Wrongful Death Claims
A family member just died, and you want to know what you can do to get compensated for the loss. You want to know now who can bring a claim and what can they claim for the death of this person. Well, in California the heirs of the person who died or the next in line to inherit are the ones that are allowed to bring a claim. Now, “heirs” is a fancy way of saying, typically, it’s the immediate family members. It can either be the spouse of the person who died, the children of the spouse or even a combination of the two, or perhaps, in some cases, the parents of the person who died. So, those are some of the people that can make a claim, and there are many more.
What can be claimed is just as important. So, when someone dies, you can make a claim for the loss of companionship, loss of society, loss of comfort, even the loss of support and economic support for pain for the necessities for the people who depended on that person who is now dead. In addition, you can make a claim for the person’s pain and suffering from the time of the accident until the time of their death and their survivors’ emotional distress as a result of that death.
Fresno Wrongful Death Attorney
These are some of the most emotionally challenging cases because as the name implies, a wrongful death action is just that, where someone was killed as a result of another party’s failure to follow safety rules that would have if followed, prevented the death of a person(s). The children or parents of the decedent, sometimes called the heirs to the decedent are allowed to make a claim for loss of financial support, if any, that the decedent would have contributed to the family during the decedent’s life expectancy before his or her death or under the average life expectancy tables determined by the California Civil Jury Instructions. The heirs can also make a claim for loss of gifts or benefits that he or she would have received or expected to receive from the deceased person. Of course, the heirs can make a claim for funeral and burial expenses. In some situations, there can be a claim made for the reasonable value of household services that the deceased person provided. For example, the person who was killed by the other party’s careless actions worked within the home preparing meals, cleaning, and doing domestic services.
In addition, the heirs can also claim noneconomic damages, such as the loss of the deceased person’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support. For married couples, there is also the claim of loss enjoyment of intimate relations, and for married and biologically related heirs, there is also a claim for the loss of the deceased person’s training and guidance.
As there is no fixed standard for determining the amount of these damages, the juries typically look at the strength of the relationship between the deceased person and the heir or heirs. Were there times of separation? Did the parties live in the same house? Did the heir maintain contact with the person who was killed? Did the deceased person provide financial support or nonfinancial support through household services to the heir?
Unfortunately, for Fresno wrongful death claims the jury is not allowed to determine the value of the claim by looking at the heir’s grief, sorrow or mental anguish from the loss of a loved one, or their pain or suffering, or the poverty of wealth of the heirs. This further complicates the matter, as most heirs are in the process of grieving shortly after the unexpected loss of a loved one.
Hiring Nunes Law allows you to complete the bereavement process knowing that your legal rights are being looked after. Friends and family members of the deceased person have enough to worry about with funeral arrangements, packing personal property, etcetera, and there should be no reason why proving responsibility to seek compensation for the loss of that person’s life to the heirs should be on their plate. Like most cases, it is important to contact an attorney quickly so you can preserve as much of the evidence from the incident as possible before it disappears.
If you have lost a loved one or know someone who has, please feel free to contact the Law Office of Nunes Law for a free consultation or call us at (559) 436-0850 today. Or learn more by reading about why our clients choose us.