Losing a family member in an accident can feel incomprehensible at first and overwhelming once the reality begins to sink in. In the chaotic aftermath of such an incident, it is more than understandable to be hesitant about taking legal action against the party responsible for your loved one’s passing.
However, if you believe your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, it can be beneficial to speak with a Stockton wrongful death lawyer about your options for financial recovery. A compassionate personal injury attorney could help you pursue a legal claim and protect your family’s future financial security as you deal with this unexpected loss.
Recoverable Damages Following a Fatal Accident
Although no amount of money can fully replace a life lost to a tragic accident, a successful civil claim could help you and your family gain financial stability after the incident. Wrongful death litigation is meant to help surviving family members overcome the financial and personal losses they sustained after losing a loved one in an accident caused by negligence.
California Civil Jury Instruction Number 3921 establishes that plaintiffs in wrongful death claims may recover for both economic and non-economic consequences of a family member’s death. Common types of economic damages include:
- Expenses for funeral and burial services
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of future benefits or gifts the plaintiff(s) would have received from the decedent
- Loss of assistance with household chores and duties
Recoverable non-economic damages may include lost companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, love, affection, society, and moral support. If you are the spouse of the decedent, you may also seek loss of consortium. A Stockton attorney could discuss what damages may be available in your wrongful death case.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim in Stockton?
According to California Code of Civil Procedure §337.60, only certain individuals have legal standing to file a wrongful death claim on a fatal accident victim’s behalf. The right to pursue wrongful death litigation falls primarily to the decedent’s spouse or domestic partner, children, and/or grandchildren.
However, any person who would be entitled to the decedent’s property based on intestate succession laws may file suit if none of those immediate family members survive to pursue a claim. Additionally, certain other parties like parents, stepchildren, and putative spouses may pursue a wrongful death claim if they can prove they were dependent on the decedent financially.
Like most other personal injury claims, the two-year statutory filing deadline set by Ca. C.C.P. §335.1 applies to wrongful death litigation. However, the filing period for a wrongful death claim begins at the moment of the decedent’s death, rather than the date their injuries first occurred or were first discovered. A dedicated attorney could help you manage the legal deadlines associated with your fatal accident case.
A Stockton Wrongful Death Attorney May Be Able to Help
No one should ever have to go through losing a loved one to an avoidable accident. While we understand that civil action cannot bring your loved one back, comprehensive compensation could help you gain financial stability after the accident. Whenever you are ready, call us to schedule a consultation with a Stockton wrongful death lawyer.