What are the Similarities and Differences between Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Whether dealing with a personal injury or wrongful death, our Paso Robles wrongful death attorneys can review the unique factors of your case and work to maximize your recovery.
Both types of cases require proving that the defendant was responsible for causing damages, usually based on either negligence or strict liability law. In a wrongful death case, there are two California statutes that apply and they involve two different types of lawsuits. California Code of Civil Procedure 377.30-377.35 allows a survival action where the representative of the estate can pursue legal actions for recovery that the deceased person could have pursued, had the person lived. In this respect, the survival action is similar to a personal injury case where you can recover economic losses such as medical bills or punitive damages if the conduct causing injury and death was particularly egregious. Under the Californiawrongful death statutes 377.60 ― 377.62, every family member entitled by law to recover damages files their own claim separately. In addition to spouses, children, siblings and grandparents, putative spouses and their children also have rights to recovery. A putative spouse is one who believed in good faith that the marriage was valid even though it was not (for example, bigamy). In addition, children under the age of 18 who lived with deceased persons for more than 180 days and depended on them for more than half of their survival needs also have a right to recovery, whether related or not.
Paso Robles personal injury lawyers can help you determine your rights to pursue a wrongful death or survival action.
James McKiernan Lawyers offers a free consultation to discuss your case and you owe no fees unless we are successful.