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Legal Insights For Families Filing a Civil Wrongful Death Claim

Legal Insights For Families Filing a Civil Wrongful Death Claim

Legal Insights For Families Filing a Civil Wrongful Death Claim

Do you know someone who wrongfully died due to another party’s negligence? As a decedent of the deceased, you are entitled to recover damages from your loss. To do that, you need to file a civil wrongful death claim with an attorney.

An Overview of Wrongful Death Claims

According to California legal conduct, a wrongful death claim is brought to court when a person dies as a result of another party’s wrongdoing. It is a part of a civil lawsuit; filed by the decedents, or by the personal representative of the deceased victim’s estate. Because it is a civil lawsuit, compensation is expressed in monetary terms only. In case the lawsuit was successful, the court orders the party or parties at fault to compensate the survivors.

There is a huge difference between wrongful death claims and homicide. The former is a civil lawsuit while the latter is a criminal case. A criminal charge puts the at-fault party in jail, probation and other penalization methods. The courts compensate wrongful death claims in only monetary terms. However, if you already have a criminal case in California, you can bring a civil wrongful death claim to court at the same time.

The List of Recoverable Damages in a Civil Wrongful Death Claim

As explained, survivors for the deceased person can only recover monetary damages. California courts grants compensation awards based on survivors’ loss due to the passing of their loved one. The list includes compensation for the losses accumulated from:

  • Financial support
  • Contributions
  • Services
  • Society, comfort, companionship and consortium
  • Care and protection
  • Training and advice
  • Funeral and burial expense
  • Prospective gifts

Many clients confuse and mistake the damages they expect to be recover. And while it is absolutely devastating to lose a family member, civil wrongful death claims do not recover all damages incurred. Some damages are unfortunately non-recoverable. These include:

  • Detriment suffered by decedent
  • Decedent’s medical expenses
  • Heir’s grief, sorrow, anguish and mental suffering
  • Decedent’s prospective savings
  • Expectancy of inheritance
  • Punitive damages

Who May Recover Damages after a Wrongful Death?

It is not like you can recover damages whenever a loved one dies wrongfully. California laws allow certain people only to file a civil wrongful death claim. California allows two parties of people to file and be compensated.

  1. Heirs or people who are entitled to inherit from the deceased person. These include the surviving spouse, domestic partner and his/her children.
  2. Individuals who are financially dependent on the deceased. These include his/her putative spouse and children, stepchildren, and the deceased person’s parents.

Free Consultation with a California Wrongful Death Attorney

Do you have a family member who wrongfully died due to negligence? Are you a family member who can file a civil claim to recover damages? You should call our office to schedule your free consultation with Southern California experienced civil lawyer, Alexander Napolin. We understand that this is a difficult time for your family, and we would like to be there with you. You do not have to do this alone, call us today.

Alexander D. Napolin, Esq.