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Wrongful Death FAQs

Who Can Recover for the Wrongful Death of a Loved One?

In California, persons who may recover for wrongful death include the surviving children, and/or legal spouse or registered domestic partner of the person who has passed away. If there are no surviving children, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren can also recover. In the case where there are no direct descendents living (children, grandchildren, etc), then other extended family members who would inherit the Decedent’s estate if the person died without a will may also recover damages for wrongful death. Please see Cal. Civil Code section 377.60 that describes others, including dependents of the Decedent and minors living with the Decedent, who may potentially recover for the wrongful death of a loved one.

Because the right of recovery to spouses is limited to legally married spouses or registered domestic partners, if you are in a committed opposite-sex or same-sex relationship, it is important to be aware that you cannot recover for the death of your loved one unless you are legally married in the State of California or you legally register as domestic partners with the California Secretary of State.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Their dedication, expertise, and genuine concern for my well being was so appreciated during a very challenging time. Katherine S. Mill Valley, CA
★★★★★
Carter Zinn & his associates were the finest advocates I could have hoped to find representing me after a serious cycling accident. Carter worked tirelessly, dedicating himself at every point in the lengthy legal process. It was an honor to have worked with him & his firm. I give him my very highest rating! Louis Q.
★★★★★
I was involved in a bicycle incident in SF and the Zinn legal team, primarily Andrew Davis, successfully helped me reach a settlement with the defendants. They are hard working, thorough and are dedicated attorneys who specialize in bicycle related accidents. They helped realize the seriousness of my injuries, how my near death circumstances were, in the end, caused by negligence by the defendants and ultimately win just compensation. Robert H.
★★★★★
Carter Zinn is an astute professional. He knows his business well and is realistic about his and his clients' expectations. His guidance, kindness, and methodical approach were greatly appreciated by my husband and me. It was a privilege to work with Carter and we both agree that his knowledge, professionalism, and willingness to work hard all made a big difference in the outcome of this case. Additionally, the support staff at the Zinn Law Firm is a pleasure to work with. Everyone we interacted with is efficient, very pleasant, and extremely understanding. A O.