Experience On Your Side
Free Case Review

We are here to help you. Request your free case review today!

  • Please enter your name.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • Please enter a message.
    Please select an option.

San Jose Wrongful Death Attorneys

Fighting for the Rights of Families in San Jose

At Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP, we understand the impact an accidental death can have on the family unit. All too often, the egregious actions of one careless individual can have life-altering consequences for an entire innocent family.

Even though a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind, you need not suffer unduly. Let our compassionate and caring team at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP help guide you through the process and fight for the remuneration your family deserves.

Why Hire Our Firm?

  • Award-winning representation
  • Free, no-obligation consultations
  • 85+ years of combined experience
  • Tens of millions won for our clients

You Don't Pay Unless We Win Your Case

Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP is an accomplished and respected wrongful death law firm located in Northern California. Our firm has protected the legal rights of hundreds of victims and families, and we have recovered millions of dollars in damages on behalf of our clients.

We work together to represent you in an efficient and effective manner. If you have lost a loved one as the result of a fatal accident, contact our skilled San Jose wrongful death lawyers at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP immediately.

We want to help you hold the negligent parties accountable. Schedule your free, confidential case review today. Our wrongful death attorneys in San Jose area are here for you.

Recent Case Results for Wrongful Death

Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP has recovered millions for families affected by the wrongful death of a loved one. Some of our recent case results include:

Caputo & Van Der Walde Wrongful Death Case Results

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in California?

If your loved one died as the result of another's negligent or wrongful acts, you might have a claim for wrongful death. While financial compensation can only do so much, this type of legal claim does allow certain surviving family members to ensure wrongdoers are held accountable, and recover damages for the emotional and financial losses they suffered.

In order to recover damages for wrongful death, an individual must be within one of the following categories:

  • Surviving spouse or domestic partner (must meet specific criteria of the state)
  • Children, including adopted children
  • Dependent persons; parents can recover for their child's death if they were dependent or if there are no other survivors
  • Stepchildren
  • Minors residing in the same household, other than children who were dependent on the decedent
  • Others, such as dependent spouses not legally married to the decedent

Usually, more than one family member will be within the class of persons able to bring this type of lawsuit.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in California?

One of the most important considerations involved with a wrongful death lawsuit is the timing in which the incident happened. Under California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 335.1, any individual who wishes to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit must do so within a time frame of no less than two years.

However, if death resulted from medical malpractice, that statute of limitations is increased to three years from the date of the initial injury, or one year after the plaintiff discovers or should have discovered an injury leading to death.

Wrongful death cases against government agencies in California, such as those involving a government-operated vehicle that causes a fatal accident, adhere to different rules and procedures. In government liability cases, families have six months from the date of injury to file an initial claim.

What Losses May I Recover in My Wrongful Death Claim?

After the loss of a loved to another person's negligence, it is important to seek compensation to assist with the financial damages suffered. We realize that no amount of money will do justice to what you are suffering, but it can help ease the financial losses your family is experiencing.

Damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death claim in California are subject to the general requirements that they are reasonable, and reasonably certain to result in the future.

Subject to these limitations, a person entitled to sue for wrongful death can recover the following damages:

  • Loss of love, society, companionship, comfort, protection, care, and consortium: In determining the amount of these damages, several things are taken into consideration, including: the closeness of the relationship involved, the age and health of the survivor, and the life expectancy of the decedent.
  • Loss of services: Where a decedent performed domestic services for the survivor, such as babysitting, the survivor may recover the value of these lost services in a wrongful death action.
  • Loss of financial contributions: Where a survivor received expected financial contributions from the decedent, they can be recovered from the negligent party. Examples of items in this category include income, benefits, and support payments that would normally have been used to support the surviving person.
  • Loss of training and advice: Where the survivor would have received training and advice from the decedent, the survivor can recover the value of the loss. A common example: the advice, training and moral support that children receive from their parents.
  • Funeral and burial expenses: Reasonable funeral and burial expenses incurred by a survivor may be recovered in a lawsuit for wrongful death. These expenses must be considered reasonable before they are recoverable.

