This is simply another consideration in determining the amount of wrongful death damages in California.  The earning capacity damages of the decedent is the amount of lost support and financial contributions from a decedent to the survivor (family members, etc.).

The determination of exactly how much will be recoverable for these legal damages can be based on factors such as the decedent's earning capacity (what he or she did for a living, how much he or she earned). In short, the amount that the decedent could have earned or contributed over their lifetime will be calculated and then reduced in value to today's dollars - this is known as present value.  A forensic financial expert needs to be retained to come up with this value to present a dollar amount before or during a jury trial.