If you lost a relative in an accident that was someone else’s fault and want to hold the negligent party liable, you should contact the Oakland personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw immediately so we can review the facts of your case and advise you about your legal options.

You might be entitled to compensation for the funeral expenses, medical costs, and other losses suffered from your loved one’s death. You should not be forced to pay anything out of pocket when someone else was responsible for the fatal accident.

At OnderLaw, our Oakland wrongful death attorneys know the trauma you have experienced. The accident was entirely preventable, and you want to hold the at-fault person or company accountable for their wrongdoing. We can help you pursue the justice you deserve and recover the compensation necessary to cover your financial losses.

Losing a family member is tragic and can lead to a broad range of emotions. You shouldn’t face the responsibility of handling a wrongful death lawsuit when you’re trying to grieve and move forward with your life. Let OnderLaw take on the at-fault party and work to achieve your goals. Call us for a free consultation today.

What Is Wrongful Death?

California law defines wrongful death as a death that occurs as a result of the neglect or wrongful act of another party. A variety of scenarios can lead to fatal injuries or death in an accident. The most common are:

  • Car accidents – Car wrecks are one of the most common reasons wrongful death occurs. Road rage, driver distraction, disobeying traffic laws, and speeding are some factors that can contribute to a deadly crash.
  • Trucking accidents – Operating a commercial truck requires training, experience, and proper licensing. Truck driver error often leads to collisions with small cars and other vehicles. The occupants of the smaller car can suffer debilitating injuries or die during the crash.
  • Premises liability – Hazardous conditions on another person’s property can lead to fatalities if faulty wiring causes a fire, a malfunctioning elevator plummets to the ground floor, or safety code violations result in a collapsed balcony.
  • Workplace accidents – Anyone could get hurt at work regardless of the type of job they have. However, construction workers are at the highest risk of death due to their exposure to toxic substances, heavy machinery, and elevated working areas.
  • Defective products – Defects happen when manufacturers make an error during the design, assembly, or marketing of a product. Death can occur if a malfunctioning household appliance causes electrocution or the braking system in a car doesn’t work correctly.
  • Nursing home abuse – Older adults are vulnerable to fatal injuries during incidents of physical abuse or neglect. They can develop serious infections that lead to organ failure, be given incorrect medications by caregivers, or take a fall if no one assists them to the bathroom.
  • Medical malpractice – Healthcare professionals must provide appropriate care while treating patients. Surgical errors, unsterilized tools, and misdiagnosis of disease are common reasons for medical malpractice deaths.

The Oakland wrongful death attorneys of OnderLaw can handle various situations that resulted in your family member’s death. You will have a dedicated and experienced legal team in your corner to seek the maximum available compensation so you can afford the expenses you incur because of the tragic death of your loved one.

Who Could Be Held Responsible? Who is Eligible to Bring a Claim?

Any party that contributed to your loved one’s death could be held responsible. For example, if a drunk driver caused a car accident, you could file your lawsuit against them for causing your relative’s death.

Only certain people can file a wrongful death lawsuit after a fatal accident. They are:

  • Surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • Surviving child
  • Surviving grandchildren

If there isn’t a surviving spouse, child, or grandchild, anyone who would be entitled to the deceased’s property through intestate succession could pursue a wrongful death case. That might include surviving parents, siblings, or a dependent that lived with the accident victim at the time of their death.

Additional family members might also be able to seek compensation from a lawsuit if they can prove that they relied on the deceased for financial support. They include:

  • Surviving putative spouse
  • Surviving children of the putative spouse
  • Surviving stepchildren
  • Surviving parents
  • Surviving legal guardians, if there isn’t a surviving parent

If you don’t know if you’re eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, an experienced Oakland wrongful death attorney could help.


When you file a wrongful death case, you can seek compensation for the losses you suffered due to your family member’s death. Losses fall under two main categories: economic and noneconomic losses.

The economic losses you might be entitled to pursue include:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Financial support your loved one would have contributed to surviving relatives if they were still alive
  • Loss of benefits or gifts you and your family could have expected to receive
  • The reasonable monetary value of lost household services due to the deceased’s fatal accident

Possible noneconomic losses you could seek are:

  • Loss of guidance
  • A surviving spouse or domestic partner’s lost intimacy
  • Loss of companionship, care, love, moral support, and assistance

Although no amount of money can make up for losing your loved one, it could provide the financial relief you need to pay for final expenses and compensate you for your noneconomic losses to some small degree. It is your right as a surviving relative to pursue legal action against the at-fault party. OnderLaw knows state laws and procedures for handling this type of case and working on the right strategy to reach a favorable outcome.

Proving Negligence in California, and the Statute of Limitation in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Filing a lawsuit requires proof of negligence. Negligence refers to someone’s failure to provide reasonable care to avoid causing harm to another person. If the party responsible for your loved one’s death was negligent, and their actions or lack of action caused the accident or fatal injury, you must be able to prove that fact with evidence.

An Oakland wrongful death attorney from OnderLaw has the resources to locate crucial evidence that can show that someone else was at fault. For example, if a surgeon’s error was to blame for your relative’s death, medical records could be relevant evidence.

You must follow a strict timeframe if you want to sue someone for wrongful death. This is called a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations in California is two years. That means you must file your lawsuit within two years of the death if you want to seek compensation. If the deadline passes before you file, you will likely lose your right to hold the negligent party liable in court.

Oakland Fatal Accident Statistics

Wrongful death can occur in multiple scenarios. Negligence is common in car accidents. When a driver disobeys traffic signs, travels above the speed limit, texts at the wheel, or drives drunk, they put other people at risk of harm. These are common examples of negligent actions that can lead to fatalities.

In 2019, there were 32 fatalities in traffic-related accidents in Oakland. Speeding is the main cause of one in four people being killed in vehicle crashes.

Fatalities are also common in dangerous job industries, such as construction. Operating heavy machinery, exposure to live wires, and handling toxic chemicals can lead to catastrophic accidents and fatal injuries or illnesses. In 2019, there was a total of 451 fatal injuries in California. The most common factors contributing to those deaths were:

  • Falls, slips, trips – 88 fatalities
  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals – 94
  • Transportation incidents – 141
  • Exposure to harmful environments or substances – 66
  • Contact with equipment and objects – 55

Why Do I Need a Lawyer? Why Choose OnderLaw?

It takes time to grieve the loss of a loved one. It could take a long time before you’re able to put this traumatic experience behind you and move forward with your life. While you’re finalizing funeral plans and handling your family member’s estate, you shouldn’t also be forced to deal with the legal aspects of a lawsuit. It will just cause additional stress that you don’t need in your life right now.

The Oakland wrongful death attorneys of OnderLaw can advise you of your legal options and guide you through the entire process from start to finish. With us in your corner, you can depend on a dedicated legal team who will take over your case so you can focus on yourself and your family. We will begin with an investigation into the accident and collect the evidence we will need to prove that someone else caused your loved one’s death. We can file the lawsuit on your behalf and communicate with the defense attorneys. If necessary, we will aggressively fight for you in court and seek the best possible result.

Let OnderLaw Fight for Justice for Your Loved One

OnderLaw has been helping those facing injustices since 2002. We know you’re facing an uphill battle and don’t know how to handle the legal road ahead. You can rely on us to provide the support you need to get through this tragic ordeal. We believe in fighting for justice and recovering compensation for clients that unfairly lost their loved ones in an accident.

If your relative died in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, call OnderLaw right now. One of our Oakland wrongful death attorneys can meet with you for a free consultation to determine how we can help.