California has allowed victims’ pain and suffering damages to die with them for decades. In other words, California has long barred surviving family members from obtaining pain and suffering damages. Usually, pain and suffering damages are the greatest sum of money at stake in a civil suit. For a very long time, California law limited the damages that surviving family members could recover to the loss or damage that the decedent incurred before their death, including punitive damages that the decedent could have been entitled to recover if they had lived.
Finally, in January 2022, amendments to the California law that long barred surviving family members from recovering pain and suffering damages went into effect. California’s new law now allows surviving family members to recover pain and suffering damages on behalf of their deceased loved ones. Senate Bill No. 447 (SB 447) increased the number of payable damages to include pain and suffering damages.
Before the passing of SB 447, liable parties used to take advantage of the fact that surviving family members could not recover pain and suffering damages, which often resulted in multi-million-dollar payouts. When companies and individuals were sued, they used to drag out the trial, hoping that the plaintiff would die, allowing them to save money. To some, the previous California law rewarded companies and individuals for bad behavior (prolonging court procedures). Hopefully, SB 447 will end the injustice by allowing family members to pursue suffering damages even if their loved one dies before their claims are resolved.
Why is SB 447 Important to Mesothelioma Patients and Their Families?
SB 447 is not specific to mesothelioma claims. However, it is a legal change that applies to personal injury and wrongful death cases, meaning it also applies to mesothelioma cases. Senate Bill No.447 applies to the terminally ill, including mesothelioma patients and their family members.
Because mesothelioma is often diagnosed in its late stages, which means many plaintiffs have high chances of dying before their cases are settled, meaning most surviving family members of mesothelioma victims have long been denied pain and suffering damages. Now surviving family members of individuals who die from mesothelioma will be able to recover pain and suffering damages on behalf of their deceased loved ones, even if their loved ones die before their cases are settled.
As already mentioned, pain and suffering damages tend to be the greatest sum of money at stake in civil litigation. Pain and suffering damages can help surviving family members deal with outstanding mesothelioma treatment costs and other mesothelioma-related costs.
A qualified attorney can help with the recovery of pain and suffering damages after the loss of a loved one to mesothelioma. An attorney can also help with the recovery of economic damages such as medical expenses and even punitive damages.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.