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Riverside Wrongful Death: What Are Survivors Entitled to in a Claim?

| Jun 9, 2014 | Firm News

Unfortunately, wrongful deaths occur frequently throughout the State of California. Losing a loved one is never easy. Losing a loved one in a wrongful death is usually far more traumatic because of the knowledge that the loss could possibly have been prevented. No amount of compensation is worth the loss of a loved one; however, if you are a survivor of a wrongful death in Riverside you should know what compensation you are potentially entitled to as the compensation may ease the financial burden caused by the loss of your family member.

A wrongful death is one in which the negligent acts or omissions of a third party caused, or contributed to, a death. A wrongful death can occur under a wide variety of circumstances. For example, a wrongful death can be the result of a motor vehicle accident, a medical error, or a workplace accident as well as a defective product or a premises liability accident. California recognizes two types of legal actions that may follow a wrongful death –a “survival action” and a “wrongful death action.”

A survival action is brought by a representative of the decedent’s estate and is intended to compensate the decedent, through the estate, for injuries actually suffered by the decedent prior to death.

A wrongful death action, on the other hand, is brought by a survivor and is intended to compensate the survivor for injuries suffered as a result of the death of the decedent. Both economic and non-economic damages may be available to a survivor, including:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of future earnings. This includes future earnings the decedent would have contributed to the survivors had the decedent lived.
  • Loss of pensions and other retirement benefits
  • Mental anguish and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of companionship, love, comfort, care, protection, and moral support
  • Loss of training and guidance if the survivor is a minor

If you have suffered the loss of a loved one it may be difficult to consider legal action during your time of grief; however, it is important to remember that although the law provides a mechanism for compensating the survivors of a wrongful death, the law also limits the time frame within which a wrongful death action may be brought. Consult with an experienced Riverside wrongful death attorney as soon as possible if you believe you qualify as a survivor of a wrongful death.