Understanding Wrongful Death In California

Posted By Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP || 15-Feb-2013

When a person is injured due to the negligence of another, that person may seek compensation under California’s personal injury laws. If the injuries prove fatal, the right to seek compensation doesn’t disappear – it merely moves from the injured person to the injured person’s personal representative or next of kin. In these situations, the case is known as a “wrongful death” case.

Wrongful death can occur in any situation that might cause severe injury. Car accidents, slip and fall injuries, workplace accidents, and defective products pose just a few of the situations in which an injury may be so severe that it claims a life. When this happens, the family may scramble to pay its bills and find space to grieve. Pursuing a wrongful death claim with the help of an experienced San Jose wrongful death attorney can help alleviate these burdens.

California law allows the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate to bring a wrongful death case to court. It also allows a deceased person’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, or the grandchildren of any deceased child of the deceased person to bring a wrongful death case. Dependents may also bring the case, even if they don’t fall into any of the categories listed above.

Compensation available in a wrongful death case includes payments to cover medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and other costs related to the fatal accident. It can also cover the value of the wages the deceased person would have earned for the family if he or she had survived. Also included in compensation are amounts to cover pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of companionship or guidance.

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