Los Angeles Wrongful Death Attorney

Joshua W. Glotzer, Esq

Managing Partner

Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawyers

When a loved one dies because of the negligence of a person or a medical professional, a wrongful death may have occurred.

Those who lose a loved one to a fatal accident must deal with the emotional trauma of the loss and the financial hardships. Particularly if the decedent was a primary wage earner for the family.

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, call the Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys at Glotzer & Leib, LLP to discuss your case.

We have over 50 years of experience helping families recover after losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. You don’t owe us anything unless we win.

Call (747) 241-8288 or send us an online message today for a free consultation.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim seeks compensation for the economic losses of the survivors. Under California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60, certain family members may sue the negligent party when the fatal injuries resulted in the death of a loved one.

Who May File a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Survivors of the deceased are allowed to seek compensation for the death of a loved one when negligence is involved.

Under California Code of Civil Procedure 337.60, those who may file a wrongful death lawsuit include the following:

Surviving Spouse

A surviving spouse may file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for future earnings as well as loss of consortium. While emotional distress is not generally accounted for in a wrongful death claim, survivors may be able to recover damages for things the deceased would have provided if he or she had lived. This includes protection, aid, comfort, advice, and guidance.

Putative Spouses and Domestic Partners

Putative spouses and domestic partners can file a wrongful death claim to recover the same compensation a spouse would. A putative spouse is a person who had a good faith belief he or she was married to the deceased.

Minor Children

Minor children, including adopted children, of the deceased may file a wrongful death action to recover financial compensation for the loss of parental guidance, companionship, and loss of future financial support resulting from the death of the parent.


The parents of the decedent may also file a claim for the loss of their minor or adult child.

How Long Do I Have To File a Wrongful Death Claim?

A statute of limitation is the amount of time family members or the estate have to file a wrongful death claim following the death of a loved one.

Under California Code of Civil Procedure §335.1, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date the decedent died. If the case is not filed within that time period, surviving family members may lose the right to file the wrongful death suit.

If the wrongful death claim is based on medical malpractice, then pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure §340.5, a party has:

  • Three years from the date of injury, or
  • “One year after the plaintiff discovers, or
  • Through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury,
  • Whichever occurs first.”

Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Claim

A number of different damages are available when a California wrongful death lawsuit is filed.

The damages are divided into two different categories: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic Damages Include:

  • Burial expenses and funeral expenses;
  • Any hospital or medical bills associated with the deceased person’s final illness or injury;
  • Lost wages, including any income the deceased person could reasonably have been expected to earn in the future had the wrongful death not occurred.


Non-Economic Damages include:

  • The loss of services: which refers to the value of services provided by a loved one (housework, child care, etc.)
  • Loss of affection (also known as loss of consortium)
  • Loss of training and advice: this refers to the moral support and guidance a child would have received from a deceased parent

Proving a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Claim

To prevail in a wrongful death claim, you must prove that the defendant:

  • Was negligent, and
  • That his or her negligence caused the death.

Negligence refers to the manner in which a reasonable person would have acted under the same circumstances.

For example, if a person dies on the operating table because the anesthesiologist administers too much anesthesia, then the question becomes whether a properly trained anesthesiologist, under the exact same circumstances, would have acted differently.

The law says there is a duty of care owed. When this duty of care is breached, and those actions result in the death of another, negligence has occurred.

Our experienced wrongful death lawyers in Los Angeles will carefully assess the circumstances of the death of your loved one to determine whether there was negligence, whether that negligence caused the death, and whether damages resulted from that death.

What are the Main Causes of Wrongful Death?

The main cause of wrongful death among those younger than thirty-five is automobile collisions. The second-largest cause of wrongful death, particularly among senior citizens, is medical malpractice.

Other primary causes of Los Angeles wrongful death claims include:

Other Issues Related to Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death cases can be very complex, and, as such, are best left to our experienced wrongful death lawyers in Los Angeles.

We will conduct a thorough investigation in order to build your wrongful death case. We will also ensure your rights are protected and preserved.

When making a determination of the damages to be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit, the court will consider:

  • the relationship between the deceased and the person bringing the lawsuit,
  • the “value” of the services provided by the deceased, and
  • the life expectancy of the deceased.

Medical and funeral expenses may be reimbursed to the person bringing the wrongful death suit or to the estate. If there are multiple heirs to the wrongful death settlement and those heirs are unable to determine how to divide the money, the Court will divide it as it sees fit.

If the death was the result of medical malpractice, then recovery may be limited by California medical malpractice statutory limits.

If your loved one was not working at the time of his or her death, it is likely there were other contributions made to family members which are compensable.

An example would be a stay-at-home mom who took care of the children, cleaned the home, managed the household finances, bought groceries, and cooked meals, which are all quantifiable losses.

In short, properly assessing damages can be complex. Insurance companies will attempt to lowball the settlement offer unless you have competent legal counsel on your side.

Speak to a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Attorney Today

As noted, although taking legal action following the death of your loved one may not seem to be a high priority during this time, it is important that as the survivor of the deceased, you consider hiring a Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.

The quicker you make the call, the more your financial difficulties will be minimized. The lawyers at our wrongful death law firm in Los Angeles, CA will be both aggressive when dealing with insurance companies, and compassionate to your situation.

Insurance companies rarely offer an equitable settlement to survivors of the deceased without help from an experienced wrongful death attorney fighting hard for the family’s rights.

We will handle all the details in order to give you the time you need to recover from your loss and move forward with your life.

Let our law firm be your voice and obtain justice by pursuing the maximum compensation available under California law for the wrongful death of your loved one.

Learn how we can assist you during your free consultation. Call (747) 241-8288 or reach us online today to get started.


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      “Mr. Glotzer represented me after I was involved in a car accident. I was badly injured,but the insurance company refused to offer me a reasonable settlement. I decided to find an attorney and decided to hire Josh.

      His law firm did a great job on my case. They were very responsive to all my questions and obtained a great resolution for me. I received way more money than was originally offered. I would recommend their firm to friends and family.”

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      “Mr. Josh Glotzer is a great attorney. Over the last 15 years he has helped me on a number of cases with professionalism, and more importantly a positive outcome in my favor. I have referred him to a number of friends and colleagues, all of which have been equally as happy with his legal representation. I trust him and confident in legal ability. I highly recommend his law firm.”

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      “Don’t try to deal with insurance companies on your own. They strung me along for almost two years before I gave the case to Glotzer & Leib. Josh and his team quickly obtained a settlement that netted me many times what the insurance company was offering. Thank You!”

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      “My wife was in a car accident last year and Josh did an amazing job representing her. It’s very refreshing to see someone in his profession that actually cares and puts his clients first. He’s the best in the business and I feel so fortunate that I was referred to him. Keep up the great work and thanks for everything you did for my family!”

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      “I was in a rear end car accident last year and hired Mr. Glotzer’s office. It wasn’t a big case but their office helped me with my property damage claim and did a good job resolving the injury portion of the case as well.”

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    Our Location

    Los Angeles Office

    Glotzer & Leib, LLP
    714 West Olympic Blvd., Suite 632
    Los Angeles, California 90015 (213) 309-3050

    Our Los Angeles office is conveniently located at the junction of the 110 and 10 freeways and in the heart of the downtown entertainment district.