Losing someone you love is devastating, especially when another party’s negligence caused their death.
Eligible surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault parties. While no amount of money will bring your family member back, it can help with the unexpected financial burden you are facing.
Understandably, family members want to know what the potential settlement amount is. However, there is no average number that applies in these cases. Every case is valued independently. To learn what your case is worth, speak with a California wrongful death attorney.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
In California, wrongful death lawsuits fall under personal injury claims. This law allows a deceased victim’s family the legal right to pursue compensation for their own losses. It is not a claim designed to recover financial compensation that the deceased was entitled to receive. That would fall under a companion claim known as a survival action.
Every family’s loss is different, which is why it’s impossible to state an average figure for a wrongful death lawsuit. One case might resolve for $10,000, while another wrongful death lawsuit resolves for $1,000,000. At Silva Injury Law, Inc., our California wrongful death legal team will sit down with you and discuss the damages your family is entitled to receive.
Available Damages in a California Wrongful Death Case
Available damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are different from those in a regular personal injury lawsuit. Potential damages in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Burial and funeral expenses;
- Loss of consortium;
- Financial support the deceased would have contributed to your family had they not passed away;
- Loss of companionship;
- Value of household services that the deceased victim would’ve provided; and
- Loss of moral support.
In a survival action, the estate would be looking to recover costs for medical expenses, property damage, and more. Note: California law doesn’t allow you to pursue compensation for a victim’s pain and suffering in either a wrongful death lawsuit or a survival action.
Factors that Influence a Wrongful Death Settlement in California
When determining the value of your wrongful death claim, we look at a wide variety of factors that can impact your case value. Unlike some other states, California doesn’t have a damages cap, which means there is no ceiling on how much a jury could award in your wrongful death lawsuit.
Some of the most common factors that can impact your case value include:
- The victim’s age;
- How many minor children the deceased had at the time of death;
- The age of the minor children;
- The percentage of financial support the spouse relies on the victim for;
- The circumstances surrounding the accident; and
- Whether the deceased was actively involved in their community.
These elements can also decrease a family’s potential settlement. Consider a case where someone files a wrongful death lawsuit for the death of a much older family member who had no surviving spouse or children and was nearly 50% at fault for the accident. That case would be worth less than one where the victim left behind a surviving spouse and multiple young children and had no responsibility for the accident.
Contact a California Wrongful Death Lawyer
If someone else’s negligence resulted in a family member’s death, you could be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California. Don’t attempt to handle the claim on your own. These can become complicated matters to resolve. Instead, let the skilled legal team at Silva Injury Law, Inc. assist you. We have years of experience with all types of personal injury claims, including wrongful death lawsuits. We understand the nuances of these legal matters and will fight to get you the maximum compensation possible. To learn more about how we can help, contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.