SERVING SAN DIEGO COUNTY AND IT’S SURROUNDING AREA
Wrongful Death Claims Present Challenges That Require An Experienced Attorney
The loss of a loved one (parent, daughter, son, grandchild) in an automobile accident, premise liability accident, or from any negligent or reckless misconduct, is a devastating physical and emotional experience for the surviving family members. Wrongful death cases present special challenges for the attorney handling the case. These challenges, including most importantly the difference in the damages available to a wrongful death claimant (and how to prove those damages), require that the attorney you retain have the professional experience necessary to handle such a claim. Attorney Alan L. Pitcaithley has that experience. Contact us to schedule an appointment today. We offer a free initial consultation.
Understanding the damages available in your specific case is crucial. What makes a wrongful death case materially different from other “non-lethal” injury cases is that the “wrongful death claimant” is not the individual who dies as a result of the negligent or reckless misconduct (the “decedent”). The “wrongful death claimant” or claimants are the surviving spouse and/or other family members who are the “heirs” of the “decedent”. Each wrongful death claimant is entitled to recover damages (in the areas set out below) that he or she has personally suffered from the date of death to the date of trial and all damages the wrongful death claimants are likely to suffer in the future because of the decedent’s death. The measure of damages is not limited to out-of-pocket losses. Damages cover the total value of the benefits the heirs could reasonably expect to receive from the decedent if he or she had lived. Those damages include:
Direct monetary loss: Each wrongful death claimant can recover damages for the support and other financial benefits he or she would have received from the decedent. This includes not only the “necessities of life” (food, clothing, shelter), but any financial contributions the decedent would have made for the benefit of the claimant.
Loss of services, advice or training: Separate from direct monetary losses, each wrongful death claimant is entitled to monetary compensation for the services he or she could reasonably have expected to receive from decedent such as the loss of household services that follows the death of a spouse or parent.
solace or moral support: In many cases, the decedent did not contribute measurable income to the family unit (elder-retired decedent). Even so, the death may cause substantial injury to the family, which is monetarily compensable regardless of whether a direct monetary loss is also shown. Wrongful death claimants, particularly parents, spouses, and children, are entitled to monetary damages for a proven loss of love, comfort, companionship, society, affection, solace or moral support . In many cases, this loss is the greatest loss suffered by the surviving wrongful death claimants.
Funeral expenses: Wrongful death claimants can recover the reasonable expenses incurred for the decedent’s burial and funeral services.
Over the past 30 years, Attorney Alan L. Pitcaithley has developed proven strategies to quantify what can be the most important measure of damages in a wrongful death case – the loss of love, companionship, affection and moral support – that occurs when the “decedent” family member is suddenly (and tragically) no longer available to the surviving family. While money cannot replace a family member, Mr. Pitcaithley will do everything possible to make sure the surviving spouse or other family members do not suffer financially due to the decedent’s death. Any party responsible – even remotely responsible – for the wrongful death of the decedent will be vigorously pursued. If you or a loved one have suffered a tragic loss of life in your family – and another person, property owner, corporation, manufacturer or other business entity is responsible for this loss of life, contact Mr. Pitcaithley for a free consultation.