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Wrongful Death Lawyer

The death of a loved one is devastating no matter the circumstances. When their passing is caused by negligence, the pain can be even worse.

If your loved one's wrongful death was caused by someone's failure to use reasonable care, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Oakland comes to Bennett Johnson to handle wrongful death claims because our law firm has won over $500 million for our clients.

Choosing Us Costs Nothing


Our team offers free consultations and does not charge a single cent upfront for personal injury or wrongful death claims. The only way we get paid is by receiving a percentage of any verdict or settlement we obtain, ensuring our priority is achieving the highest financial recovery possible for our clients.

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Contact Our Law Firm Now


Wrongful death claims are specific types of personal injury cases that arise from the tragic loss of a family member, either through the negligence or intentional actions of another party. In a wrongful death claim, the surviving family and dependents of the deceased can bring legal action against the party liable for the death. These cases are often the result of motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, defective products, and medical malpractice.

Our attorneys have been handling wrongful death lawsuits since 1981. Come to us to seek the maximum compensation you deserve. 

(510) 444-5020

Our Oakland Wrongful Death Attorneys Are Widely Acclaimed

In 2023, the famed attorney evaluator Martindale-Hubbell® awarded our law firm its top peer review ranking–AV-preeminent. This distinction is only given to practices that other attorneys designate as having the highest levels of ethics, knowledge, and skill. 

We Can Also Seek Punitive Damages

While rarely awarded, punitive damages can be sought in wrongful death cases in which the defendant acted in an especially egregious or malicious manner. 

California Law Helps Wrongful Death Plaintiffs

Many states cap the amount of compensation available in personal injury and wrongful death claims. California does not. This allows our Oakland wrongful death attorneys to seek significant, life-changing damages for our clients. 

Another aspect of California law that helps families seeking financial justice for their deceased loved one is the state's use of pure comparative negligence. This legal framework lets plaintiffs receive compensation even if their loved one was partially responsible for the accident that caused their passing. 

Under pure comparative negligence, compensation is awarded based upon proportionate responsibility. If the judge and jury deem that your loved one caused just 10% of their accident, you can receive 90% of the available compensation. If they are found to be responsible for 40% of their incident, you obtain just 60% of the possible compensation. This makes it especially important to pick attorneys who know how to prove responsibility in these cases.

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You Have a Hard Deadline

Statute of limitations laws set hard deadlines for when different types of lawsuits must be filed by. These deadlines vary from state to state. Failing to meet your deadline likely means you lose the possibility to receive the compensation you deserve. In California, the statute of limitations are:

Wrongful Death: 2 Years

You have two years from the date of your loved one's passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Personal Injury: 2 Years

An individual who suffers a personal injury but survives has two years from the date they suffered harm. 

Knowing both personal injury and wrongful death suit deadlines can be critical in cases with multiple victims, such as a car accident in which one individual passed away while another survived. 

Don't Delay

Remember, our wrongful death attorneys offer free consultations and never charge a dime upfront. Failing to speak with us can result in your family missing out on life-changing money. We have law offices in both Oakland and Napa. Get started by calling (510) 444-5020.

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Who Can File a Claim

For Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death claim can ensure negligent parties are held accountable while providing the surviving family members sufficient compensation to restore their financial security. Laws vary from state to state, but in California, typically the main family members who can file a wrongful death claim are the deceased’s spouse or domestic partner and children.

If the deceased lacks a spouse or child, those who would have benefited from the resulting estate can file a claim, such as parents or siblings. In limited cases, stepchildren of the deceased may also have a right to file a claim if they can prove they were financially dependent. It is important that in any case, you work with an experienced wrongful death attorney who has a thorough understanding of California’s laws as they relate to your case.

We Stand Up to Insurance Companies

In the vast majority of wrongful death claims, the defendant does not have the cash or assets to cover the amount of compensation a victim’s family deserves. To ensure the surviving family members can receive the compensation they deserve, we often pursue restitution from the defendant’s insurance company.

This process can be highly complex and you should not have to face it alone. Claims adjusters have one goal: to get you to accept the least amount of money possible for your claim. They may pressure you into giving a statement or signing documents, which can result in you receiving a lesser settlement.

The wrongful death lawyers at our Oakland and Napa offices deal with the insurance company directly so they understand we have a strong case against them and their insured. We can protect your interests, allowing you to focus on recovering while we try to settle for a sufficient amount without going to court.

Attorneys Richard Bennett and William Johnson

Bennett Johnson, LLP

Attorneys Richard Bennett and William Johnson have practiced law for more than four decades. Since opening Bennett Johnson, LLP, in 1981, our clients have been awarded more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements. They are members of several professional legal organizations, including:

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum®
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association

To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at (510) 444-5020.

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