Stockton, CA asked in Wrongful Death for California

Q: Can you seek damages for pain and suffering in a wrongful death case?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Jonathan S. Dennis
Jonathan S. Dennis
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: No you cannot recover for pain and suffering for wrongful death in California. In California, you can recover the following damages for a Wrongful Death lawsuit:

1. The financial support, if any, that the Decedent would have contributed to the family during either the life expectancy that the Decedent had before [his/her] death or the life expectancy of Plaintiff, whichever is shorter;

2. The loss of gifts or benefits that Plaintiff would have expected to receive from the Decedent;

3. Funeral and burial expenses; and

4. The reasonable value of household services that the Decedent would have provided.

5. The loss of the Decedent's love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, moral support;

[and if applicable]

6. The loss of the enjoyment of sexual relations.

7. The loss of the Decedent's training and guidance.

William John Light
William John Light
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: No. You can receive the damages for the loss of economic support that the decedent would have provided. You can also receive damages for the loss of the love, comfort, society and affection that the loss of the decedent would have provided. This is different than "pain and suffering" in that "pain and suffering" (more likely you meant emotional distress) is focused on your feelings. The loss of love, comfort, etc. is focused on the conduct of the decedent and his contribution to your loving relationship.

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