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4 Things You Didn’t Know About Wrongful Death In California (But Should)

On Behalf of | May 10, 2018 | Wrongful Death

No one can ever be prepared for the death of their loved ones, which is why most people who lose their family members in an accident have no clue what to do next.

And you cannot blame them, really. Thinking about monetary compensation or legal action against the negligent party, who was responsible for their loved one’s death, is the last thing on everyone’s mind in these circumstances.

More often than not, whenever our California wrongful death attorney at the Licata & Yeremenko, A Professional Law Corporation receives a phone call from someone who has recently lost a family member, most of these people do not even possess a basic knowledge about wrongful death laws in California.

That is why we invited our best wrongful death lawyers in California to answer some of the most confusing things about wrongful death laws and make it much easier for you to hold negligent parties responsible for the death of your loved one.

What If A Person Filed A Personal Injury Lawsuit Before Death?

In some cases, a person may die AFTER filing a personal injury lawsuit, but in other cases, people die at the scene of an accident or before they can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party.

If a person was injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, filed a lawsuit, and subsequently died because of these injuries or from related causes, that person’s heirs may be entitled to recover damages by turning the personal injury lawsuit into a wrongful death lawsuit.

Civil vs Criminal Cases In Wrongful Death

Many people in California do not understand the difference between civil and criminal cases arising from their family member’s death. Our California wrongful death lawyer explains that the legal heirs of the deceased person may be entitled to file a criminal case against the negligent party if that party’s conduct, negligence, recklessness, wrongful act, or omission to act can be classified as a crime under California laws.

A civil case, on the other hand, can be brought by the heirs when the negligent party breached his or her duty of care to the deceased person. As you may have guessed by now, the burden of proof is much higher in criminal cases than in civil cases. Similarly, penalties and punishment against the defendant are much more serious in criminal cases.

Can You Recover Pain And Suffering Damages In Wrongful Death Cases?

Many people do not realize that pain and suffering are recoverable in wrongful death cases. And while it is true that you, as an heir of the deceased person who died as a result of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, breach of contract, or wrongful act, may be entitled to pain and suffering damages, it is highly advised that you seek the legal advice of a California wrongful death attorney in order to calculate the value of damages and craft the most optimal legal plan to recover economic and emotional damages.

What Factors Are Taken Into Account When Determining Economic Damages?

A rule of thumb is that economic damages usually take up over 70 percent of the total amount of wrongful death compensation. And while settlements and verdicts in many wrongful death cases in California climb as high as millions of dollars, many people still do not understand what factors are considered by courts when determining economic damages.

The four main factors in determining economic damages and losses are the deceased’s earning capacity before death, his/her health and medical condition, life expectancy, and the value of assets.

Get a free case evaluation from our best wrongful death attorneys in California by contacting Licata & Yeremenko, A Professional Law Corporation. Call our offices at 818-783-5757 or complete this contact form to get a free consultation.