When a family member is lost prematurely as a result of the carelessness, recklessness, or criminal behavior of some other person or party, the surviving family members have the right to file a wrongful death suit. Not all family members can so file: only children, siblings, parents, and grandparents have the right to do so.
As in other personal injury cases, the family has the right to collect certain financial damages in compensation for such acts. These include both economic and noneconomic damages.
Other Types of Damages
Economic damages, of course, are based on financial loss. These include the financial support the deceased would have provided to survivors, any loss of benefits or gifts that would have passed from the deceased to family members, and also the cost of the deceased’s funeral and burial.
Non-economic damages, though harder to quantify, are no less legally viable. These are intended to address losses such as loss of companionship, comfort, affection, and other factors.
In some cases, courts may choose to award punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are intended to act as a deterrent and send a message to the offender as well as to society at large that such acts of gross negligence or criminal misconduct will not be tolerated by the civil courts.
Let’s Get Started
Note that some injuries, such as a victim’s own pain and suffering, are not covered by wrongful death lawsuits. These must be addressed separately via what are called survival actions. Talk to a knowledgeable California wrongful death attorney today at Hales & Associates, Attorneys to learn more about filing personal injury suits in the aftermath of a tragic accident.