The tragedy of losing a loved one is difficult to overstate. Many families have to cope with the emotional pain of their loss while simultaneously dealing with the financial burdens that accompany wrongful deaths.
Often, families involved in wrongful death cases suffer great financial losses, both immediately and in the future. These losses can include the deceased’s medical care, burial costs, and lost future earnings. The pain and suffering the surviving family members endure are incalculable.
When someone’s negligent, reckless, or criminal action causes the death of another, the deceased’s surviving family can sue the person responsible. If your family has suffered such a loss, contact a California wrongful death lawyer today. Your personal injury attorney can pursue justice for you and your loved one in court.
To learn more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit in California, read the information below. Then, call an experienced wrongful death lawyer to discuss your claim.
What Constitutes a Wrongful Death
Wrongful deaths often occur as the result of someone’s negligence. In many cases, the deceased suffered fatal injury in an accident, such as a car accident. While not every accident-related death is considered a wrongful death, many are.
When someone fails to take reasonable care to avoid injury, that failure can cause serious injury to others. This is negligence. When someone’s negligence causes another’s death, it is considered a wrongful death.
California law allows certain surviving family members to sue the negligent person, business, or other entity responsible for the death of their loved one. To do so, the surviving family should contact a California wrongful death lawyer.
Filing a Wrongful Death Suit in California
When a wrongful death occurs, the deceased’s family can file a civil lawsuit seeking financial compensation for the harm they suffered as a result of the death. California law only permits specific family members to file a wrongful death suit. California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60 specifies which family members can bring such a claim in court, and prioritizes these family members. In other words, if the highest priority relative is no longer living, the next priority relative can file the suit.
At the highest priority, California law allows household family members (including surviving spouse, minor children, dependent parents, dependent stepchildren, and other dependent minors living in the home) to pursue a wrongful death case.
If there are no surviving household members, certain other family members may pursue the case: parents, siblings or children of deceased siblings, grandparents, and children of a deceased spouse.
In cases, the deceased’s next of kin can file if no other relatives are surviving. Wrongful death lawsuits are very complicated, so it is important for surviving families to contact an experienced California wrongful death lawyer for help.
Family members who bring the suit may be entitled to compensation for the following damages:
- Funeral/burial costs
- Loss of anticipated gifts/benefits
- Loss of companionship, comfort, protection, love, care, and society
- Loss of household services
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of a parent’s guidance and training
- Loss of a spouse’s intimate sexual relations
How a California Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
While compensation from a lawsuit cannot make up for the loss of a loved one, it can ease the financial burdens for families. If your loved one suffered a wrongful death, contact a California wrongful death lawyer today.