Filing a claim in a civil court after a loved one has passed away may seem intimidating. However, if a loved one’s death was due to the negligence of another, a legal claim may be appropriate. In California and other states, wrongful death litigation typically hinges on two specific factors: liability and monetary damages.
A fatal car accident is a common scenario for a wrongful death claim; so are fatalities resulting from on-the-job accidents, boating accidents, slip and fall tragedies and medical errors. A civil claim requires proof of liability and, once that is established, proof of damages incurred. Liability is typically established by evidence of negligence that is found to have caused or materially contributed to the fatal accident.
Apart from liability, the financial loss must be documented to successfully pursue a wrongful death claim. Some of the losses that can be alleviated through compensation in civil court include lost wages of the deceased. The cost of any medical treatment prior to death and funeral expenses can also be recouped through this type of claim. Also, mental anguish and loss of companionship may also be properly included in a claim for monetary damages.
A wrongful death claim may seem complicated and confusing. An experienced California personal injury attorney can clarify what scenarios and expenses may affect an individual case and help determine if a civil lawsuit is viable, based on evidence of negligence and proof of financial loss. Our firm has more specifics about wrongful death situations and compensation on our website.