Receiving and Distributing Wrongful Death Settlements
Family members are entitled to pursue wrongful death claims if a loved one has passed away due to the negligent, reckless, or malicious acts of another person. Even though pursuing a wrongful death settlement does not take away the tragedy and pain experienced, it can help pay any expenses related to an untimely death. Also, a wrongful death settlement may compensate surviving family members for a variety of non-economic damages.
Damages that can be recovered
Wrongful death settlements can include compensation for a variety of losses, whether economic or non-economic. The most common economic damages in wrongful death settlements are related to funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, loss of wages, loss of household services, loss of benefits, among others. Non-economic damages such as loss of consortium, intimate relations, and guidance may also be compensated.
Nonetheless, according to California law, the estate of the decedent may only recover economic losses that affected the decedent, such as medical expenses. On the other hand, surviving family members are entitled to receive payment for both economic and non-economic losses.
How California wrongful death settlements are distributed
In California, the surviving family of the decedent has the right to decide how to distribute wrongful death settlements. It is up to them to figure out and agree upon how much each person should receive. Sometimes the majority of the settlement goes to the surviving spouse and children, while other dependents such as siblings and parents may receive a share. Families usually work together to distribute wrongful death settlements as they see fit.
However, sometimes distributing the settlement can be a source of conflict, and it might be hard for families to reach an agreement. In that case, civil courts in California have the authority to distribute the compensation among the surviving family members that are eligible. The court will take into account the financial needs of each person, such as education and housing, to determine how the settlement will be distributed.
Another course of action is mediation, which involves an impartial third-party, the parties who wish to receive a share of the settlement, and – in some cases – attorneys. This approach usually results in a swifter resolution than taking the issue to court.
Seek the counsel of a wrongful death attorney
An attorney can be a much-needed source of relief and help when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit or determining how wrongful death settlements should be distributed. Attorneys know that these cases are often very emotionally draining for the surviving family members, which is why they aim to make the process as swift and easy as possible for all the parties involved. Hiring a lawyer can help you secure the compensation you deserve to heal and move forward.
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.