Offices in San Francisco and Marin County

Offices in San Francisco and Marin County

Wrongful Death


Wrongful Deaths are the result of the negligence, carelessness, or reckless act of another person or corporation. Some common causes of wrongful death are: car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, bus accidents, train accidents, pedestrian accidents, plane crashes, construction accidents, and defective products.

When someone dies as a result of the negligence of another, the law provides that the victim’s next of kin and their estate may act as plaintiffs to bring a civil action to recover economic and non-economic damages. This is true even if the deceased was partially at fault in the events leading to the fatality.


The people who are considered next of kin include family members such as a husband, wife, domestic partner, children, parents, or siblings. If a parent dies, the surviving spouse and children may all be plaintiffs, as well as any one else who was likely to receive support if the decedent had lived. A wrongful death plaintiff may recover:

  • Funeral and burial expenses,
  • Loss of income from the decedent,
  • Medical expenses prior to death,
  • Loss of household support,
  • Loss of child rearing support,
  • Loss of medical and retirement benefits and
  • Other economic losses sustained by the death of a loved one,
  • Non-economic damages such as mental anguish and suffering.

You must act promptly after someone dies if you believe that they have died because of someone’s negligence. There are time limits for you to act, called statutes of limitations, which require you to bring a lawsuit within a limited period or risk losing the right to seek a recovery. Statutes of limitations in cases of accidental death can be as short as six months (if a governmental agency caused the harm). The time you have to act depends on who caused the accidental death, how it occurred, and where it took place (some states have different statutes of limitations).


The amount of damages you can recover depends on many factors such as the life expectancy of the deceased and heirs, the age and health of the deceased and heirs, the financial loss, the emotional loss, the relationship between the deceased and the heirs, the amount of insurance coverage, and whether or not surviving family members were dependent upon the deceased for financial support. Also to be considered in computing damages is the loss of companionship, loss of love and affection of the surviving spouse, children, parents and other surviving family members. You are also entitled to all out of pocket expenses incurred, such as funeral expenses.

McCormack & Erlich will do everything possible to settle your wrongful death case out of court. Based upon our experience, reputation, success, and diligent preparation of each case, the vast majority of our cases are settled without going to trial. We do not charge any fees unless and until we win your case. Our fees are based on a reasonable percentage of the amount we obtain for you.

If you have lost a loved one who was the victim of a wrongful death, McCormack & Erlich can help you. Please call us now at (415) 440-6662 for an immediate, no obligation, free consultation.

Copyright © 2018 McCormack & Erlich Attorneys at Law. All Rights Reserved | disclaimer | privacy policy | contact | p 415.296.8420 | f 415.296.8552

Legal Marketing by CLM Grow