Losing a spouse in a trucking accident is a tragic and difficult experience in multiple ways. Emotionally, you have to cope with the pain of losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. You may also experience a variety of other damages, such as loss of economic support and the high cost of funeral and burial. However, you may be able to collect damages following your spouse’s trucking accident through a wrongful death lawsuit.
California Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In the state of California, you can file a wrongful death claim when a person dies as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful act. In the case of a trucking accident, you will have to prove that negligence on the part of the driver, trucking company, or other entity was responsible for your spouse’s death. At the conclusion of your claim, you can recover monetary damages to compensate your losses.
According to California’s wrongful death statute, only certain people can file a lawsuit on behalf of a loved one. You must be the deceased’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or another person who may be entitled to the deceased’s property, such as a parent or sibling. If your spouse died in a trucking accident, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim in California civil court.
Types of Damages in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
You can collect multiple types of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Your attorney will work with you to discuss the different benefits you may be eligible for. There are three main types of damages you can collect in a California wrongful death claim.
- Economic damages: Damages pertain to the tangible monetary losses you suffer as a result of your spouse’s death.
- Non-economic damages: Damages that represent the intangible losses you suffer after your spouse dies, such as pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages: In the case of extreme negligence or recklessness, the court may award you these damages to punish the at-fault party responsible for your spouse’s death.
Final Medical Expenses
Depending on the circumstances of your spouse’s trucking accident, he or she may have had to spend time in a hospital prior to his or her death. As a result, your spouse may have incurred some expenses for their final care and treatment. You can claim this form of economic damage in your wrongful death lawsuit as long as the expenses are related to your spouse’s final injuries.
Pain and Suffering
You may be able to collect damages if your spouse suffered significant pain and suffering prior to his or her death. Your attorney can help you calculate the amount of this non-economic damage you can collect, depending on what your spouse experienced between his or her injury and death.
Loss of Potential Income
If your spouse contributed a significant amount of income to your household, you may suffer without his or her continued to support. With a wrongful death lawsuit, you can claim the amount of potential income your spouse could have earned if he or she survived the trucking accident. With this compensation, you and your family can support yourselves during your transition to life without your spouse.
Funeral and Burial Costs
Funerals and other burial rites can be very expensive, depending on your spouse’s final wishes and the traditions you wish to follow. You may be able to collect compensation to pay for reasonable funeral and burial expenses in your wrongful death lawsuit.
Loss of Love, Community, Guidance, and Other Emotional Damages
When considering non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, the court and your attorney will discuss the emotional pain and suffering you and your family experience as a result of your spouse’s death. You can claim compensation for multiple forms of emotional damage in your wrongful death lawsuit, including loss of love, support, guidance, community, affection, attention, and more.
Calculating the maximum amount of compensation you can receive in a wrongful death lawsuit can be complicated. You will need to consider a great deal of intangible and emotional loss as well as economic loss. Contact a Bakersfield wrongful death attorney at Rodriguez & Associates as soon as possible to determine what benefits you could claim.