Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in Modesto
I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto wrongful death lawyer. Wrongful death is a matter that most individuals do not know much about until they undergo the loss of a loved one due to the negligent actions by another party or entity. When faced with the expenses associated with the loss of a family member, it is important to understand what a wrongful death claim is and how it can help move a family forward after such a traumatic loss.
What is Wrongful Death?
The legal term, “wrongful death”, is used to define the loss of a life caused by the negligence or fault of another individual or corporation. For instance, fatalities caused by car accidents, medical malpractice and defective products may all be considered as wrongful death claims under the law.
Who Can File for Wrongful Death?
Under the California Code of Civil Procedure sections 377.60, certain parties in direct relation to a decedent may bring a case for wrongful death. The people who are entitled to file such claims include the following:
- A surviving spouse or domestic partner
- Parents of a decedent, if they received more than 50 percent of their support from him or her
- Any minor who resided within a decedent’s household for 180 days prior to the death and depended on the decedent for at least half of their financial support
- Children of a marriage
- Stepchildren of a marriage, if they relied on the decedent for at least half of their financial support
- Putative spouse (an individual who was not legally married to a decedent in accordance to state laws but in good faith believed they were married to that person)
Watch YouTube Video – By: Attorney Ed Smith – What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
This video explains what this type of claim is and what types of damages may be available for surviving family members of the decedent.
Damages Recoverable in Wrongful Death Claims
Determining damages in a wrongful death claim may be complex as they vary from case to case. Such damages may include:
- Costs of a loved one’s funeral and burial
- Loss of affection, companionship, comfort and moral support
- Income a decedent would have earned within their course of employment had he or she lived
- Loss of consortium, if a spouse is suing
- Household services that were provided by a decedent, such as mowing the lawn, paying bills and filing taxes
- Loss of a decedent’s guidance, training and care in his or her duty as a parent
- Punitive damages are recoverable under California Civil Code 3294 only if a victim passed away due to an intentional act like felony homicide
- End of life medical costs incurred prior to the death may be recovered in a survival action (e.g. the decedent lived a short time following an accident and succumbed to their injuries during emergency treatment)
How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
Undergoing the loss of a loved one is often difficult as you may be unable to focus on other things due to their absence. If a loved one’s death was the result of negligence by another party or entity, the family of the decedent may be compensated for their loss. When this happens, it is important to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney in Modesto. A skilled attorney can guide a family through the process of filing a claim for damages and work hard for their best interests as they recover from their tragic loss.
Modesto Wrongful Death Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto wrongful death lawyer. When the death of a loved one was caused by the negligent or reckless acts of another, surviving family members may face financial hardships. Although no amount of compensation can bring a loved one back, monetary compensation can alleviate the financial anxiety and stress related to a loved one’s death. If this has happened in your family, I am truly sorry for your loss. Please feel free to contact me any time at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for compassionate, free and friendly advice.
I have been assisting residents of Modesto and surrounding areas for over 36 years in obtaining monetary compensation for their traumatic injury and wrongful death claims.
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I belong to the Million Dollar Advocates as a member of California. This forum is a nationwide group comprised of high-ranked trial attorneys with minimum case verdicts of at least $1 million dollars.
To see the outcomes our office has achieved on past cases, go to our Verdicts and Settlements page.
Image Credit: By “GiselaFotografie” via Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons
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