A wrongful death claim seeks to recover for the losses the dependents of a deceased person (called the decedent) suffered after he or she died. These individuals may be able to obtain economic and non-economic damages, including:
Punitive damages, which seek to punish the negligent party for particularly heinous actions, cannot be obtained in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Under California statute, wrongful death actions differ in the damages recoverable by the plaintiff. As a result, only those damages named are recoverable. For example, a plaintiff cannot recover for the victim’s pain and suffering. Rather, the plaintiff might recover funeral expenses as well as for a loss of intimacy, affection, companionship and more resulting from the loved one’s death.
An experienced wrongful death attorney will consider the following factors when determining how much to seek in economic damages:
To quantify these factors, the attorney will first need to calculate a decedent’s life expectancy.
Under California wrongful death law, there is no standard to determine an amount to seek in non-economic damages. The attorney will consider these factors when determining how much to seek in non-economic damages:
The damages recoverable in a survivorship lawsuit differ from those in a wrongful death suit. A representative seeks to recover on behalf of the decedent for losses he or she suffered before death. These damages might be medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Punitive damages can also be alleged if the facts support it.
If you lost a loved one due to another person’s actions, our knowledgeable attorneys can help. Contact CaseyGerry to schedule a confidential consultation. An experienced wrongful death attorney will explain the next steps and what you can expect. You can reach our office at 619-238-1811.