Living through the loss of a loved one is never easy. However, unexpectedly losing a loved one in a car accident caused by unnecessary negligence will likely leave you feeling a heightened sense of pain and loss.
If you’ve lost someone in a fatal car accident, you’re not alone in your struggle. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help you recover compensation for death in car accidents and deal with the financial repercussions of your loss.
Death in a Car Accident — What Is Wrongful Death?
Losing a loved one in any manner takes a toll on you mentally and emotionally. However, losing a loved one in a car accident caused by a negligent party takes the pain to another level. Not only is losing your loved one difficult to bear but dealing with an unforeseen death can also be costly.
Wrongful death lawsuits allow surviving family members to recover financially from the loss of a loved one. In California, the decedent’s personal representative, family members, financial dependents, or life partners can file the lawsuit.
Settlements or judgments from wrongful death lawsuits are distributed among the decedent’s beneficiaries. How the money is distributed is based either on the decedent’s estate plan or on California intestacy laws.
Money from a wrongful death claim can aid in covering many of the necessary expenses associated with death and can help you continue with life after loss.
Factors Affecting the Value of Wrongful Death Claims
Placing a monetary value on someone’s life is particularly challenging. However, although it is difficult, it is necessary to determine how much a wrongful death lawsuit is worth.
Several factors affect compensation for death in car accidents. Every case is unique, and therefore, case details and how they affect the value of the claim vary greatly.
Some of the most significant factors affecting the value of a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- The age and health of the victim
- The severity and extent of the victim’s injuries
- How much medical treatment, if any, the victim received before their passing
- The victim’s income and earning capacity at the time of their death
- The ages and circumstances of the victim’s dependents
- Value of benefits lost by the victim’s death (insurance, pension, etc.)
- The details of the accident that caused the victim’s death
A wrongful death attorney can thoroughly examine the important details related to the case to determine how much your wrongful death case is worth. Understanding the value of your case is critical in order to ensure you receive the fairest possible compensation for your losses.
Calculating Compensation for Wrongful Death in a Car Accident
Along with examining the important factors affecting the value of your claim, you must look at the total for tangible and intangible losses associated with the accident.
Damages cover the financial impact of the death and monetary losses you’ve incurred as a result of the death, along with the mental and emotional impact of the loss of your loved one. Compensation for death in car accidents is based on economic and non-economic losses.
Economic damages refer to tangible losses directly related to the accident and death of the victim. The economic damages you’re entitled to are entirely dependent on your particular situation but could potentially include:
- Medical expenses incurred before death, including treatment, medications, and hospital stays
- Lost financial support, wages, and benefits
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs
Economic damages are often easily provable, as evidence exists to establish these financial losses.
Non-economic damages are also associated with the accident and death of the victim. However, these losses are intangible. Some of the non-economic damages you may be entitled to receive include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship and support
Non-economic damages are often awarded in a manner that is fair and reasonable according to presented evidence and common sense.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim for a Car Accident Death
While money can never bring back your loved one, it can substantially help get you through a trying time in life. Experiencing the untimely death of a loved one can bring about much financial hardship, but a fair settlement can help relieve some of the pressure.
After losing your loved one in a car accident, do not hesitate to seek legal guidance regarding your wrongful death claim.
Since 1992, our personal injury attorneys at the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. have been fighting for the people of San Diego. Now, when those injured in automobile accidents – including car, truck, and motorcycle accidents – need financial help, or for the families that need to know that the loss of a loved one could have been prevented, there is a personal injury law firm in San Diego that is on their side. If you or a family member has been injured, call the lawyers at Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. There’s never been a better time than right now to speak to a personal injury attorney—FREE of charge. Call us at 858-551-2090 or request a free consultation online today!
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines