GJEL Accident Attorneys has 40+ years of experience helping families hold wrong doer’s accountable with wrongful death lawsuits.

We are here to help your family through this difficult time and have recovered over $1 Billion dollars for our clients with a 99% success rate.

If someone you love was killed in an accident contact GJEL Accident Attorneys today for a free, no-obligation, case evaluation.

Are You Looking to Hire an Attorney?

Insurance companies would prefer to settle wrongful deaths before the claimant has a chance to consult a lawyer. A skilled lawyer could get a settlement many times more than what the insurance company offers firsthand to the claimant.

Andy Gillin is a top-rated San Francisco wrongful death lawyer who specializes in representing victims of car accidents. He is very successful in obtaining settlements for wrongful death cases. Contact him today to discuss your case.

The legal information found on this page doesn’t constitute legal advice.

Defining Wrongful Death in California

Wrongful death laws apply in many different situations. In California, there are three types of wrongful death claims: Negligence, Intentional Torts, and Products Liability. There are also two types of medical malpractice cases: Direct and Indirect Malpractice.

In short: Whenever the court can find a reason why a reasonable person should have done something different than the negligent party, there is a possibility of a wrongful death lawsuit. We will review your unique circumstances and explain your possible courses of action in a free, private meeting.

A negligent person is responsible for the results of his or her actions. Even though he or she may not have intended to cause harm, he or she still bears legal responsibility for what happened because he or she was careless. In this example, the defendant did not intend to kill the victim, but he should have known better than to drive recklessly. He should have taken precautions to prevent the accident.

Who can file a wrongful death claim in California?

Wrongful death claims are filed by survivors who are entitled to compensation for the loss of a loved one. Only certain people may file these claims, typically only the decedents’ surviving family members. These include A surviving spouse or partner.

Any surviving children (including step-children). Any surviving family members, such as parents and siblings. If there were non-family dependents, such as step-siblings, they are also entitled.

To learn more about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in California check out our full article here.

What compensation can be recovered in California?

Medical expenses lost wages, and burial costs are all included in a wrongful death claim.

Damages for loss of financial and emotional support. Damages for the loss of love, care, and companionship. Damages for the death of a spouse.

Click here to see our previous wrongful death settlements amounts and averages [damages].

How long does a person have to file a wrongful death claim?

Wrongful death claims must be filed within 2 years after the death of the person whose death caused the injury. Medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within 4 years after the alleged negligent act occurred. Statutes of limitations are different depending on whether the deceased was a doctor or not.

A parent who dies without leaving a will must sue within 2 years of the child’s death. A spouse must sue within 2 years after the marriage ends. Children must sue within 2 years from the time they reach age 18.

Read about California’s statute of limitations here.

How to Start a Wrongful Death Claim in California

A lawyer is needed if someone dies because of negligence, carelessness, and recklessness. GJEL Accident Attorneys can help you recover damages after a person died. Our office has over 40 years of experience in this field, and we have the highest settlement amount of any law firm in Northern California.

Not only do we have the resources to investigate, but we also have experience. We know what it takes to establish liability on the parts of property owners, private employees, and public entities. Our lawyers are also familiar with the unique considerations required when seeking damages in cases involving the death of a newborn, or the loss of a baby.

Examples Of Successful Representation In Wrongful Death Cases

GJEL Accident Attorneys has recovered over $1 Billion Dollars for our clients.

Click here to see our previous wrongful death settlements amounts and averages [damages].

How do I file a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful Death Lawyers Should Be Secured Immediately After Accident. Negligence Can Cause Or Contribute To A Fatal Accident. You should speak to an attorney before filing a claim.

Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Wrongful deaths due to negligence can occur in several ways. Some of the more common cases we deal with are car accidents, gross negligence, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents.

Unintentional injuries are the fifth leading cause of death for teens and young adults. San Francisco has a higher age-adjusted unintentional injury death rate than the rest state of California.

Fatal Car Accidents

Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents. In 2015, distracted drivers killed more than 35 thousand people. There were also 8.8 percent more deaths in crashes where distraction was involved.

