How are Wrongful Death Claims Different from Other Types of Personal Injury Claims?
While a personal injury case where the victim is still alive will typically cover such matters as lost income, pain and suffering, and medical expenses, California law mandates a different set of standards for wrongful death claims. The law says that must be based on the extent of the heirs’ damages, as well as proving that the death was the result of negligent or bad conduct of the defendant. In other words, the amount of the judgement is primarily based on the amount that family members would have most likely received if the victim had remained alive, as compared to the amount that they actually are receiving. This means, for example, that the likely heirs of a younger individual with a higher paying job would receive more compensation than those of an older person who had already retired. Awards are not limited to spouses and children, but may also go to other family members such as siblings, grandparents, and children who lived with the victim. Ask your attorney for more details.