Wrongful Death Action vs. Survival Action in San Francisco

In San Francisco, a wrongful death occurs when an individual dies because of another party’s negligence or wrongful act. A family can be compensated for their loved one’s untimely death. The state has two types of wrongful death claim. Each wrongful death claim has different requirements such as who can file the lawsuit. Regardless of the type of lawsuit, the family can hire an experienced injury lawyer San Francisco, CA to assist them.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

A wrongful death action can be filed according to the state’s code of civil procedure 377.60. It is a civil lawsuit filed by the person’s family member such as their children, spouse, parents or siblings. A personal representative can also hire a lawyer to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

The damages the family seeks to recover are losses directly related to the death of their loved one. For instance, this includes money for loss of financial support. This is requested when the loved one was the primary financial provider. The family may also request loss of services damages if the loved one was not the breadwinner in the family but contributed to the household. They may have raised children, cleaned and care for the home, etc.

A spouse can request loss of sexual cohabitation. This means the spouse lost companion and lover when the person died. In addition, they family may request:
1. Funeral costs
2. Burial costs
3. Medical bills

Punitive Damages are not Available in a Wrongful Death Action

Punitive damages are not given in every wrongful death claim. It is not permitted in wrongful death action claims either. A jury or judge will award punitive damages to punish a defendant. This means the defendant was reckless or acted intentionally when causing the person’s untimely death. The amount of the punitive damages depends on the jury or judge. It can be as little as $1 or in the millions.

What is a Wrongful Survival Cause of Action?

A wrongful survival action is a lawsuit filed on behalf of an estate’s personal representative. This is the executor the person who died appointed to represent them when they made their will. The survival action is usually filed because the person did not immediately die from the accident. They may have suffered serious injuries. Those injuries became fatal days, weeks or months after the accident. A survival action is filed according to state’s civil procedure code 377.30. The damages sought in this case includes damages the person sustained in the accident prior to death. It also includes punitive damages.

Determine which Wrongful Death Claim is Right to File with the Help of a Lawyer

If a family has lost a loved because of the wrongdoing of another person or a company, consider filing a wrongful death claim. Understand the type of claim filed depends on the situation and the damages sought. In some circumstances, a family may have to let a personal representative them in a lawsuit.