A wrongful death is the death that occurs as a result of the negligent, intentional or reckless conduct of another. When a burn victim loses his or her life as a result of an accident that was caused by someone else, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Such family members are typically the spouse and children of the deceased but they can also include the domestic partner, a putative spouse, the issue of deceased children, stepchildren and parents.
A wrongful death lawsuit is not a criminal prosecution as it’s sole purpose is to compensate the heirs of the deceased for their losses. Anyone who has gone through the heartbreak of losing someone they love in a wrongful death accident would likely advise you to seek out the services of a California personal injury attorney to represent your interests if you are a surviving family member.
Wrongful Death Recoverable Damages Allowed Under California Law
Damages in wrongful death cases are broken down into the following two categories:
Economic Damages: The financial support that the deceased would have contributed to the family during either his or her life expectancy before his/her death or the life expectancy of the survivor(s), whichever is shorter. Economic damages also include the loss of gifts or benefits that the plaintiff (person suing) would have expected to received from the deceased as well as the reasonable value of household services that the deceased would have provided.
Non-Economic Damages: Loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection and moral support. Pertaining to spouses or domestic partners, non-economic damages can also include the loss of the enjoyment of sexual relations. In the case of children who have survived the death of a parent, non-economic damages can include the loss of the deceased’s training and guidance.
Our San Francisco wrongful death attorneys understand that the loss of someone you love is devastating and that no amount of money can bring your loved one back. However, we fight hard to get the maximum amount of damages possible so that you are given financial stability to help ease the burden the loss has caused.
In California, one has two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, if a public or government entity is involved, that time may be as short as six months. This is why you should not hesitate to contact our San Francisco burn injury wrongful death attorneys as it’s important to start working on your claim as soon as possible.