The sudden death of a loved one can be emotionally and financially damaging, mainly if the primary cause of death is someone else’s negligence or intentional acts. In such cases, the surviving family members can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to help compensate for some of the financial losses they have incurred due to their loved one’s passing. The types of damages you can recover in a wrongful death lawsuit will depend on the circumstances of the accident and the family’s relationship with the deceased.
This blog post outlines various forms of compensation typically awarded in a successful wrongful death lawsuit, helping those affected to understand what kind of financial support they may receive. If you have recently suffered such an immensely painful loss, it may be beneficial to research your rights regarding legal compensation.
What Are the Financial Damages You Can Recover?
Financial damages are compensatory payments for losses experienced in a personal injury case. Specifically, when wrongful death is involved, damages are awarded to the decedent’s family members to provide the economic support they reasonably might have anticipated if their loved one had not passed away.
Generally speaking, financial damages consist of the following categories: Economic and non-economic damages.
The value of losses can be easily determined when calculating financial and economic damages in a wrongful death case. However, an experienced financial/economics expert witness is usually called upon to provide analysis and testimony on behalf of the family members.
Commonly-considered losses include medical expenses incurred before death, lost potential future income or financial support that the deceased person would have provided, lost inheritance potential, and funeral and burial costs.
When a person has wrongfully passed away, the options for legal recourse may include non-economic damages. These could refer to the loss of companionship, protection, moral support, affection, and sexual relations. These types of losses can be challenging to prove in court; hence why it is essential to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney.
The legal team would review your case and help determine which damages you should pursue as part of your wrongful death claim. Ultimately, the professionals will help you ensure you and your loved ones get the compensation they deserve for their loss.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Can Award Damages to Who?
The award of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit is subject to state laws, including any needed interpretation. While details may vary significantly, depending on the deceased’s relationships with family members, generally speaking, damages awarded can be given to:
The deceased’s surviving spouse has a legal right to seek compensation for both companionship and financial losses caused by their partner’s death. These claims may include repayment for belongings and loss of anticipated retirement income. Generally, these awards are based on the length of marriage as well as the age of the surviving spouse.
In certain circumstances, minor children may be eligible to receive compensation for the unfortunate loss of a parent. Damages in these cases often factor in financial damages and intangible benefits, such as comfort and support, that are associated with the child’s relationship with their parent.
In rare instances, parents of minor children who have passed away may be entitled to compensation for any emotional trauma they suffered as a result and any economic support they were receiving from their child. The extent of the damages available will depend on specific circumstances.
The effects of wrongful death can be devastating. In addition to the emotional distress, families sometimes suffer financially as well. Although there is no way to compensate for the loss of a loved one, compensation may help lessen this burden and allow you to move on with your life. An experienced attorney can provide critical support as you seek justice and pursue legal action against those who are responsible.