The average person in the United States can anticipate roughly seven-and-a-half decades of life experience, but many people die long before statistics would suggest that they should naturally. For example, someone who lives a healthy lifestyle and who is in the prime of their career with children at home could die without any forewarning due to a preventable incident.
Family tragedies can occur because of a negligent property owner, a drunk driver or a violent criminal. The actions or negligence of one party can directly lead to the suffering and death of others. Encountering the wrong person at the wrong time or putting faith in the wrong consumer goods can lead to a preventable and tragic fatality.
Those left grieving after a car crash, product failure or botched robbery will likely feel an immense sense of loss. In some cases, the civil courts help those surviving family members take action after losing a loved one due to another’s negligence, recklessness or intentionally dangerous conduct. Often, surviving loved ones decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit for one of the two reasons below.
They anticipate financial hardship
Losing a loved one is emotionally devastating, and it will have numerous financial consequences for a family as well. There will be the immediate loss of income associated with someone’s death to consider, as well as the cost of your medical care and funeral.
California’s wrongful death statute allows families to seek both direct economic losses and certain personal losses as well. A claim can cover funeral and medical expenses, as well as lost future wages and benefits. The surviving family members can also claim the loss of financial support they will experience and the loss of companionship that occurs after someone dies unexpectedly.
They want justice for their loss
Having the courts affirm that a loved one’s death is the direct responsibility of a particular person or a business can give survivors a sense of closure. Especially when a prosecutor declined to bring charges due to inadequate evidence or complicated circumstances, a lawsuit in civil court may be the only formal path to justice available for a family.
Although money could never replace what families have lost in a tragedy, it can at least diminish the lasting economic impact of someone’s passing. Recognizing how a household may benefit from a wrongful death lawsuit could motivate someone to explore their legal rights after a loved one’s death.