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How are wrongful death damages determined in California?

| Sep 30, 2021 | Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one is a devastating experience for anyone. Coping with the loss becomes more heart-wrenching when thinking about the impact of the loss on the deceased’s dependents. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you may file a wrongful death claim against at the at-fault party. 

There is no clear-cut equation for determining the compensation that you receive following a wrongful death suit. However, here are some of the considerations that the Court or insurance claim adjuster will take into consideration when setting a wrongful death case:

The surviving dependents

This refers to the parties that filed the wrongful death claim and the family set to receive the compensation. The Court will always take into account the motives of those set to receive the settlement on their deceased loved one’s behalf.

The deceased

The Court will also look into the moral character of the wrongful death victim. Will their character portray them as a good or a bad person? While the question of moral character may seem irrelevant given that the victim lost their life in a wrongful death incident, the Court can use their moral appeal to determine whether or not the amount being sued for is justified. 

The at-fault party or parties

The at-fault party’s character is also an important consideration when determining the wrongful death amount. Is the defendant generally a good person who unintentionally contributed to the accident, or were they intentionally reckless? The occupation and identity of the defendant can also come into play at this point. 

The jurisdiction of the Court

The location and authority of the Court hearing your case can also affect the amount you are awarded in a wrongful death claim. 

A wrongful death can occur after an accident, in the workplace or while receiving treatment. It can be difficult to settle such cases. Knowing the factors that determine a settlement amount during a wrongful death lawsuit can provide you with some sort of closure and peace of mind following the sudden death of a loved one. 


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