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Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Essential Information You Need

Wrongful Death Law Suit: Essential Information You Need

Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Essential Information You Need

I’m Sacramento wrongful death lawyer Ed Smith. Wrongful death is a subject that most people don’t know much about until they are faced with losing someone they love due to the wrong actions of another person. One question that commonly arises is how the financial loss is calculated following the loss of a loved one. Let’s take a look at the economic and noneconomic damages involved in a wrongful death lawsuit as well as California law. Economic damages include the financial support the decedent would have provided his/her dependents if that person had lived. This generally consists of the spouse, children or others who lived in the household and were supported by the decedent financially by at least 50 percent. Economic damages also include the funeral and burial expenses. Other economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are generally calculated on the following:

  • Earnings the decedent would have received throughout his/her lifetime. This would depend on education and the job held by the decedent. Juries also have the option of considering what the decedent’s earning potential would have been, other than actual earnings.
  • Ages of the decedent’s dependents and their life expectancies are taken into consideration. A young family with small children would receive higher compensation than an older, childless couple.
  • Earning capacity of the decedent may also factor into the financial damages. Pension plans, private retirement savings, Social Security and other factors may be included.
  • The decedent’s age and life expectancy are taken into consideration. According to, the life expectancy of men living in California is currently 78.33, while the life expectancy of women is 83.12.
  • The amount that the decedent contributed to the financial support of dependents is included. In some cases, the individual may have provided less than half. In others, the decedent may have been the sole support of the family.
  • The regular personal contributions of time and effort for dependents is allowed, above that of a paid job. This might include lawn care, taking out the trash and transportation such as taking children to after-school activities and providing moral support while there.
  • Gifts and other benefits that have been lost to family members. The loss of a loved one who had been putting money away for their children’s’ college education is one example.
  • The inheritance that the family would have received had the decedent lived is recoverable.

Related Article by Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer Ed Smith

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic Damages are those that have an emotional, personal value rather than a financial one. Noneconomic damages do not include the grief or mental anguish of family members because of the loss of their loved one. The way this is supported in wrongful death lawsuit is to collect information from co-workers, friends, and others who knew the decedent and were familiar with how the death would affect surviving family members. Some examples of noneconomic damages are as follows:

  • Moral support and training: For example, the decedent coached one of his/her children’s soccer team, providing training and moral support throughout the season.
  • Society: The family will be deprived of the decedent’s company in the future because of the loss. This can include the loss of guidance, advice, care, and companionship.
  • Protection: The loss of protection means that the family no longer has that individual around to provide personal and other types of security.
  • Consortium: This not only means the loss of intimacy in a relationship, but it also means the loss of comfort, affection, love and other intangibles.

California Wrongful Death Law

Wrongful death is a type of personal injury that falls under the California Code of Civil Procedure Article 6. Article 6 spells out who is eligible to claim a wrongful death such as spouse, children, stepchildren if they received at least 50 percent of their support from the decedent and others. Under personal injury law, the family has up to two years to file a claim. However, it is advisable to file as soon as possible. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help by gathering the evidence to support a case for fair compensation.

Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer

Hello. I’m Ed Smith, and I’m a Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer. If you lost a loved one because of the negligence of another person or entity, an experienced attorney can help recover financial compensation. Give me a call at (916) 921-6400 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 anytime my free, friendly legal advice.

One of the groups I belong to is the Million Dollar Advocates, a forum for those trial attorneys who have garnered client settlements/verdicts of at least one million dollars.

I’ve helped Sacramento residents and others around Northern California for more than 36 years to obtain compensation for their injuries such as brain injuries, wrongful deaths and different types of motor vehicle accidents.

To see how some previous cases handled by my firm concluded, click here Settlements and Verdicts.

Knowing what others say about a legal practice is important when seeking representation for your claim. You will find information about my law firm at the links below:

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