Injury to one person might also occasion a compensable loss or detriment to that person’s spouse, registered domestic partner (Fam.C. § 297) or other close relatives witness injury inflicted upon someone with whom they have a close family relationship may have a right to recover damages on their own behalf for the resulting emotional trauma. For example, if a parent, child or spouse witness the injury or death of the child, parent or spouse.

If the death was caused by a criminal act, the wrongful death claimants may also have limited statutory indemnification rights—under the “Victims of Crime Act” (Gov.C. § 13959 et seq.) or, perhaps, the “Good Samaritan Act” (Gov.C. § 13970 et seq.—injury or death resulting from “direct action” taken to prevent crime, apprehend criminals, or rescue another person).

However, the indemnification may only be paid for “pecuniary losses” and, to the extent compensation is paid under the Victims of Crime Act, the State has a lien on any damages recovery obtained against the perpetrator defendant [Blazevich v. State Board of Control (1987); Webster v. State Board of Control (1987)].

To understand more about possible damages claims against persons who caused the death of a loved one, consult with a lawyer who is an expert in personal injury.


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