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Pain And Suffering Damages Caused By Wrongful Death

Jan 12, 2023 | California

You can obtain the pain and suffering damages in wrongful death claims. Survival cases will be significantly altered by a bill that was just enacted by Governor Gavin Newsom. When someone kills as a result of the negligence or wrongdoing of others, one may claim damages. Also, may be significantly increased by the modifications to the law.

The personal representative or successor in the interest of the decedent’s estate brings a survival action to recover pain and suffering damages. In contrast, surviving family members of the victims make wrongful death claims to receive compensation for the damages they have incurred due to the deaths of their loved ones. You can recover the sorts of damages in the proceedings taken by the estate on behalf of the heirs under the new legal framework the changes to the law affect.

Background of the Law

According to Cal. Code Civ. Proc. 377.20, a victim’s right to bring a negligence claim for someone else’s negligence does not end when the victim passes away. Historically, estates and families did not have access to legal remedies when someone’s negligence or wrongful action was the cause of people’s death. The California Legislature understood that this kind of result was unfair. After this, California Legislature created legislation allowing the victim’s estate to seek compensation.

The recoverable damages in a survival case were previously constrained to the losses the decedent sustained before passing away. Plus, they could get any punitive damages if they had lived and filed a personal injury claim. Cal. Code Civ. Proc. 377.34 details these restrictions. It may prohibit payment of non-economic losses the deceased sustained prior to passing away to the personal representative or successor in interest. This means that the estate could not compensate for any pain and suffering damages, or disfigurement the deceased individual endured in the period between their injuries and death. Only a few states do not allow estates to recover non-economic damages, and California was among them until Senate Bill 447.

Overview of Senate Bill 447

Legislation can extend the delays to compensate for their non-economic losses to people who die before their civil claims have reached a resolution. If the legislature chooses, the reforms might expire on January 1, 2026. Making modifications permanent can significantly impact people. The legislature can decide to prolong the sunset date or make the modifications permanent.  Permanent modifications are significantly impacting many people.

Potential Effect on Pain and Suffering Damages in Wrongful Death Actions

SB 447 is impacting California wrongful death cases. The estate, agents, and heirs of a victim who has passed away may be eligible to obtain compensation. Survival actions recoup damages and transfer to the heirs’ inheritance. One of the first states to permit plaintiffs to seek compensation for non-economic losses incurred by decedents before they died in California. California was one of just a handful of states that forbade the recovery of such damages before this amendment. The future of these modifications is unknown.

Section 377.34 of the California Code of Civil Procedure is in pursuit of wrongful death actions. The Code sets the statute of limitations for wrongful death actions at two years from the date of death. It also allows certain family members, such as the decedent’s spouse, children, and parents, to bring a wrongful death action on behalf of the decedent.

In a wrongful death action, this code is primarily used to recover damages. All members of the family are able to receive their portion of the recovered damages as compensation.

Talk to an Experienced Attorney About Pain and Suffering Damages Today

You should speak with an experienced attorney at KAASS LAW. We can assist in you and your capacity to obtain complete reimbursement. Contact us today for a consultation by calling 310-933-5171. Wrongful death is simply one of our many practices.