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The unexpected death of a family member or close friend can have a life-altering effect. California’s wrongful death statute allows victims’ loved ones to pursue compensation and legal redress from those responsible for a loved one’s death. Unfortunately, not all close relatives in California can file a wrongful death suit. The law places limitations on who can file a claim and seek damages.

Perhaps you’re asking, “Can we sue for wrongful death in California?” How close you are to the victim will determine most of your response. In this article, the Stockton wrongful death attorney in California gives an in-depth rundown of the many forms of compensation that can be won in a case of this nature.

Liability For Wrongful Death: Who Can Bring A Lawsuit?

Legal proceedings involving wrongful death are typically handled at the state level. Wrongful death is covered by California law, specifically Section 377.60 of the California Civil Procedure Code. This California statute defines, among other things, the parties with legal standing to file a lawsuit. The following individuals have the exclusive right to pursue a wrongful death claim under Section 377.60(a):

  • a surviving spouse;
  • the domestic partner who has perished; and
  • Offspring, who made it?

If neither a spouse nor a partner or any of their children survives, the claim can be brought by the next in line according to California’s intestate succession statutes. As a rule, it is the victim’s parents. It’s also possible that it’s someone else, like one of their older brothers, sisters, or even a distant cousin.

Punitive Compensation For Unjustified Deaths Reward Close Relatives

In most cases, the beneficiaries of a wrongful death claim are the deceased person’s immediate family members, who are entitled to monetary compensation for the financial support they would have provided had the victim survived the incident. Wrongful death settlements and verdicts may cover both economic and intangible damages. Wrongful death damages can include, among other things:

  • Expenses related to death and subsequent burial;
  • personal health insurance premiums;
  • Negative impact on the family’s ability to provide for themselves;
  • The destruction of inheritances and advantages;
  • The absence of the deceased’s love and encouragement.

The economic damages awarded by a California court will be based on the actual monetary losses sustained by the family. California law does not provide a formula for determining the amount of compensation for pain and suffering. Instead, juries are mandated by state legislation to utilize their discretion and common sense in awarding damages.

What Are The Rules For Distributing Damages In Case Of Wrongful Death?

Under California law, only one eligible plaintiff may bring a wrongful death action in certain situations. However, Ncvle has situations where the state statute grants rights to more than one party. What happens to the money in a wrongful death settlement, you ask? The answer is conditional on numerous variables, including the precise nature of the compensation provided.

The Victim’s Estate May File An Additional Claim For Survival Actions

Wrongful death litigation aims to compensate the victim’s loved ones for their suffering and loss, both material and emotional. The deceased person’s family may have the option of filing a survival case claim in certain circumstances. An estate can file a survival lawsuit claim under California Civil Procedure Code 377.30 to seek damages for injuries the decedent incurred between the time of an accident and the time of death.

For families, it’s not an either-or situation. Legal proceedings for wrongful death and survivor actions might proceed simultaneously. An illustration of a California survival action claim follows. A person in San Jose County was killed in a terrible truck accident. They were taken to the nearest hospital right away. Sad to say, they tragically passed away 24 to 48 hours after the tragedy. Within that time frame, the victim’s estate can file a survival lawsuit to seek compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering and medical expenses.

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