When you lose a loved one, for any reason, it can be a very traumatic event, taking quite some time to come to terms with. However, when your loved one’s death has been caused by the negligence or deliberate wrongdoing of another person or entity, the emotional turmoil can be greatly magnified. Under California law, applicable in San Diego and surrounding areas, the close family members of a person who died in such circumstances may be entitled to seek wrongful death compensation in respect of the economic and non-economic costs incurred as a result of their loved one’s death.
A wrongful death claim, as a civil matter can be filed in any circumstances where a wrongful death occurred, even where a criminal case is already in progress. A San Diego wrongful death attorney from Hiden, Rott & Oertle , LLP can advise you on the best way to proceed with your specific case.
Filing a Claim for Wrongful Death Compensation in San Diego, California
As your San Diego wrongful death attorney will tell you during your initial consultation, a wrongful death compensation claim can be a very complex matter. As it must be proven that your loved one’s death occurred due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person or entity, your attorney must complete an in-depth investigation, studying all aspects of the case with a fine-toothed comb.
Additionally, only certain individuals are entitled to receive wrongful death compensation. The actual legal wording of the qualifying criteria is, of course, more complicated than will be laid out here, however, in brief, to claim wrongful death compensation, you must be:
- The spouse or domestic partner of the deceased
- Financially dependent on the deceased – for example, their child or stepchild
- If no surviving spouse or offspring exist, the parents or siblings of the deceased may be eligible to file a wrongful death suit
As there are many criteria to be fulfilled before a wrongful death compensation claim can be filed, it is strongly advised that you consult with a skilled San Diego attorney immediately.
What Damages Can Be Recovered by a Wrongful Death Suit?
When you file a claim for wrongful death compensation, your attorney will seek a specified amount of both economic and non-economic damages on your behalf. Each of these categories relate to the losses you have incurred due to the loss of your loved one, which tend to include, but are not limited to:
- Loss of the deceased’s earnings, as well as predicted future earnings
- Loss of the deceased’s pension and any other income
- Medical expenses incurred between the time of injury and time of death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of companionship, consortium and guidance
- Other economic and non-economic losses
If you feel you are entitled to claim wrongful death compensation, your first step should involve seeking legal representation from an experienced San Diego attorney.