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Who Gets The Money In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Who Gets The Money In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit? - Razavi Law Group, California

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Compensation In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In California 

Wrongful death lawsuits are filed when someone has died due to the negligence or wrongful act of another person. When a loved one passes away in such circumstances, family members may file a wrongful death claim to seek financial compensation for their losses. In many states, the money from a wrongful death lawsuit is awarded to certain survivors, including the deceased’s spouse, children, or other close relatives. The amount of money received usually depends on the degree of liability and how much economic impact the death had on each survivor’s life.

In addition to providing compensation for costs associated with the wrongful death (such as medical bills and funeral expenses), a successful wrongful death lawsuit can also provide financial damages for lost income, loss of companionship, and/or emotional trauma. In some cases, a wrongful death lawsuit may also include punitive damages intended to punish the responsible party and deter others from similar conduct in the future.

It is important to note that wrongful death laws differ by state. Therefore, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can provide guidance on the applicable rules in your jurisdiction and help ensure that you receive the financial compensation you are entitled to under the law.

Who Is Eligible To Receive Money From A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

When a loved one is wrongfully taken away due to the negligence or wrongful act of another, those left behind may be entitled to financial compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Who gets the money, in this case, depends on state laws and who was financially impacted by the death. Generally speaking, eligible survivors include the deceased’s spouse, children, and other close relatives such as siblings or parents.

The amount of money awarded to each survivor will depend on how much economic impact their loss had on their lives. In addition to providing for medical care and funeral expenses associated with the wrongful death, damages can also be used to compensate for lost income or provide emotional support or companionship that was lost when the individual passed away. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the responsible party and discourage others from similar conduct in the future.

What Are the Laws Regarding Wrongful Death Claims in California?

In the state of California, the law governing wrongful death claims is the California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. According to this statute, a wrongful death claim may be filed by “the decedent’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, and issue of deceased children or putative spouses (if applicable).” 

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in California involves specific legal processes and requirements. In California, the right to file a wrongful death claim belongs to the “personal representative” of the deceased’s estate. This is usually their spouse or an adult child, but it can also be any other individual designated by the court as having authority to bring forth a suit on behalf of the deceased’s survivors.

The personal representative must establish three key elements in order for them to hold another party responsible for damages related to wrongful death: 

  1. That the person being held liable caused the death
  2. That they acted negligently, recklessly, or intentionally; and 
  3. That this negligence, recklessness, or intent resulted in harm that caused financial losses for the survivors.

What Types of Compensation Can Survivors Receive in a Wrongful Death Suit?

The damages awarded in a wrongful death suit can be broken down into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to the financial losses associated with the death, such as lost wages or medical expenses, while non-economic damages are meant to compensate for any emotional hardship or loss of companionship that occurred due to the untimely passing of their loved one. 

Economic damages:

  • Lost wages and benefits, including future lost earnings
  • Medical costs incurred due to the death
  • Funeral expenses

Non-economic damages:

  • Loss of companionship or support
  • Pain and suffering experienced by survivors due to their loss
  • Emotional distress experienced by the survivor as a result of losing their loved one

Depending on the circumstances, survivors may also be eligible to receive punitive damages if the defendant acted in an especially egregious manner. 

How Razavi Law Group Can Help

At Razavi Law Group, we understand the emotional and financial strain wrongful death lawsuits can put on families. We are here to help navigate you through your legal rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Our team of experienced attorneys will provide personalized attention and help secure the best possible outcome for your case. Learn who gets the money in a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact a California wrongful death attorney today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you get the justice and closure you need.