abuse in nursing homes and long-term care facilities can result in wrongful death claims on behalf of elderly residents.
  • Slip and Fall Accidents: Property owners may be liable for wrongful death if their negligence, such as failing to provide safe premises, leads to a fatal fall.
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents: Fatalities can occur when pedestrians or cyclists are struck by motor vehicles due to drivers’ negligence.
  • Accidents on Public or Private Property: Hazardous public or private property conditions, such as poorly maintained sidewalks or buildings, can lead to fatal accidents.
  • Defective or Dangerous Products: Product defects, including those in consumer goods or industrial equipment, can result in fatalities.
  • Construction Site Accidents: Fatalities may happen at construction sites due to falls, equipment accidents, or unsafe working conditions.
  • Boating and Aviation Accidents: Accidents involving boats, ships, or aircraft can lead to wrongful death claims if negligence or misconduct plays a role.

Each wrongful death case is unique, and liability depends on the specific circumstances and evidence. 

If you believe a loved one’s death was the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions, it’s advisable to consult with an attorney experienced in wrongful death claims to explore your legal options.

How Can a Lawyer Help with a Wrongful Death Case?

A lawyer can provide valuable assistance in a wrongful death case in several ways:

Wilshire Law Firm
  • Legal Knowledge: An experienced wrongful death attorney understands the applicable laws and regulations, which can be complex. They can navigate the legal process and ensure that your case is handled correctly from a legal standpoint.
  • Investigation: Attorneys can conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence related to the incident that caused the wrongful death. This may involve obtaining witness statements, medical records, accident reports, and other relevant documents.
  • Establishing Liability: Lawyers work to determine who is legally responsible for the wrongful death and build a compelling case to establish liability. This often involves identifying negligence or wrongful actions by individuals, businesses, or entities.
  • Valuing the Claim: Attorneys can assess the value of your wrongful death claim by considering various factors, including medical expenses, lost income, funeral costs, and the emotional impact on surviving family members.
  • Negotiating With Insurance Companies: Most wrongful death cases involve negotiations with insurance companies representing the liable parties. Lawyers are skilled negotiators who can advocate on your behalf to secure a fair settlement.
  • Filing Legal Documents: Attorneys handle the complex paperwork and legal documentation required for filing a wrongful death lawsuit, ensuring that all deadlines and requirements are met.
  • Litigation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your attorney can take your case to court and represent you during the litigation process, including trial.
  • Emotional Support: Dealing with a wrongful death case is emotionally challenging. A compassionate attorney can support and guide surviving family members throughout the legal proceedings.
  • Estate Matters: In some cases, attorneys may assist with matters related to the deceased person’s estate, including probate proceedings, or managing financial affairs.
  • Advocacy for Justice: Beyond financial compensation, lawyers can help families seek justice for their loved one by holding responsible parties accountable for their actions.
  • Experience in Similar Cases: An attorney with experience in wrongful death cases can draw on their knowledge of similar cases to develop effective strategies and arguments tailored to your situation.

Choose a qualified and compassionate attorney who thoroughly understands wrongful death cases to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation and closure you deserve during this difficult time.

Call Us if You’ve Experienced a Wrongful Death in San Jose 

Our attorneys can help you start the legal process, from filing a claim to negotiating with insurance companies and, if necessary, representing your interests in court. We are committed to ensuring our clients receive the required legal representation they deserve in such an emotionally tumultuous time.

After a wrongful death in San Jose, contact us online for a free consultation or call (415) 704-9912 to discuss your case.

Our San Jose Location

Wilshire Law Firm

4340 Stevens Creek Blvd UNIT 287
San Jose, CA 95129
Tel: (408) 560-4642

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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.