Note that a lawsuit for wrongful death is intended to compensate the survivor for their own losses, not for the losses incurred by the decedent prior to death.

Therefore, a survivor cannot recover for the following:

  • Parents' pain, suffering, or anguish experienced by the decedent prior to death

  • Parents' medical expenses or other expenditures, incurred by the decedent prior to death

Even though these elements are not recoverable in a wrongful death action, a survival action can be maintained. A survival action is where the injured party dies from the injuries inflicted by a negligent person. The decedent's personal representative, i.e., the executor of their estate, brings this type of lawsuit and recovers for all economic losses personally by the decedent prior to death.

A survivor action does not include damages for the pain and suffering experienced by the decedent, only actual quantifiable loss, such as medical bills and lost wages.

What Is the Value of My Wrongful Death Case?

Possible considerations in determining the amount of a wrongful death recovery include:

  • Life expectancy: Damages in a case are recoverable for the period where the survivor and the decedent would have been alive together. Damages must be limited to the life expectancy of the survivor or the decedent, depending on which is shorter.
  • Earning capacity of decedent: Another consideration in determining the amount of wrongful death damages is the amount of lost support and financial contributions from a decedent to the survivor.
  • Relationship between survivor and decedent: One other consideration affecting the recovery of damages in wrongful death claims involves introducing evidence of the nature of the relationship between the survivor and the decedent. The closer the relationship, the more the damages are presumed to be.

Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP - Helping You Recover

If a loved one has been involved in an accident resulting in a wrongful death in the San Jose area, you may be entitled to compensation for all losses. Get in touch with our compassionate wrongful death lawyers in San Jose at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP today. We will provide you with aggressive legal representation in order to help you receive everything you need to move on in life.

Call our San Jose wrongful death attorneys today at (800) 900-0863 for your FREE consultation.

Attorneys having conversation

Highly Rated & Reviewed

  • “Paul was always prompt, very professional, and explained everything clearly”

    Phil R.

  • “I appreciate your good humor and genuine human-ness. You both are gems....”


  • “Our lawyer and his entire staff were extremely approachable and effective in getting a very good settlement from my own insurance company's under-insured motorist coverage. Our lawyer guided my husband and me through the process.”

    Chris G.

  • “We were listened to, sympathized with, and had action taken on our behalf to determine and win a worthy settlement for each one of us. ”

    Jason & Danielle Allen

  • “You have a wonderful office and family, and I will carry with me the kindness that you extend to your clients.”

    Michele Q.

  • “Paul vigorously advances his clients' cases.”

    Phillip G., Attorney

  • “Don was great at explaining everything and I would definitely contact him again in the future should I need his services again.”

    Pete G.

  • “Excellent knowledge of law, kept me informed and the staff was great.”

    Former Client

  • “Top-notch attorney”

    Christian L., Attorney

  • “You have restored my faith in the litigation legal profession today and I am grateful.”


  • “The staff was very pleasant, informative and helpful. ”

    Claire Kushner

  • “Paul is a very personable, approachable, highly knowledgeable attorney whose advice to us during a very difficult time is appreciated beyond measure.”

    Irene R.

  • “I can not say enough about the treatment I received during this time.”

    Steve T.

  • “The personal touch that everyone had was the thing that sets you apart from everyone else.”


  • “Working with Rich could not have been a better experience”

    Christopher H.

Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP Group Photo

A Law Firm You Can Trust

We Can Make the Difference in Your Case
  • Over 85 Years of Legal Experience
  • Tens of Millions of Dollars Recovered
  • Legal Services Available in Spanish
  • All Initial Case Reviews Are Free of Charge
  • You Do Not Pay Unless We Win Your Case
  • Perfect 10/10 Superb Rating on Avvo
  • Included in Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum