Wrongful death claims are the most serious personal injury cases handled in the court system. They are vigorously defended, especially when the case is a result of an auto accident or occupational injury. The fact that someone died in an accident does not always constitute wrongful death. Many times, claims settled for a fatality require only a maximum amount of insurance settlement. The material case facts can matter greatly in a wrongful death claim, and it always takes an experienced personal injury attorney to prosecute the case for maximum benefit.
Depending on the facts involved with the fatality, claimants who suffered from serious injury before passing will have an additional claim for personal injury pain-and-suffering. Medical bill compensation will be included in this component of a claim. Wrongful death is a different claim, both of which are assigned to the estate of the decedent, and involves different criteria for determining damage amounts. Compensatory damages can be impacted in any case based on the victim claimant’s personal contribution to causing any accident producing the injuries. This means that those determined totally responsible for their own death could actually receive no financial recovery, which is a situation a Long Beach personal injury lawyer will work diligently to avoid.
Many times the real value of financial recovery for a victim of wrongful death is an award of punitive damages by a sympathetic jury. This potential is why many cases of wrongful death go to a complete trial. However, a personal injury attorney who can craft a solid case for presentation in a trial can often secure this special punitive award when a wrongful death occurs due to the illegal or intentional act of the defendant. It is important to understand that many times criminal charges are also associated with the wrongful death claim, which can significantly enhance the value.
Anyone in Southern California who may have a wrongful death claim should contact the Pacific Coast Injury Law Center at our office or through our website for a full free evaluation of your case.