Under the wrongful death laws that currently hold up in California, only the closest relations and heirs of a decedent are allowed to make a rightful claim against the people at fault, or against the insurance company involved. There are many things to consider before even establishing that the law allows them to recover losses. California law allows certain people to make claims in the following order of priority: The surviving spouse of the victim, children, dependent minors living in the household for six months or more, and dependent parents.
If the decedent left behind none of the above, then the matter of making a claim falls to those who would inherit according to the laws of intestate succession in California. This includes Parents (dependent or not); If they are not present, the siblings or kids of late siblings can bring their own claim. If none of those exist, then the decedent’s grandparents would be eligible to sue. If the victim left behind no grandparents, then any children of the late spouse would be eligible. If none of the above are available, then any relative would be eligible to make a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death lawsuit could also be brought by a representative of the decedent. The recovery acquired is distributed based on the California wrongful death statute. This is advisable if there is more than one eligible heir bringing a rightful claim.
Quantifying the Wrongful Death Case
Calculating the loss of financial support in wrongful death could become a complicated process. There has to be an in-depth analysis of the victim’s expected wages in the past, and expected ones in the future. Besides, there also needs to be a study done into employment history, special training, talents, education, and capabilities. Furthermore, any demands of heirs who were related to the victim should also be taken into consideration.
Another difficult task in these cases is the process of determining the life expectancy of the decedent, had they survived the cause of their wrongful death. This is accomplished with the help of experts who take into account several factors like activities, health, age, lifestyle, amount of exercise, past medical problems, and personal health patterns.
Properly determining the monetary value on factors like comfort, moral support, care, and loss of society, can only be done if the person doing it is experienced in these matters. This is where a California wrongful death attorney can be of great help. They could present the emotional values in an acceptable way. These can also be presented to the jury, as they are quantifiable and based on acceptable values.