Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct is an extremely traumatic experience. It can cause emotional distress and financial burden on the surviving family members.
In such cases, wrongful death lawsuits can be filed to seek justice and compensation for the loss suffered. If the lawsuit is successful, the family members may receive a settlement.
But how is a wrongful death settlement paid out? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various aspects of wrongful death settlements and their payment process.
What Are The Payment Options for Wrongful Death Settlements?
Wrongful death settlements are typically paid out in one of two ways. The first method is through a lump-sum settlement, where the entire amount is paid all at once. Alternatively, the settlement can be paid out through a structured settlement, which involves a series of scheduled payments over a specified period.
1. Lump Sum Payment
A lump sum payment is a one-time payment made to the surviving family members. This option provides immediate access to the settlement amount, which can be used to pay off debts, medical bills, and other expenses.
2. Structured Settlement
A structured settlement is a payment plan in which the settlement amount is paid out over a specified period. The payments can be made annually, bi-annually, or monthly, depending on the agreement between the parties. This option provides a steady stream of income to the surviving family members and can also offer tax benefits.
What Damages Are Available After a Wrongful Death?
Losing a loved one due to a wrongful death can be a devastating experience for any family. Not only are they faced with emotional trauma and grief, but also the financial burden that comes with it. In California, the law allows for certain types of damages that can be recovered through a settlement or trial verdict.
Funeral and Burial Expenses
One of the first types of damages that can be recovered for a wrongful death claim in California are the funeral and burial expenses. These expenses can add up quickly and can put a significant financial strain on a family, especially if they were not prepared for these costs.
Another type of damages that can be recovered in California are lost inheritance. If the deceased had assets that would have been inherited by their surviving family members, then those family members may be able to recover those assets through a wrongful death claim.
Loss of Consortium
The loss of consortium is a type of damages that refers to the loss of companionship, love, and affection that the surviving family members would have received from the deceased. This type of damages is awarded to the surviving spouse, children, or other family members who were dependent on the deceased for emotional support.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is another type of damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim in California. This type of damages is awarded to the surviving family members for the emotional distress and mental anguish they have suffered as a result of losing their loved one.
In addition to the damages mentioned above, families can also file a survival action claim in California. This type of claim is different from a wrongful death claim in that it seeks to reimburse the estate for losses the deceased loved one suffered. This could include compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and personal property damages.
It’s important to note that punitive damages are not available for wrongful death claims in California. Punitive damages are typically awarded to punish the defendant for their actions and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior. However, this type of damages is not available in wrongful death claims.
How Long Will it Take to Get Paid?
A wrongful death case can last years. Once the matter is resolved it can take up to six weeks to receive funds. Learn more about how long it takes to get paid after a personal injury case here.
Who Receives the Wrongful Death Settlement?
Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things we can go through in life. When that loss is due to the wrongful actions of another, the pain can be even greater.
While nothing can bring back the person we have lost, a wrongful death settlement can provide some measure of financial compensation for the damages and losses that the surviving family members have suffered. In this article, we will explore who is entitled to receive a wrongful death settlement.
What is a Wrongful Death Settlement?
A wrongful death settlement is a sum of money paid by the party responsible for the death of another person to the surviving family members of the deceased. The settlement is intended to provide compensation for the damages and losses that the family has suffered as a result of their loved one’s death. This compensation may include medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Who Can Receive a Wrongful Death Settlement?
The specific laws regarding who can receive a wrongful death settlement vary by state. In general, the following parties may be entitled to receive a settlement:
- Spouse: The surviving spouse of the deceased is typically entitled to a portion of the settlement. The exact amount varies by state.
- Children: If the deceased had children, they may also be entitled to a portion of the settlement. In some states, this includes stepchildren and adopted children.
- Parents: If the deceased was a minor, their parents may be entitled to a portion of the settlement.
- Other Dependents: In some cases, other dependents of the deceased may be entitled to a portion of the settlement. This may include siblings, grandparents, or other relatives who were financially dependent on the deceased.
It is important to note that if the deceased did not have any surviving family members, there may be no one entitled to receive a settlement. In this case, the settlement may go to the deceased’s estate.
How is a Wrongful Death Settlement Calculated?
The amount of a wrongful death settlement can vary widely depending on the circumstances of the case. Some of the factors that may be considered when calculating a settlement include:
- Medical Expenses: The cost of medical treatment for the deceased prior to their death may be included in the settlement.
- Funeral Expenses: The cost of the deceased’s funeral and burial may be included in the settlement.
- Lost Wages: If the deceased was the primary breadwinner for their family, the settlement may include compensation for the income that would have been earned had they lived.
- Pain and Suffering: The settlement may include compensation for the pain and suffering endured by the deceased prior to their death, as well as the pain and suffering of their surviving family members.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, the court may award punitive damages in addition to the settlement. These damages are intended to punish the party responsible for the death and to discourage similar behavior in the future.
A wrongful death settlement can provide some measure of financial compensation for the damages and losses that the surviving family members have suffered as a result of their loved one’s death. The specific laws regarding who can receive a settlement vary by state, but in general, the surviving spouse, children, parents, and other dependents may be entitled to a portion of the settlement. The amount of the settlement can vary widely depending on the circumstances of the case.
If you are in need of legal assistance with a wrongful death case, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.