Pursuing Wrongful Death Settlements
Losing someone dear and near to you can be a devastating time. Even though any amount of money could never replace a life, there is an area of the law that allows families to recover the value that said person’s life through wrongful death settlements, represented when he or she was a victim of wrongful death due to a third party’s negligence.
Who can pursue a wrongful death suit?
Each state has specific laws that govern wrongful death suits. However, relatives of the decedent are generally able to pursue damages. Therefore, spouses, life partners, putative spouses, dependent children, parents, and other family members may be able to seek compensation. Again, this will vary according to the state and its laws.
When pursuing wrongful death settlements in California, the person who claims damages must be one of the following:
- The surviving spouse of the decedent
- The surviving children of the decedent
- If there is no other surviving member in the decedent’s line of descent, other family members such as parents and siblings may be entitled to the property of the deceased.
Other people who may pursue wrongful death damages – if they can prove their financial dependence on the decedent – include:
- The decedent’s putative spouse and his/her children
- Parents of the decedent
How are wrongful death settlements
Trying to represent life in terms of monetary value is extremely difficult; this is why there are several factors involved in the process of determining an amount. Some of these factors are:
- The age of the decedent
- The earning capacity of the decedent
- The decedent’s health before death
- How much the decedent was earning before death
- The age and circumstances of the decedent’s dependents
- The education and skills of the decedent
- Any bills or expenses incurred for the decedent, such as medical bills.
- Funeral expenses
- Amount of lost benefits, such as pension and health insurance
Other relevant factors include the nature of the injury or accident that caused the death or if the person endured prolonged suffering before he or she died. However, these factors need to be supported by concrete evidence and should not result in a general estimate. This is where professionals in finance and economy or other expert witnesses come in and take a look at the circumstances of the decedent to settle an amount.
How an attorney can help you get settlements
Hiring an attorney specialized in wrongful death settlements can help you have a clear idea of the types of damages you can pursue and the amount you can expect. An attorney who has experience with these cases will be able to negotiate settlement offers on your behalf and ensure that you do not receive less than what is fair or reasonable. And if your case goes to trial, an attorney will present evidence to back up your claim in an effective manner. In general, having an experienced attorney by your side will significantly improve your chances of achieving a fair wrongful death settlement.
More on Wrongful Death:
- What is an Accidental death attorney?
- What is an accidental death lawyer?
- Why You Need the Best Wrongful Death Attorney
- Unlawful Death Lawsuits in California
- What You Should Know Before Filing for Wrongful Death
- 3 Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims
- Wrongful Death Damages You Can Recover
- California Wrongful Death Law - Top things you should know
- Wrongful Death Lawsuit vs. Murder Cases
- The Basic Elements of Wrongful Death Litigation
- Finding the Best Wrongful Death Attorney
- How a Wrongful Death Claim Works
- Pursuing Wrongful Death Settlements
- Recoverable Wrongful Death Damages in California
- Seeking Wrongful Death Settlements
- Suing for Wrongful Death in California
- What is a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
- Who can be awarded Wrongful death damages
- Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
- Wrongful Death Damages
- Wrongful Death Negligence: the basics
- Receiving and Distributing Wrongful Death Settlements
- A Brief Overview of the Wrongful Death Litigation Process
- Available Defenses against Wrongful Death Lawsuits
- Quick Q&A on Wrongful Death Litigation
Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California. Call or email us for a free consultation.