No one wants to get a phone call from a California police officer informing them that a loved one has been in a motor vehicle collision. Such situations are devastating, even if the loved one has survived his or her injuries. If a fatality has occurred, the entire family’s lives are forever changed, and processing grief can be extremely difficult. In many cases, such incidents lead to wrongful death litigation.
In the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle collision involving a loved one’s death, a spouse, adult child or other family member can barely think straight. As time passes, however, various issues begin to arise that must be resolved. For instance, funeral expenses must be paid. If a family is unprepared to meet such expenses, it can cause serious financial distress.
Filing a wrongful death claim may help a grieving family obtain compensation
If another person’s negligence caused the collision that resulted in a loved one’s fatality, family members who are grieving their loss should not have to bear the full financial burden associated with the incident. By filing a wrongful death claim in a civil court, an immediate family member of a decedent may request compensation for damages. If the court or jury decides in the plaintiff’s favor, compensation awarded may be used to offset expenses or to help a family get back on their feet as they cope with their losses.
What types of damages can be listed in a wrongful death claim?
When a family member files a wrongful death claim in a California court, he or she is acting on behalf of the decedent. This means that the decedent’s physical pain and suffering, property damage or medical bills from treatment rendered before his or her passing, may be listed as damages in the case. In addition, a plaintiff may also list loss of financial support, loss of inheritance or loss of companionship, as applicable in a specific case. It is always best to consult with a personal injury law attorney before filing a legal claim following a car accident.