Who Gets The Settlement Money From A Wrongful Death Claim?

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Wrongful Death Lawsuit | GP

Losing a loved one is a heartbreaking experience for those left behind. Learning that the death was caused by the careless or purposeful conduct of a third party exacerbates the loss. Surviving family members have the right to be indignant and demand justice for their awful loss. In California, accountability can be achieved by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the guilty party(s).

But who receives the money in a settlement for wrongful death? Some family members are eligible for compensation under state legislation. Individuals are usually unclear about who can file a lawsuit and how compensation is allocated in the event of successful litigation.

Who Receives Money After a Wrongful Death Lawsuit In California?

In the case of a successful lawsuit, the California act on wrongful death lists prospective plaintiffs. Among these individuals are those who have passed away:

  • Surviving spouse or domestic partner.
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Stepchildren, if they were financially dependent on the decedent for at least half of their financial support.
  • According to California intestate succession laws, individuals are entitled to the deceased person’s property.

In California, claims involving wrongful death are subject to the “one-action” rule. This statute forbids family members from filing separate lawsuits against the guilty person. In a case involving wrongful death in California, all parties are required to file a single complaint.

In a lawsuit for wrongful death, it is typically up to the family members to select how the money would be split. Beneficiaries may petition the courts for assistance in splitting cash if disputes arise regarding who will receive what.

How Long Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Take?

Several elements can affect the length of a case for wrongful death. Some lawsuits endure months, while others may stretch a year or more. Fortunately, the majority of cases involving wrongful death are settled out of court. If the at-fault party accepts fault, the insurance company may offer payment to swiftly resolve the matter.

To conserve money, insurance companies are known for limiting claims. The initial settlement offer will almost definitely be lower than the true value of your claim. Never accept a settlement from an insurance company without first consulting an attorney. The shock of your loss may compel you to settle for far less than you deserve, leading to future financial issues.

Your attorney may consider launching a wrongful death lawsuit to demand full and fair compensation, depending on the outcome of settlement negotiations. Although litigation is time-consuming, it may increase your chances of receiving the greatest amount of compensation. A skilled attorney for wrongful death can explain the benefits and drawbacks of a trial with you.


Nobody deserves to lose a family member due to irresponsibility. If you are suffering the loss of a family member, let Garcia and Phan‘s wrongful death attorneys handle your case. We will fight aggressively to ensure that the party responsible for the loss of your loved one is held accountable so that you can rebuild your life. Contact us at (714) 586-8298 for a free assessment of your case.


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