Losing a loved one in a preventable accident is a tragedy that no family should ever face. However, each year, there are more than 15,000 accidental deaths in California. While there is no amount of money that can adequately make up for the loss of a family member, by bringing a wrongful death claim, you can recover compensation that will ease some of the financial burdens.
What Are the Damages of Wrongful Death in California?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of personal injury claim brought by an accident victim’s surviving loved ones. Typically, spouses, domestic partners, children, or grandchildren can bring a wrongful death claim. However, certain other close relatives can also bring a claim if they show they were financially dependent on the accident victim. A family can pursue a wrongful death claim after an accident caused by another’s negligence, including:
- Construction accidents;
- Slip and fall accidents;
- Accidents caused by defective or dangerous products;
- Motor vehicle collisions;
- Dog bites; and
- Medical malpractice.
When it comes to wrongful death damages in California, there are two types: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that compensate loved ones for their “actual” losses. This includes the money they could have expected to receive if their loved one hadn’t died as well as the money they spent due to their loved one’s passing. For example, the following are common types of economic damages in a California wrongful death lawsuit:
- The financial support the accident victim would have contributed to their family;
- The loss of gifts or other benefits the victim would have contributed to their family;
- Funeral expenses; and
- The value of household services the accident victim would have provided if they had lived.
Economic damages have an objective element to them, meaning they can be reasonably ascertained by presenting evidence, such as the accident victim’s income, receipts, bills, etc.
Non-economic damages, however, are much more subjective. They seek to compensate family members for the less tangible emotional and psychological harms they suffered due to their loss. For example, some of the common non-economic wrongful death damages in California include:
- The loss of the accident victim’s “love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support”;
- A spouse’s loss of consortium; and
- The loss of the accident victim’s guidance.
Every accident victim is unique, as is the impact that the loss has on their family. Non-economic damages allow a judge or jury to take these differences into account when determining the appropriate amount of damages.
Contact an Experienced California Wrongful Death Attorney to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you lost a loved one in a tragic accident, the thought of bringing a lawsuit may feel overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. At Silva Injury Law, our dedicated team of personal injury and wrongful death lawyers have developed an effective approach to these cases. We focus our efforts on making the process as easy on you and your family as possible while pursuing the compensation that you need to begin the process of moving on with your life. We have a firm understanding of the wrongful death damages in California and do everything possible to identify the full extent of your loss. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a compassionate wrongful death lawyer, call 209-316-3502 today. You can also reach us through our online contact form.