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.