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What Can a Claimant Seek in a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful DeathWhen an individual is killed in a workplace accident, his or her loved ones have the right to file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for their losses associated with the death. However, it may not be exactly clear what exactly constitutes the losses associated with a worker's death? There are certain obvious costs, like the loss of the individual's earnings and the need to pay for his or her funeral. These, though, are not the only expenses a family may seek when they lose a parent and/or spouse to a workplace accident.

Damages that Compensate the Deceased's Estate

As a claimant, it is important that you understand the difference between damages that can be compensated to your loved one's estate and damages that can be compensated to you and your family. Although the damages compensated to the estate eventually reach the family through California's probate laws, they are based on what the deceased and by extension, his or her estate lost as a direct cause of the death, rather than what his or her loved ones lost.

Damages that are compensated to a victim's estate include:

  • Funeral and burial costs;
  • Medical costs for the care the victim received between the accident and his or her death; and
  • The victim's lost income. This includes his or her potential future earnings.
Damages for the Deceased's Loved Ones

These damages are more difficult to determine in terms of exact monetary amounts. They can also vary in award amount depending on which relative, such as a spouse or a financially-dependent parent, is seeking compensation, and they may include:

  • The loss of the deceased's contributions to his or her household, such as his or her domestic duties and ability to manage the home;
  • The loss of anticipated financial support from the deceased, such as help with college costs for a young adult son or daughter; and
  • The loss of the deceased's companionship and consortium. This refers to the friendship, guidance, and for a spouse or domestic partner, physical and emotional intimacy that the victim provided before his or her death.

A wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the victim's death. If you have lost a loved one to any type of accident, it is important that you keep the statute of limitations in mind and start working with an experienced wrongful death attorney right away.

Work With a San Jose Workplace Injury Attorney

If you have lost a loved one in a workplace accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for your losses. Work with an experienced San Jose workplace accident attorney who can guide you through this process to help you get the monetary compensation you deserve. Contact Corsiglia, McMahon, & Allard, L.L.P. today to get started on your wrongful death claim with a member of our San Jose firm. We proudly serve clients throughout the Bay Area, San Mateo County, Alameda County, San Benito County, Monterey County, and Santa Clara County.

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I absolutely cannot speak highly enough of CMA Law, particularly of Mr. McMahon, with whom I have had the most experience. My entire family and I trusted CMA with our case following a significant and life-altering vehicle accident, and to say they delivered is putting it lightly. They were reachable & personable at every stage of this arduous, complex, and scary process, made things easier at every stage, inspired us with confidence, and delivered results. If you're looking for a law firm to place the trust of you in your family in, look absolutely no further than CMA - this is your firm. Declan O.
I suffered a severe spinal injury while working as a farm mechanic in the Salinas Valley. The attorneys -Tim McMahon and Mark Sigala were fantastic from the beginning. They fought for me over 3 long years and in the end, we won a difficult liability case against the farm company who was using dangerous equipment. The defendants in the case tried everything to put the blame on me and even claimed I was their employee in order to avoid civil responsibility. Tim and Mark never gave up on me and my case. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are fighters. Adrian A.
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