Irvine Wrongful Death Damages

The damages in a wrongful death case include the various categories of compensation that the family and heirs of the deceased would be entitled to. These include non-economic damages like the loss of the love, companionship, moral support and loss of the relationship of the deceased individual, and economic damages which would include the financial loss that the family suffered due to the loss of the individual. To see what types of damages you and your family may be entitled to as a result of a wrongful death, call and schedule a consultation with an Irvine wrongful death lawyer today.

Entitlement of Damages

In California, a wrongful death action is created by California statute, meaning there are very specific statutes that address who the appropriate heirs or family members able to bring the wrongful death case. These heirs would generally be immediate family members. For example, if the deceased individual who was tragically killed is the father, the heirs that can bring that case would include his wife and all children from the marriage.

With that said, this can get somewhat complicated if there had been prior marriages, because all of the children of the deceased individual have standing to be included as plaintiffs in the wrongful death case. Situations like this require a full and complete analysis by the attorney to make sure all appropriate heirs and family members are included.

Types of Damages

There are two categories of damages that the heirs can be awarded in a wrongful death case. The first category of which is economic loss, which includes all of the financial losses to the family due to the death of the loved one. This would include financial support from the income and earnings that the deceased individual would have contributed to the family and any other financial benefits that the heirs and family would have expected from the deceased individual. The family can also claim and be awarded all of the funeral and burial expenses related to the death of the decedent, which would include funeral and cemetery cost, cremation cost, memorial for the decedent and things of similar nature.

Other damages in the economic category are called the loss of household services, which would include all of those things that the decedent used to do to contribute to the family home, such as maintenance, gardening and making sure that the family home was properly maintained for the family. Those losses can be quantified into a dollar amount.

Non-Economic Damages

The second category of damages to the family and heirs are non-economic damages or general damages. This will include the loss of love, companionship, relationship and moral support due to the death of the loved one. For example, if a child loses a parent, the loss of training and guidance that the deceased parent would have provided to the children as they’re growing up, and their own development helping them in school and with their own relationships could be considered a non-economic damage.

One distinction, however, is that the grief, sorrow or mental distress of the family or mourners is not compensable under California law. For this reason, it’s very important to specifically address the nature of the relationship between the family and the loved one who has died.