Motor vehicle accidents are the 3rd leading cause of death for young adults in San Francisco. These accidents claim the lives of hundreds of people each year. Car accident fatalities are often a textbook example of wrongful death. Victims’ families may be eligible for compensation for economic and non-economic losses. This includes medical bills and funeral costs, pain and suffering, loss of wages, and any other damages caused by the death.

Medical Malpractice

Medical professionals are usually equipped to handle the fast-paced, high-stress environment of hospitals. Cases of negligence and medical malpractices occur regularly throughout the country. Patients can die due to the negligence of doctors, nurses, or other licensed medical personnel. You could be entitled to a wrongful death claim if your loved one dies as a result of someone else’s negligence.

You have the legal right to sue if someone dies because of medical malpractice. Medical bills and funeral expenses are covered by insurance. Compensation for pain and suffering of decedents before death is covered by insurance. Loss of wages is covered by insurance. Losing a spouse or child is considered a loss of consortium.

Medical facilities must ensure that patients are kept safe. In this case, the owner of the hospital was negligent because he didn’t take precautions to protect patients from harm. He should have known that there were dangerous conditions in the building.

Fatal Workplace Accidents

Construction sites are dangerous places to work. Workers often get injured because of faulty tools, scaffolds, ladders, or machinery. When an accident happens, it could be due to the fault of the company that made the equipment. In this case, the victim’s family might have a claim against the manufacturer.

The leading causes of death among construction workers are the “fatal four,” which account for 64.2% of construction worker deaths in the US in 2015. These include falls (26%), motor vehicle accidents (11.6%), electrocutions (9.8%), and being struck by objects or equipment (7.4%).

A worker was killed when he fell into an elevator shaft. He was electrocuted after being struck by an object while working in a factory. He was caught in machinery and died. There could be a claim against the company that owns the factory.

Bicycle and Motor Vehicle Collisions

Drivers must always keep a proper lookout for people who might be walking or bicycling. They should also watch children playing in the street. Drivers should never cut off bicycles or pedestrians. Bicyclists should be treated just like any other vehicle.

With the increasing use of bicycles, the frequency of bicycle-related accidents is on the rise. Roadway safety laws require drivers to yield to bicyclists when passing them. Bicyclists must wear helmets and obey traffic signals. Bicycle riders must ride single file and stay off sidewalks. Drivers may not pass bicyclists unless there is adequate space between vehicles.

Defective Products

Consumers are entitled to have their products work safely. When they use them, they are entitled to expect that they won’t cause any harm or injury.

Flaws in defection motor vehicles could be the reason why someone died. A car might suffer a blowout, steering problems, brake failures, or lose its vertical stability. This could lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.

A product is considered defective if it causes harm to people when used properly. Products that cause harm to people are called dangerous products. To prove that a product is dangerous, you must show that the manufacturer knew about the dangers of the product. You also need to prove that the manufacturer did nothing to warn consumers about these dangers.


Swimming pools are usually safe places to swim. However, there are some situations when accidents do occur. Lifeguards must take precautions to prevent them from happening. If a person drowns while using a public pool, then the lifeguard who was on duty at the time could be held liable for the death. If a child drowns in an indoor pool because of a malfunctioning drain, then the owner of the pool could be held liable for wrongful death.

Truck Accidents

Trucking companies are responsible for many deaths each year. According to government statistics, there were over 140 million truck accidents last year alone. These accidents caused more than 40,000 fatalities.

Bicycle Accidents

Bicyclists have an Equal Right to the Roadway. Many Drivers Ignore Cyclist Rights and Focus Only on Other Cars and Trucks.

Can Wrongful Death Lawsuits be tried before a jury?

Yes, wrongful death disputes can be tried before a jury. In the United States, most wrongful death cases are filed as civil lawsuits, and in a civil case, the parties have the right to a trial by jury. A jury will hear evidence presented by both sides and make a decision as to whether the defendant is liable for the wrongful death and, if so, how much compensation should be awarded to the plaintiff(s). In some states, however, a judge may hear the case alone if both parties agree to it. It’s important to note that the standard of proof in a civil wrongful death case is typically “preponderance of the evidence” which is lower than “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in criminal trials.