Wrongful Death in California: Learn Who Can Be Liable and What Damages Can Be Recovered

If you have lost a loved one in an accident in which someone else was at fault, you may have grounds for a wrongful death case. However, these cases can get complicated and can be emotionally difficult to deal with.

These are just two of the reasons to work with an experienced personal injury attorney if you have grounds to bring a wrongful death case. Keep reading to get the basics on who can be found liable and what you could potentially recover, then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.

Survivors Can Bring a Wrongful Death Action Based on Negligence, Recklessness, or Intentional Wrongful Act

A survivor of an accident victim may be able to bring a wrongful death action for a claim that involves another party acting negligently, grossly negligent, recklessly, or intentionally acting wrongfully. Wrongful acts can include:

  • Car accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Child abuse/neglect
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Elder abuse/neglect
  • Drowning
  • Assault and battery
  • Murder/manslaughter

There are certain situations in which an heir can sue for strict liability even if the defendant was not neglect, such as dog bite accidents or defective products.

The Recoverable Damages Depend on the Specifics of the Case

The purpose of wrongful death damages is to compensate the survivors for the financial loss and support they have lost due to the death. This can include compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages can involve lost wages based on what the deceased would likely have earned over their remaining lifetime, damages for the loss of benefits the deceased’s job provided, the cost of the burial and/or funeral, medical costs that resulted from the accident, and more.

Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering and loss of consortium, which is essentially the loss of physical affection. There are many other noneconomic damages that may apply, depending on the specifics of the case and the relationship between the person bringing the suit and the victim of the accident.

Generally speaking, the period of time for which damages are recoverable is either the life expectancy of the deceased when they died or the life expectancy of the plaintiff when they took the action, depending on which is less. The jury decides on life expectancy after taking various factors into consideration, such as health, lifestyle, and job.

If you have questions about wrongful death cases or you believe you have grounds to file one, please contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.