Losing someone you care about is never easy. All throughout California, accidents occur on a daily basis. Unfortunately, some of these accidents become fatal because someone was negligent, careless, or simply not paying attention. If you lost a loved one and you feel it could have been prevented if someone else didn’t make a poor decision, contact a Wrongful Death lawyer.
Any type of accident including auto accidents can cause the death of a family member. Child deaths are often caused by negligent supervision of school or health officials and/or defective products. Even a slip and fall can cause the death of anyone but, especially elderly people.
Who May Bring A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In California?
Under the California Civil Code and Code of Civil Procedure, a claim for the death of another person may be brought by that person’s spouse, children, and/or parents depending upon various factors including the existence of estate planning documents such as wills and trusts. A skilled California personal injury attorney can analyze these issues and determine all of the proper parties that have a right to seek compensation.
Wrongful Death Damages Awardable Under California Law:
Damages in death cases in California are broken down into two categories as follows:
- Economic damages: (a) The financial support that lost loved one would have contributed to the family during either the life expectancy that had the lost loved one had before [his/her] death or the life expectancy of the survivor(s), whichever is shorter; (b) The loss of gifts or benefits that the plaintiff (person suing) would have expected to receive from the lost loved one; (c) Funeral and burial expenses; and (d) The reasonable value of household services that the lost loved one would have provided.
- Non-Economic Damages: (a) Loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, moral support; (b) In the Case of Spouses: The loss of the enjoyment of sexual relations; and (c) The loss of the lost loved one’s training and guidance (in the case of children who survive the death of a parent).
Our lawyers understand that the loss of a loved one is devastating and no amount of compensation will bring that loved one back but, we fight hard to get the maximum amount of damages possible that may be awarded in these cases. This allows for some financial stability to ease the burden that the loss has caused.
The Goal of Our Law Firm Representing the Family of A Wrongful Death Victim:
Representing a family that has lost a loved one to the negligence of another person or business is one of the hardest jobs of a personal injury lawyer. We take pride in taking what is a very bad situation and trying to give the survivors some sense of justice and closure through the best the civil justice system can offer which is a monetary award for their loss. This does not bring back a father, mother, sibling or child but, it does ease the financial burden associated with a wage earner and provide some sense of justice in deterring future wrongful conduct that may save another family from going through the same anguish.
Example of families we have helped: We most recently represented a large family that lost their husband and father to a tragic fall in front of a commercial facility that caused his premature death. There are many law firms that no longer care to take slip and fall cases due to the burdens of proving liability. We knew this would a difficult case but, believed in this family. We also knew that, because the decedent did not have life insurance, our claim would be the only way that the family could get back to some type of a normal life after the loss of a person who had provided financial support. We also wanted them to be adequately compensated for the loss of emotional support that can only be provided by a patriarch. We conducted extensive investigation, filed suit, and litigated the claim through the court system for almost a year and a half. At each stage of the game, the defendants denied responsibility and made several attempts to get the case thrown out. We fought this and ultimately gave them only two choices: 1) put their denials in front of a jury; or 2) pay a sum that respected the value of this human life. They chose to settle the claim for well over one million dollars! This allowed the wife of the decedent to obtain enough money to maintain her lifestyle absent the financial support of her husband and provided a sum to each of his children as well as a memorial of the love they lost.
Wrongful death actions are governed by California Code of Civil Procedure §376 and §377.60 – 377.62
The general provisions for survival actions are set forth in California Code of Civil Procedure §377.10 – 377.22