If you have lost a loved one as the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be able to pursue financial compensation for your loss. A civil lawsuit is often the only way to receive monetary compensation from the party responsible for your tragic loss. It may be necessary to discuss your potential case with an experienced Mission Viejo wrongful death lawyer to determine if you have a valid claim and how much compensation may be available.
Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit filed by the victim’s spouse, children, parents or other eligible claimants against the at-fault party. In general, the manner in which the death occurs does not affect the value of the wrongful death claim. There are cases, however, in which a person caused the death by being reckless or careless. Such egregious cases can result in additional compensation. Often the value of a Mission Viejo wrongful death claim is determined by how much insurance the at-fault party has – be it homeowner insurance, auto, or liability insurance.
The claims process is not always easy and it can often take months or even years to settle. Therefore, anyone who has lost a loved one should discuss the specifics of his or her case to determine if it is their best interest to file a claim. One important factor in determining if a wrongful death claim is in the best interest of the victim’s family is to estimate how much the claim may be worth.
Determining the Value of a Wrongful Death Claim
There are many factors that can affect how much a Mission Viejo wrongful death claim may be worth. A few important questions to ask when determining the value of a wrongful death claim include:
- Was the victim partially responsible for the accident or was the at-fault party solely responsible for the incident? If the victim was 50 percent responsible for the accident, then, compensation may only be available for 50 percent of the losses suffered by the victim’s family.
- Did the decedent have a spouse? Were there children? Did the victim provide financial support to a family?
- How much did the victim earn at work? How many more years would the victim have worked had he or she survived the accident?
- Did the decedent consciously suffer pain following the accident before succumbing to the injuries? Compensation may be available for the victim’s pain and suffering.
- Did the victim survive long enough to incur medical expenses?
- Did the decedent provide benefits for the claimant such as health care?
- Did the claimant have to pay for the victim’s funeral and burial?
If the victim survived the accident long enough to experience pain, then, there may be additional compensation for pain and suffering. There may be additional compensation if the victim provided for minors or if the victim was killed by a criminal act such as drunk driving. There may also be additional compensation if the insurance company acted in bad faith while handling the claim.
A wrongful death claim may decrease in value if there is not adequate insurance coverage to compensate the claimant. If the victim suffered from a medical condition that would have shortened his or her life, there may be less compensation available. If the victim was partially at-fault for the accident that led to his or her death, the resulting settlement may be less as well.
The experienced Mission Viejo wrongful death lawyers at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys can help you determine the value of your claim and help you hold the wrongdoers and negligent parties accountable for your actions. Wrongful death claims are not always about money. For most victims’ families, it is a way to obtain justice and punish the person or entity responsible for their loved one’s death. If you are thinking about filing a wrongful death claim, please call us at 949-203-3814 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.