Losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult experience, and it can be even harder when their death was caused by someone else’s negligence.

In these cases, hiring a wrongful death attorney can help you seek justice and compensation for your loss.

At GJEL Accident Attorneys we have been representing families needing a Berkeley, CA Wrongful Death Attorney since 1972. If you are considering filing a wrongful death claim time is of the essence. At GJEL we work with you to help get you the support and outcome you need to help life return to normal.

Call our Berkeley personal injury office today at (510) 841-7820 for a free case review or stop by our office at 1214 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA 94710 to make an appointment.

Reasons to Call GJEL About Your Berkeley Wrongful Death Case

If you are dealing with the tragic loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, GJEL Accident Attorneys in Berkeley is here to help. With a 99% success rate and over $950,000,000 recovered for our clients, we have the expertise and experience necessary to handle your wrongful death case. We offer free case reviews and will even visit you at your home or hospital to ensure you get the support you need during this difficult time. Don’t hesitate to call us today to schedule your free consultation and learn more about how we can help you seek justice and compensation for your loss.

  • With a success rate of over 99% since 1972, we have a proven track record of helping injured victims.
  • Our clients have received over $950 million in compensation from insurance companies and corporate defendants.
  • We are highly regarded among our peers and have been ranked among the top law firms nationwide.
  • Our attorneys are experts in accident reconstruction and are known for their successful, speedy resolutions to cases.
  • Insurance companies recognize us as a formidable opponent and we are respected in the legal community.
  • We provide our clients with support from day one, including help with medical bills, vehicle repairs and replacements, rental cars, and other expenses.
  • Our attorneys attended prestigious universities such as Stanford, the University of California, and the University of Chicago.
  • We are an authority in the legal field and other firms and lawyers have noted our speed and skill in resolving cases.
  • We offer free consultations at a time and place that is convenient for our clients.
  • We only get paid upon successful resolution of our clients’ cases, with no up-front fees.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is a legal action that is taken when an individual has died as a result of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing. This type of claim seeks to hold the responsible party accountable for the death of the victim and to compensate the victim’s family for their loss. Wrongful death claims can arise in a variety of contexts, including medical malpractice, automobile accidents, workplace accidents, and product liability cases.

Importance of Wrongful Death Claim

Wrongful death claims are important because they provide a way for the family members of the victim to seek justice and compensation for their loss. In addition to the emotional pain and suffering that the family experiences after losing a loved one, there are often significant financial consequences as well, such as funeral expenses and lost income.

A successful wrongful death claim can help to alleviate some of these burdens and provide a sense of closure for the family. GJEL is a top rated California wrongful death law firm with a 99% case success rate.

Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim

In order to bring a successful wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must prove four key elements:

Duty of Care

The defendant must have owed a duty of care to the victim. This means that the defendant had a legal obligation to act in a certain way in order to prevent harm to others.

Breach of Duty

The defendant must have breached this duty of care by failing to act in the appropriate manner. This breach must have been the cause of the victim’s death.


There must be a direct link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the victim’s death. The plaintiff must be able to demonstrate that the defendant’s actions or inactions were the proximate cause of the victim’s death.


The plaintiff must have suffered damages as a result of the victim’s death. This can include both economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost income, as well as non-economic damages, such as emotional pain and suffering.

What You Need to Know Before Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Berkeley, CA

Losing a loved one is never easy. However, when that loss is due to someone else’s negligence, it can be even more devastating. If you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Berkeley, CA, there are several things you need to know. In this article, we will explore the legal requirements, steps to take, and other important information to help you through this difficult process.

Understanding Wrongful Death in California

Under California law, a wrongful death occurs when someone dies due to the negligence or wrongful conduct of another person or entity. This can include actions such as medical malpractice, car accidents, workplace accidents, or criminal acts.

To file a wrongful death lawsuit, you must be able to prove that the death was caused by the defendant’s wrongful conduct. Additionally, you must be a qualifying family member or representative of the deceased person’s estate.

Qualifying Family Members in California

In California, the following individuals are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Children (including stepchildren and adopted children)
  • Grandchildren (if the deceased person’s children are also deceased)
  • Parents (if the deceased person was unmarried and had no children)
  • Siblings (if the deceased person was unmarried, had no children, and no living parents)

If you do not fall into one of these categories, you may still be able to file a lawsuit if you can prove that you were financially dependent on the deceased person. Read our full article on who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in California here.

Statute of Limitations

It is important to note that there is a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in California. Generally, you have two years from the date of the person’s death to file a claim. If you do not file within this time frame, you may lose your right to do so.

There are some nuances to the law that you should be aware of. Learn more about the wrongful death statute of limitations in California here.

Steps to Take

If you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Berkeley, CA, there are several steps you should take:

  1. Consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney: A qualified attorney can help you understand your legal rights and guide you through the process.
  2. Gather evidence: To build a strong case, you will need to gather evidence such as medical records, witness statements, and accident reports.
  3. Determine damages: You may be entitled to compensation for a variety of damages, including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, and emotional distress.
  4. File a claim: Your attorney will help you file a claim with the appropriate court and serve the defendant with a copy of the complaint.
  5. Negotiate a settlement: In some cases, the defendant may offer a settlement to avoid going to trial. Your attorney can help you negotiate a fair settlement.

Factors that can Impact Your Case

Several factors can impact the outcome of your wrongful death lawsuit, including:

  • The strength of your evidence
  • The credibility of witnesses
  • The defendant’s financial resources
  • The amount of damages sought
  • The judge and jury’s interpretation of the facts

Fatal Accidents in Berkeley

Most wrongful death cases in Berkeley are due to motor vehicle accidents. The most recent data shows that in 2021, eight people lost their lives due to fatal traffic accidents in Berkeley, marking the highest number of traffic deaths the city has seen since at least 1984, according to the Berkeley Police Department.

This was a significant increase from the two deaths reported in 2020. The fatalities included five pedestrians, two people who were in a car that crashed due to mechanical problems, and one driver involved in a solo crash in the Berkeley Marina.


Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Berkeley, CA can be a complex and emotionally draining process. However, with the right legal representation and knowledge of the process, you can seek justice for your loved one’s untimely death. Contact GJEL for top rated wrongful death attorneys.


  1. What damages can I recover in a wrongful death lawsuit in California?
  • You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, and emotional distress.
  1. How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California?
  • Generally, you have two years from the date of the person’s death to file a claim.
  1. Can I file a wrongful death lawsuit if the deceased person was partially at fault for their own death?
  • Yes

Additional Resources

Berkeley Personal Injury Attorneys

Berkeley Car Accident Attorneys

GJEL Accident Attorneys is located at 1214 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA 94710. You can also contact our attorneys 24/7 by phone at 510-841-7820.