It is hard enough to lose a loved one, but when you lose them because of someone’s negligence or ill will, it seems like it is even more devastating. You’re dealing with the grief of your loss and likely also dealing with frustration knowing that this death could have been prevented.
While you can’t bring your loved one back, there are options to help the surviving family members as they deal with their loss and the financial hardships that come with it. Hiring Modesto wrongful death attorneys is the best choice to seek compensation for this death and the devastation it leaves behind.
What is a Wrongful Death?
Just as the name suggests, a wrongful death is a death that happened wrongfully. This type of death occurs because another individual was negligent, reckless, or even acted intentionally. The surviving family has the right to file a claim for financial compensation that can help with medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Who Files a Wrongful Death Claim?
In most cases, you need to be a surviving spouse, child, or immediate family member in order to file a claim. There are situations in which an estate administrator could also file a claim.
This law can vary by state, but here is how it works in California:
- Surviving Spouse/Domestic Partner: Spouses and registered domestic partners typically have the top priority for wrongful death claims in California.
- Surviving Children: When there is no spouse or partner, surviving children are the next in line for a wrongful death case. Dependent minors such as stepchildren or adopted children also have rights if supported more than 50% by the deceased.
- Immediate Family/Next of Kin: When no spouse or children are survivors, other immediate family that would be considered an heir may have the right to file a wrongful death claim
Wrongful Death Claim Compensation
In a wrongful death case, both economic and non-economic damages may be included in the claim. Below are some examples of the types of damages that may be covered:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of income and future earnings
- Loss of financial support
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship/relationship
- Pain and suffering
In a wrongful death case, the spouse and then the children do have the first rights to a claim. When there are surviving spouses or children, next of kin cannot just jump in to file a claim for themselves. The law allocates and appoints damages to ensure the process happens fairly and who should be eligible for compensation from the loss.
It is essential to work with qualified and experienced Modesto wrongful death attorneys if you intend to file a wrongful death claim. These attorneys will understand the process and can work with you to receive the maximum compensation possible for your circumstance. Take the time to find a reliable attorney or law firm with a proven track record of success for wrongful death claims.