What is the Concept Behind a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

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In personal injury claims, the concept behind the claim is simple: to make you whole again — or at least to the extent possible. Any personal injury caused by another person or entity’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional act is a personal injury for which you are entitled compensation — so long as the damages can be quantified in terms of money. Some personal injuries are so serious that you will not be “made whole again,” but compensation for things like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment are meant to improve the quality of your life to the extent possible. These claims are always made by the victim him or herself.

Wrongful death claims, on the other hand, are not made by the victim because he or she has died as a result of the personal injury. But that does not mean the at-fault party gets off without consequence. Family members or beneficiaries are suffering the loss of their loved one — and not just emotionally. Herein is where the wrongful death claim steps in and below is an explanation of the concept of this type of claim, which in short is: to make family members or beneficiaries as whole as possible.

How are family members made “whole” again after a loved one is wrongfully killed in California?

After a family member dies by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional act, that person’s family is physically and symbolically left with a vacant spot. The seat at the dinner table is no longer sat in. Those jokes that made others laugh are no longer told. That smile that could fill the room with goodness is no longer there. The void is felt. But it’s felt in more than one way.

Family members may now be stuck with expenses stemming from the death. Dependent family members will also be out of financial and moral guidance, among other things. As implied, the concept behind wrongful death claims is filling the void made by the decedent as much as possible so that family members and beneficiaries are helped to the highest extent possible.

Though your loved one will never be returned and those moments with him or her will never happen again, getting help with the financial part of the loss can go a long way to help you while you grieve. Here’s what a wrongful death claim means to do:

  • Reimburse you of any medical bills related to the decedent that you were and are responsible for paying;
  • Reimburse you for any out-of-pocket expenses related to the decedent you had to spend;
  • Reimburse you for any benefits (e.g., employment benefits) you would have received from the decedent;
  • Reimburse you for burial and funeral services;
  • Reimburse you for the reasonable value of any household services the decedent would have provided;
  • Compensate you for the loss of society and companionship;
  • Compensate you for the loss of affection;
  • Compensate you for the loss of moral support, especially for dependent children;
  • Compensate you for the loss of training and guidance, especially for dependent children; and
  • Compensate the surviving spouse or partner for loss of sexual relations.

Again, being recompensed for the above economic and non-economic damages will not bring back your loved one, but it will help you move forward in his or her memory.

So, if you believe your loved one died in California due to someone else’s fault, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney in California today. It’s important to file a timely claim so that you can grieve while also ensuring you are secure financially today and tomorrow.