When you lose a loved one as a result of the negligence of another person or company, you are obviously devastated. Oftentimes, the surviving family members have mixed emotions about suing the at-fault party for money. There is no amount of money you could recover that would give you back what you lost. However, receiving money damages for the wrongful death of a loved one is one way the law can compensate for the life that was lost and punish the negligent party.
The sudden death of a loved one is shocking and often leads to emotional and financial devastation. Monetary recovery can ensure that the surviving wife, husband, children and other family members can maintain their financial security and focus on coping with the grief and inevitable life change of losing their loved one. The Brod Law Firm helps our clients pursue their right to seek financial compensation for their losses. We have substantial experience litigating San Francisco wrongful death claims throughout the state.How a San Francisco Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
Proving wrongful death damages can often be difficult and requires knowledgeable and competent attorneys to maximize recovery for the surviving family members. Claims of wrongful death are defended vigorously. The value of any potential financial settlement or award in a wrongful death action can be extremely high. A successful suit will navigate issues of who was really at fault, contributory negligence, comparative fault, assumption of risk, and causation. The Brod Law Firm is highly experienced in handling wrongful death cases and has the knowledge and expertise to maximize our clients' recovery.CACI Jury Instructions for the Wrongful Death of an Adult
When insurance companies refuse to act in good faith and offer a fair settlement, a wrongful death case will go to trial. The prospect of going to court is intimidating for many people, but understanding the Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) can help you know what you can expect.
In the case of the death of an adult, a judge will inform the jurors that if they decide you have proven your case, they must also determine how much compensation you will receive. You are not responsible for determining the amount of damages you are ultimately awarded. Like in other personal injury cases, damages for wrongful death are divided between economic and non-economic damages. The economic damages the jury may award include:
- Any financial support the deceased would have contributed to the household during the life expectancy of the deceased before their death, or your life expectancy, whichever is shorter,
- The loss of benefits or gifts you would have expected from the deceased,
- Funeral and burial expenses, and
- The reasonable value of household services the deceased would have provided
It is important to note the jury may award you present and future economic damages. The judge will instruct the jury to reduce future damages to present cash value.
The jury may also award you non-economic damages, which may include:
- The loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, affection, protection, moral support, and society,
- The loss of enjoyment of sexual relations,
- The loss of guidance and training
The jury will be instructed that there is no fixed standard for determining the amount of non-economic damages. The judge will instruct the jury to use their best judgment to determine a reasonable amount.CACI Jury Instructions for the Wrongful Death of a Minor Child
When the deceased is a minor child, the judge will still provide the jury with instructions on awarding damages. Just like in the death of an adult, the jury is responsible for determining the amount of economic and non-economic damages awarded to the parents of the child. The economic damages parents can collect include:
- The value of the financial support, if any, the minor would have contributed to the household during their lifetime,
- The loss of benefits or gifts you could expect to receive throughout the minor’s life,
- Funeral and burial expenses, and
- The reasonable value of household services the minor would have provided
When a minor is the victim of a wrongful death, families can also collect non-economic damages for the loss of companionship, love, care, comfort, protection, assistance, affection, moral support, and society.
Regardless of whether an adult or minor child was the victim of wrongful death, the jury is instructed to clearly outline the amount of each type of damages on two separate forms. A San Francisco wrongful death attorney can provide further explanation of what you can expect from trial, and the instructions to the jury.Do We Handle Cases Throughout California? Do We Handle Cases in Your Hometown?
Yes. While Brod Law Firm is a San Francisco wrongful death firm, we have offices across Southern California and represent clients throughout the state.Free Case Evaluation
If you or a loved one has suffered a life-changing personal injury, please contact the Brod Law Firm for a FREE case evaluation about any type of medical negligence, wrongful death, or personal injury claim. You can call our law office in downtown San Francisco at (800) 427-7020 or send an email. There is no fee unless we provide results.
Remember, the sooner you begin this process, the sooner you can move forward. So, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns if you or a loved one has been injured.