Emotional Impact to Family

In California, the law recognizes that certain noneconomic losses occur in the cases of wrongful death. The estate, and thus the heirs, of a deceased person (decedent) are entitled to recover monetary compensation for these losses. However, establishing the full and fair value of these losses can be very complex, and an experienced wrongful death attorney should be consulted to begin discovery, investigative and case preparation work.

It may be necessary for heirs to retain expert witnesses (e.g., economists, psychiatrists, psychologists, etc.) to evaluate and testify to the value of losses recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit, which include:

  • Loss of love, companionship, comfort, society, affection, solace, protection, sexual relations, training, guidance and moral support from the decedent

Heirs are not entitled to recover for grief unless an heir witnesses the event that causes the injury or death of the victim. In such cases, that heir may claim a broader range of emotional damages.

At Winer, McKenna, Burritt & Tillis LLP, we place an emphasis on the emotional losses suffered by the heirs of a deceased loved one for which damages can be recovered, rather than focus on grief, which is not compensable.

To speak with a lawyer concerning a wrongful death case in California, call us at 800-652-6137.

Getting The Help You Need When A Loved One Dies

Monetary compensation is a key aspect of coping with the immense losses associated with the wrongful death of a loved one. Family members and other heirs may need assistance in several capacities in the months and years to come. That assistance does not always come inexpensively.

Consulting with a lawyer who understands your unique position and with a law firm that has the resources to finance and pursue an effective wrongful death case is necessary to fully understand the impacts this loss will have on you and your family. It is necessary to discover and understand all the resources available to you for help.

Grief counseling, psychiatric care, money/asset management, relationship challenges, life transitions and economic hardships may affect spouses, children, parents and siblings. Working with legal counsel who can find you the help you need while pursuing the monetary compensation you are entitled to is invaluable.

Case Spotlight

$1.5 Million Settlement For Wrongful Death Of A 28-Year-Old Man In A Freeway Collapse Case

The family of a man killed in the collapse of the Cypress Structure Freeway in Oakland during the 1989 San Francisco earthquake obtained the first San Francisco earthquake-related death case settlement. The man's widow and her 8-year-old twins were left fatherless after the bridge collapsed and crushed him to death. This result was significant because the state of California initially denied responsibility because, it claimed, the earthquake was an act of God. WMB's lawyers, however, took the position that the freeway was poorly constructed and, if it had been properly constructed, it would have been able to withstand the force of an earthquake.

Winer, McKenna, Burritt & Tillis LLP, retained a team of experts who testified that the bridge structure had been built inadequately on unstable soil. We also prepared a video that edited photos of the decedent's crushed car and body together with filmed psychologist interviews of the surviving family members as they tried to cope with the tragedy.

Consult With One Of Our Berkeley-Area Wrongful Death Lawyers

Contact our offices at 800-652-6137 toll free to schedule a free initial consultation with a wrongful death lawyer familiar with emotional damages in Oakland, San Francisco or Los Angeles. Your best interests are our priorities.

We pursue all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay no attorney fees unless we obtain compensation in your case.