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Wrongful Death

Riverside Wrongful Death Attorney

Wrongful Death in California

Have you lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of someone else? The compassionate, experienced, and effective Riverside wrongful death attorneys at Ryneal & Ryneal, a Law Corporation can help. We understand how devastating and traumatizing it can be to lose someone close to you, especially when it occurs due to a sudden accident. Our team will take care of the legal aspects of your case, so you can focus on spending this tough time with your loved ones. We will also be available whenever you need us.

Call (951) 382-5454 or contact us online to set up your free, confidential, no-obligation legal consultation today.

What is Wrongful Death?

According to California Code, Code of Civil Procedure § 377.60, wrongful death is defined as a death that arises from either another's negligence or intent to cause harm (but not necessarily death).

Common causes of wrongful death include:

  • Assault
  • Aviation accidents
  • Defective products
  • Drowning, boating & recreation accidents
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Work accidents

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

California's wrongful death statutes allow family members to file a wrongful death claim for compensation if someone's negligent actions result in the death of their loved one.

Eligible family members include, in order of precedence:

  • The decedent’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, and/or issue of deceased children
  • People who would be entitled to the decedent‘s property by intestate succession, such as the surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • The putative spouse, children of the putative spouse, stepchildren, and/or parents
  • A minor who resided in the decedent’s household and was dependent on the decedent for half or more of their support

What is the Statute of Limitations for California Wrongful Death Claims?

A wrongful death claim must be initiated within two years of your loved one’s passing in order to be considered by the courts. If you try to start your claim after more than two years have passed, the court will most likely refuse to take your claim.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Why You Need a Wrongful Death Attorney

When you have suffered the tragic loss of a loved one through the negligence or fault of someone else, it’s extremely important to have experienced trial lawyers on your side who are familiar with the handling of these kinds of cases. In addition to the questions of the other party’s liability and the potential monetary damages you may be entitled to recover, California law also limits which family members may bring a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.

Your specific family relationship to the decedent may also directly affect what kind of monetary damages you can recover. For example, a spouse and a minor child would normally be able to recover not only for the loss of the love, comfort, and companionship of the decedent, but also for the loss of any future earnings the decedent may have earned because they were financially dependent on that future income.

On the other hand, someone like an adult child who lived away from home and was not dependent on the decedent for any financial support would ordinarily be limited to recovering only for the loss of the love and affection of their parent. They could not recover any damages for the decedent’s loss of future earnings because they were not dependent on the decedent for financial support.

It is because of these kinds of issues and other important considerations facing you that you need an experienced wrongful death attorney on your side to properly evaluate these questions and advise you of your legal rights under these circumstances.

  • We were very fortunate that Mr. Ryneal was referred to my family.

    “I had never had a need for an attorney until I was involved in a devastating car accident. A semi-truck crossed the center divider and hit me head-on. I was hospitalized for almost a month. We were ...”

    - Heidi D.
  • I was spoken to with respect and courtesy.

    “I was spoken to with respect and courtesy. I knew you were the right law firm for my issues. Thank you, Steve.Yes, I will let y'all know the final status of my experience later.”

    - Caron L.
  • From the moment I met with Attorney Ryneal, I just knew my case was in great hands.

    “Attorney Ryneal was recommended to me by another attorney after I had explained my case to the latter. From the moment I met with Attorney Ryneal, I just knew my case was in great hands. For, two ...”

    - Irene C.
  • He works hard and I was very happy with the settlement.

    “After my car accident, Steve Ryneal helped me through my whole case. He works hard and I was very happy with the settlement.”

    - Wally
  • I was very happy with his service

    “I was totally satisfied with Mr. Ryneal as my attorney. He answered my phone calls when I called for him and kept me informed how my case was going. I was very happy with his service”

    - Jack

Types of Damages You Can Recover

Damages that you and your family are eligible to receive in a wrongful death claim depend on the specific facts of your case. Factors that may affect the damages you can claim include how the deceased passed away, how many surviving family members are eligible for compensation, how much experience your lawyer has, and the deceased’s remaining assets.

Damages that are commonly awarded in wrongful deaths claims include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses on behalf of the deceased
  • Medical and hospital bills the deceased incurred shortly before their death
  • Potential income the deceased would reasonably have earned had they lived
  • Loss of affection, attention, community, guidance, love, and moral support
  • Severe Burn Injuries $11,200,000

    Verdict against a construction contractor for client who suffered severe burn injuries due to fire accident

  • Severe Burn Injuries $10,300,000

    Settlement against several utility companies for client who sustained severe burn injuries from a gas explosion.

  • Permanent Injuries $4,200,000

    Settlement for client who suffered permanent injuries due to car vs. big rig accident.

  • Severe Injuries $3,200,000

    Verdict against U. S. government for minor child who suffered severe injuries due to car accident.

  • Serious Injuries $2,600,000

    Settlement for client who sustained serious injuries due to freeway car accident.

  • Permanent Injuries $1,800,000

    Verdict for client who suffered permanent injuries sustained in auto accident.

  • Wrongful Death $1,700,000

    Verdict for family for wrongful death of a sewer maintenance worker killed in gas explosion.

  • Permanent Injuries $1,400,000

    Verdict for minor child who sustained permanent injuries due to medical malpractice.

  • Severe Head & Spinal Injuries $1,300,000

    Product liability verdict for woman who suffered severe head and spinal injuries caused by defective commercial lighting fixture falling on her.

  • Slip & Fall $1,000,000

    Settlement for client who sustained serious injuries in slip and fall accident.


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  • Recovered Millions of Dollars
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  • Known by Juries & Judges

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