Wrongful Death and Survival Actions
In California, a wrongful death occurs when a person wrongfully or negligently causes the death of another. The death may be intentional or accidental. For example, if a motor vehicle driver, property owner, nursing home, medical professional or truck driver willfully or negligently causes another person’s death, the appropriate family members of the deceased person or those financially dependent on the deceased person may seek compensation from the responsible parties in a California wrongful death action.
Curtis Legal Group has served Northern California families and wrongful death claimants since 1953.
Our wrongful death lawyers in Sacramento, Stockton and Modesto have counseled countless families and claimants throughout Northern California who have lost a loved one because of another person’s negligence or misconduct. We have helped these families and individuals through their painful and emotional loss by holding those responsible for their suffering accountable.
It is important to understand that a wrongful death claim or action does not belong to the deceased person. Rather, it is a claim or action that belongs to the individual who has suffered injury for the loss of a loved one or loss of financial support.
A wrongful death claimant may be a family member. However, California law limits the family members who can recover wrongful death damages to certain individuals that meet certain statutory requirements. Additionally, a wrongful death claimant does not always have to be of family relation. He or she may be a person who was financially dependent on the deceased person when the decedent was alive.
As you can see, wrongful death claims can get complicated. As another example, if you intend to bring a wrongful death claim, California law requires that you include all other potential wrongful death claimants should you file a suit to enforce your rights. Otherwise, you could be responsible to compensate those wrongful death claimants that were not included in your wrongful death action. This procedure can be stressful since communication with other family members or other claimants can be difficult at times.
In a wrongful death action, you may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include reimbursement of funeral and burial expenses that you paid out-of-pocket as well as reimbursement for the financial support, gifts, benefits and household services that the deceased person would have contributed to the family had he or she survived. Non-economic damages cover the loss of deceased’s love, companionship, affection, and guidance.
Our experienced wrongful death attorneys will seek the full economic and non-economic damages permissible under California law to compensate you for your loss.
California law also allows an action on behalf of a decedent who lived for a period of time before dying from his or her injuries. A representative of the decedent’s estate may bring what is known as a “survival claim” or “survival action” so that the estate of the decedent obtains reimbursement for medical bills, loss of income and other damages. This money can then be disbursed to the heirs or beneficiaries of the deceased person’s estate. A decedent typically cannot obtain compensation for pain and suffering damages. However, the law does provide some exceptions to this limitation.
If you believe that you are entitled to wrongful death damages or believe that the estate of the decedent is entitled to be compensated through a survival claim, then you should immediately consult with an attorney.
We Don’t Recover Unless You Do
If you feel that a loved one or a family member has died as a result of another party’s neglect or misconduct, contact the personal injury attorneys at Curtis Legal Group immediately. Our trial attorneys possess the dedication and experience to handle your case professionally and preserve your legal rights. We only earn a fee if we recover money for you.
We will aggressively pursue every avenue to ensure you are properly compensated for your loss.
Please call us at 1-800-LAW-3080 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.