"Wrongful death" as a legal term is nothing more than a death that has been caused by another person. Thus, if a person is injured, but lives, it is called "bodily injury," but if the person dies, it becomes "wrongful death." The most significant difference derives from the reality that a "wrongful death" claim can only be brought by those specified in the California statute as having standing to sue.
Family members or beneficiaries of the decedent generally file "wrongful death" claims. Although individual circumstances vary, that generally means someone with a close familial connection to the deceased, such as a wife or husband, a child, brother or sister or parent. Wrongful death and bodily injury claims are significantly different even though both arise from the same incident causing injury or death.
In a wrongful death case, pain and suffering of the deceased are not in issue. Instead, the focus is on the relationship between the deceased and the family member, both emotionally and financially. Damages that may be recovered include:
- Insurance and other benefits lost from the death
- Medical and Funeral expenses
- Monetary damages to cover what could have been earned and provided by the deceased
- Grief, mental anguish, and suffering to the survivor of the decedent
- Loss of comfort, protection, and companionship
- Punitive damages
If a family member has died as the result of someone else's misconduct, regardless of the cause, you should contact our firm to find out if you are eligible for lawful compensation. Call Wilton & Associates at 818-906-3500 or fill out the online Contact Form and we will contact you as soon as possible.