Since late 2019 and early 2020, Americans and people worldwide have been plagued with the effects of COVID-19. It’s now 2022, and California lawmakers are just catching up with the changes this pandemic has caused. Recently, the state passed several new and important laws in this regard.
Many of these laws could affect you and your family directly. One, in particular, aims at expanding non-economic damages for deceased plaintiffs. It’s called Senate Bill 447. Let’s take a look at how this bill may impact you.
What Is Senate Bill 447?
California Governor Newsom passed Senate Bill 447. The bill allows courts to award non-economic damages to deceased plaintiffs.
What Are Non-Economic Damages?
Non-economic damages are damages for non-economic (non-monetary) losses. So, for example, some non-economic damages might be damages for pain and suffering, disfigurement, emotional distress, etc.
When you are bringing a lawsuit against an individual or entity, suing for these damages is very significant to the value of your case.
How Does Senate Bill 447 Work?
Senate Bill 447 changes tort law in California so that the courts can give non-economic damages to a deceased individual’s successor or personal representative.
Let’s imagine your spouse was injured in a workplace accident to see an example of this bill in effect. As a result, let’s say they filed an employment lawsuit, but it took a long time for them to get their day in court. In other words, insurance companies and defendants were constantly dragging out the case and being slow to make appointments and meet deadlines.
Then, on top of this, let’s say that COVID-19 was interfering, causing even more severe delays in judicial proceedings.
Overall, this would mean that your spouse, the plaintiff, would have to deal with the ramifications of their unfortunate situation for an exceedingly long time. Even if they were finally to make it to trial, they might have been permanently affected. Sadly, it’s not been uncommon for plaintiffs to die before their day in court.
This new law — Senate Bill 447 — aims to allow successors, like spouses or representatives, to collect those significant non-economic damages for these cases.
Do You Have Questions About Senate Bill 447?
Knoll Law Group is here to represent individuals who’ve been injured in an accident or wronged in the workplace. We want to help you recover the damages you deserve so that you can start living the life you deserve.
Over the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve assisted clients through the complexities of dealing with this devastating virus and the quickly changing laws that have affected their cases. We want to help you too.
Senate Bill 447 is such an excellent win for plaintiffs everywhere. If you have any questions about this new law, or if you have a personal injury or employment matter that you would like to discuss, please give our office a call for a free legal consultation.