California Wrongful Death Laws

The California wrongful death laws can be found in Article 6, chapter 4 of Title 3 of Californi Code of Civil Procedure (Cal. Code Civ. Proc.).  Pursuant to Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 377.60, a cause of action for the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another may be asserted by any of the following persons or by the decedent’s personal representative on their behalf:

1) The decedent’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, and issue of deceased children, or, if there is no surviving issue of the decedent, the persons, including the surviving spouse or domestic partner, who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession.

2) If they were dependent on the decedent, the putative spouse, children of the putative spouse, stepchildren, or parents. According to the Act, putative spouse means the surviving spouse of a void or voidable marriage who is found by the court to have believed in good faith that the marriage to the decedent was valid.

3) A minor, if, at the time of the decedent’s death, the minor resided for the previous 180 days in the decedent’s household and was dependent on the decedent for one-half or more of the minor’s support.


Inside California Wrongful Death Laws