Wrongful death lawsuits can be a powerful source of justice for those struggling with the sudden loss of a family member. California law permits surviving dependent family members to request compensation for the practical consequences of a fatal car crash or other fatal incident.
In a wrongful death claim, parents, children and spouses of the deceased can ask for financial compensation. There are three broad categories of damages available in California wrongful death claims.
Medical and funeral costs for the deceased
Someone who dies because of a car crash may not succumb to their injuries right away. Someone who suffers a traumatic brain injury could be on life support for several weeks before they die, leaving their family with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Wrongful death claims can include all of someone’s medical costs related to their wrongful death and their funeral costs. Family members can sometimes seek pain and suffering compensation on behalf of the deceased as well.
If the crash had not occurred, the deceased individual might have worked for years and helped support the family. A lifetime of wages and benefits can significantly increase how much people seek in wrongful death claims.
Loss of support and services
Finally, family members can seek compensation for the unpaid efforts of their loved one in the home. Perhaps they always did the family’s laundry or handled the grocery shopping. Maybe they were helping to raise teenagers who are in need of guidance and emotional support. Your family can make claims based on those losses in addition to the economic losses as mentioned above.
Unfortunately, California law does not allow for punitive damages in wrongful death cases. However, knowing what you can ask for in a crash-related wrongful death claim can help you seek justice for your family’s tragedy.