An accident that results in severe injuries may do more than keep a loved one out of work. The damage caused by the incident may lead to their early death.
Not only does a loved one’s death leave behind a void in the family, but financial stressors too. If a loved one’s death results from catastrophic injuries caused by another, it might qualify for a wrongful death claim.
What makes a wrongful death case?
A wrongful death applies when someone dies from injuries caused by someone else’s careless action, inaction or intentional action. To prove this, those left behind have to show that their loved one would still live and thrive if not for the negligence exhibited by the person responsible.
Who can file a wrongful death case?
Under California law, only certain people have the standing to file a wrongful death case. Surviving family members dependent on the deceased may bring a claim for financial recovery. The estate may also initiate litigation on behalf of creditors and heirs. While any family member can attempt a wrongful death lawsuit, spouses and children get preferential treatment.
What are damages?
The goal is to get some measure of financial compensation on behalf of the survivors. A judge orders the responsible party to pay damages to the family for financial and emotional distress caused by the incident. A family may also receive compensation for the expected financial contribution the deceased would have made had the incident not occurred.
A wrongful death action may help a mourning family move forward with more financial stability, allowing them to grieve the loss of their loved one without worrying about paying bills.