When someone that you love is taken from you because of a driver that was negligent, such as getting behind the wheel intoxicated or on drugs, or simply not paying attention to the road, it can be devastating. Not only have you lost a very important person in your life, but possibly income from the money that they brought into the household, love and affection and all the things that you would have learned from them throughout their lifetime. If this has happened to you, you do have recourse and should speak to an attorney.
When you lose someone in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another it is called a wrongful death. In other words, the death should have never occurred. The person that caused the accident may be responsible for the death of your loved one, and may be made to pay damages that can make up for the monetary loss. Of course, nothing will make up for the pain and the grief that you feel, but if you can collect money for some of what you loss, then at least your family will be cared for while you are grieving. Each state has its own personal injury law and thus speak to a personal injury lawyer in your own state immediately.
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In California, damages from a wrongful death suit can include the money that your loved one would have made in their lifetime, or the lifetime of the heir, whichever time period is shorter, as well as compensation from the gifts that you were expected to receive from a loved one. Also, funeral and burial expenses may be covered as well as what are called household services. The value of these services may also qualify for compensation. This type of compensation is called economic losses in a wrongful death lawsuit.
There may also be non economic losses that the heir or spouse of the wrongful death victim can qualify for. Depending upon the relationship that the person had with the victim, you may be able to collect compensation for loss and affection of the victim, money for the loss of enjoyment of sexual relations, and loss of the guidance and teaching of the person in question. These non-economic losses are difficult to estimate but your wrongful death attorney will be able to give you some idea as to what you might receive in a settlement or an award from a jury.
California works on a closest relative system and only the immediate family members of a wrongful death victim may file for a lawsuit for wrongful death. Initially, this includes the spouse or dependent children of the victim, dependent parents or minors dependent upon the victim that have been living in his or her household for at least six months. If those persons do not exist, then the next in line would be those that stand to inherit from the victim. Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney @ 800-300-0001, with experience in wrongful death cases to discuss your particular situation.
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