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Collecting Damages after Wrongful Death

By Sean Burke on June 21, 2016

Justice scales and gavelThere is little in life that can compare to the hurt that is felt when a loved one dies. However, when the death of a loved one happens prematurely, and as a result of another’s negligent actions, it can be even more difficult to deal with the loss. Wrongful death leaves family members reeling from emotional and financial losses that cannot be measured. While monetary compensation can never take away the pain of such a loss, it can ease some of the burdens and allow the family the opportunity to move forward with some degree of financial security. Personal injury attorney Sean M. Burke is experienced in this field of the law and can help clients explore damages in wrongful death suits in the Orange County, CA area. Our attorneys will work hard to ensure that family members get the just compensation they deserve after wrongful death.

What Is Wrongful Death?

If a death is caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another person or party, it may be appropriate to file a wrongful death suit. To prove wrongful death, it is not necessary to show that the death was the result of intentional actions, but simply that the defendant’s actions were harmful, and that a death occurred as a result.

A wrongful death suit is meant to compensate for the damages that are incurred by the close family members of the victim. In the state of California, the spouse of the deceased has the first right to file a wrongful death suit. Next in line would be children of the deceased, followed by grandchildren. In cases in which there is no surviving spouse, children, or grandchildren, the state does allow the parents of the deceased to file a wrongful death suit.

Damages in a Wrongful Death Suit

Below are four primary areas of loss that will be considered in a wrongful death suit:

  • Direct expenses: Direct expenses describe financial expenses that are the direct result of the wrongful death. Examples of direct expenses include medical bills and funeral expenses.
  • Future earning potential: A large portion of financial rewards in wrongful death suits are related to the loss of future earnings. To calculate this loss, we take the loss of future income, as well as any benefits or pensions that they may have earned, into consideration.
  • Emotional losses: It is difficult to assign a financial sum to the emotional support that a family member provides. However, in wrongful death suits, the court may be asked to provide financial reward for emotional losses such as the loss of companionship.
  • Punitive damages: California is a state that allows for the reward of financial compensation in a wrongful death suit. Punitive damages are a means of financially penalizing the defendant even further to deter them from committing a similar act in the future.

Sean M. Burke and his team of attorneys will examine all the details of a wrongful death case to determine what type of damages should be sought to ensure the family is compensated to the full extent of the law.

Contact Us

If you have lost a loved one as a result of the reckless or negligent actions of another, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. Attorney Sean M. Burke and his team of attorneys will work with you during this difficult time to ensure your rights are protected. Contact us at your earliest convenience to discuss the details of your case and find out how we can help you in the pursuit of financial compensation.

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