Wrongful death lawsuits compensate certain family members for losses they suffered after a loved one’s accidental death. But how much can you receive? And what losses qualify for monetary compensation? Our wrongful death attorney looks at the most common damages for accidental death claims.
Lost Financial Contributions
Losing a family member carries financial burdens. For example, your spouse might have been the primary breadwinner in the family. His death at age 40 deprives his wife of several decades of income. She can seek an amount of damages to compensate for this financial loss.
Factors that go into this calculation include:
- Your loved one’s age
- His or her education
- Job history
- Earning history and potential
- Any medical conditions which would have shortened your loved one’s natural life
Lost Household Services
Our family members do more than contribute income. They often provide services to their spouses and children, such as:
- Grocery shopping
- Elder care
- House maintenance
For example, your wife might have done all the domestic chores and transported children while you worked. After her unfortunate passing, you will need to hire someone else to perform these services. In many cases, you can request compensation for the present value of those services.
Lost Gifts or Benefits
Family members often receive benefits like health insurance or life insurance, as well as possible gifts left in a will. You can request compensation to make up for these losses.
Burial and funeral Expenses
The average cost of a burial in California is a little over $7,000 for 2023. You can request compensation for reasonable expenses related to funeral and burial.
Loss of Love, Support, Assistance, and Protection
Our close family members provide invaluable support to us. A parent’s love, protection, guidance, and education are priceless. The same is true of companionship offered by a spouse or domestic partner.
Although money can never make up for these losses, you can nonetheless request compensation for them. However, there is no standard market value for these types of non-economic losses. The Law Office of Brian P. Azemika has experience requesting reasonable amounts based on our firm’s experience with accidental death claims.
Loss of Training and Guidance
Children require the assistance of their parents. These non-economic losses are similar to those listed above.
Loss of Sexual Relations
A spouse can seek monetary compensation for the loss of sexual relations enjoyed with their spouse. Again, it is difficult to put a price tag on this type of loss, but our law firm will fight for the maximum amount allowable under the facts.
What You Can’t Receive Compensation For
Interestingly, California prohibits receiving money for your own grief or pain. That makes little sense, especially since the state lets you get money for loss of guidance, love, and training. The grief a spouse feels when her husband is accidentally killed directly flows from the defendant’s actions. We think it makes sense to let victims sue for their grief, but that’s not the law in California.
Speak with Our Wrongful Death Lawyer
Our lawyer offers compassionate legal representation to those in trying circumstances. Contact us to find out more.