When an individual dies in an accident, either immediately or in the weeks or months that follow from the injuries he or she sustained in the accident, one of the individual’s survivors can file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for their damages related to the death.
Although some of the same damages that can be sought through a personal injury claim can be sought through a wrongful death claim, the two are quite different from each other. With a wrongful death claim, the compensation received can go to the victim’s estate or directly to his or her family members, depending on the expenses that accompanied his or her death.
The victim’s spouse, children, siblings, parents and grandparents, stepchildren, and any others to whom he or she left property in his or her will can receive compensation through a wrongful death claim. In California, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of the victim’s death. A personal representative of the victim’s estate must be the one to file the wrongful death claim. This individual may name multiple loved ones as recipients of damages from the claim. Claimants may be able to seek compensation for certain damages. Call our office to discuss possible legal strategies for your case.
If the victim received medical treatment after his or her accident and experienced pain and suffering damages, his or her loved ones can seek compensation for these damages through a wrongful death claim. These are compensated to the victim’s estate.
Like medical expenses, the cost of the victim’s funeral can be compensated to his or her estate, rather than directly to his or her family members.
Family members can sometimes seek compensation for the loss of the victim’s income and employment benefits. This could include compensation for the victim’s current earnings as well as his or her projected earnings over the remainder of his or her career if he or she had survived. Claimants can also seek compensation for the nonfinancial contributions the victim made to his or her household, like housework and household repairs.
A deceased victim’s loved ones can also seek compensation for the pain and suffering they experience as a result of the death, such as the emotional despair of losing a loved one. They can also seek compensation for the loss of the victim’s companionship, guidance, and love. Unlike medical and funeral expenses, these damages are awarded directly to the victim’s family members.
Losing a loved one to an accident can be devastating. Although no amount of financial compensation can replace your loved one, it can help you and your family avoid facing financial hardship because of your loss. To learn more about filing and pursuing a wrongful death claim in California, contact our team of wrongful death attorneys at The Law Office of Scott Righthand, P.C. today to set up a consultation with us.
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