Some accidents may not appear deadly at first, for instance, if a car is clipped by another vehicle speeding. Unfortunately, in many cases, these accidents can be worse than initially expected. When a person dies in a California car crash—whether at the scene or later after suffering extensive injuries—a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought on their behalf. While it cannot bring the deceased family member back, a wrongful death lawsuit can help the family of the victim to financially recover while they are emotionally grieving.
Recently, a man was killed and a Sacramento man suffered major injuries after a collision on Interstate 5. According to a local news report, the victim was driving southbound in the right lane when the Sacramento man approached his vehicle from behind. The Sacramento man then allowed the right front of his vehicle to hit the left rear of the other car. This caused the victim to go onto the west shoulder, where his car overturned. While police are still investigating the accident, it appears speed contributed to the crash, but alcohol and drugs did not.
Every state differs in what is required to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. While some states require the estate executor to bring the wrongful death lawsuits, other states—like California—allow family members to bring the suit on the deceased loved one’s behalf. According to California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60, the following people are allowed to bring a wrongful death lawsuit: surviving spouses and domestic partners, children, and anyone who would be entitled to the deceased’s property under California laws.
In order to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, the deceased loved ones—with the assistance of an attorney—must show that the defendant’s negligence or recklessness caused the deceased’s untimely death.
If they are successful in convincing a jury of this, then the loved ones will be awarded monetary damages. The purpose of these damages is to compensate the loved ones for the support—both financially and emotionally—that they expected to receive from the victim, had they not died. The monetary amount of damages awarded varies from case to case. However, in determining the amount, juries will consider factors like the expected financial support the deceased would have contributed to his family, funeral and burial expenses, and the family’s loss of companionship and moral support. However, unlike many other states, juries cannot consider the loved one’s pain and suffering caused by the deceased’s death in evaluating damages.
There are legal intricacies to California’s wrongful death provision that are difficult for an untrained eye to catch; because of this, individuals thinking of bringing a wrongful death lawsuit should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help with their claim.
Do You Need a California Accident Attorney?
If you or someone you love was recently killed or injured in a California car accident, contact the attorneys at the Neumann Law Group. We understand that the time after a loved one’s passing, especially when it is unexpected, can be extremely difficult—we are here to help. With years of experience fighting on behalf of car accident victims, our attorneys will provide you with the support you need to navigate your legal claim. To schedule a free, no-risk consultation, contact us today at 800-525-6386.