The only thing more heartbreaking than the death of a loved one is when that loved one dies as the result of an accident that could have easily been avoided. For people who have lost someone as the result of an accident injury or negligence, the pain of that person’s passing is aggravated by the sense of injustice over the way they were taken. Unfortunately, unintentional injury deaths are common, and a leading cause of death in the United States. While these tragedies leave families reeling from the loss and unsure on how to move forward, there are practical considerations that must be dealt with in terms of day to day life. While no amount of compensation can bring back a cherished loved one or make up for their passing, dealing with the added burden of financial losses due to a wrongful death is something no one should have to bear. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you can get justice for your loved one, while ensuring your family will survive and eventually recover from this loss.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional injuries are the
number one cause of death for people aged 44 and under, and the third leading cause of death for those aged 45-64. Over 130,000 people die each year as the result of accidents, leaving their families devastated and wondering how they can possible move on or recover from such a tragedy.
Section 377.60 of the California Code of Civil Procedure allows family members of people who have died due to accidental injuries or as the result of someone’s reckless or negligent actions to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The types of cases in which a wrongful death may be filed include the following:
- Car accidents;
- Product liability cases;
- Medical malpractice cases;
- Nursing home abuse and neglect;
- Work accidents;
- Premises liability cases; and
- Travel related accidents.
Family members who may be entitled to file a claim on the behalf of a deceased loved one include parents, spouses, domestic partners, children, and even grandchildren of the victim. Damages that can be claimed include any medical expenses that were incurred by the victim, such as doctor and hospital bills, and costs associated with end of life care, as well as the cost of funeral expenses.
The Family Afterwards
In the aftermath of a wrongful death, the family is forced to go on, while dealing with the devastating consequences of what has happened. In an effort to compensate survivors, courts often award a judgment to the families of victims for future losses, such as lost income and financial contributions the person would have made to the family over the course of their lifetime. Courts also often provide a judgment in light of the loss the family has suffered, in terms of the role the victim played in the family.
Of course, there is no amount that can compensate a grieving parent for not being able to see a child get married or have children, or for a grieving spouse who is denied the comforts and joys of growing old with their partner. Children are forever affected by the death of a parent, and their loss will always be felt at family events and during life’s milestones, such as graduations and weddings. At the same time, a judgment obtained through a wrongful death lawsuit can help to lend some sort of closure to a painful chapter in a family’s life, and give some vindication for those left behind.