What if my client dies

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What if my client dies

I was asked by the father of a terminally ill cancer patient to go to another state and help. I agreed, quit my job, packed up everything I owned and drove across 2 states. I was told that I would have room and board and that my expenses would be paid. However, the patient died just as I drove into town. Now his father is acting like too bad, sorry for your luck. Now I have no money and no way to pay my bills; all of the things that the father offered and said would be taken care of have been blown away like dust in the wind. What are my rights here?

Asked on September 19, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

By definition, you only take care of the person until they pass away; if you did not have a written agreement/contract guarantying you room, board, pay, or something else for some set or minimum time, you would only receive what was promissed as long as the person lived, with no guaranty of how long that would be. You may have given up your life for this, but unless you did so in response to getting a written contract guarantying you a certain minimum amout of compensation, you gambled when you did so--and, unfortunately, lost. If you want to sue the father, you have a reasonable case to get the actual "expenses" you incurred--e.g. gas, tolls, if you stayed over at a hotel/motel, etc.--to get there, and *maybe* the cost to get back, but that's it. And whether it is worthwhile taking legal action for that is questionable.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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