In any lawsuit seeking damages for injuries, the damages will focus on two primary things: compensating the injured individual for financial costs associated with their injury, such as medical bills and property damage, and compensating them for lost wages and pain associated with their injury. The more serious the injury, the larger the award must be to cover the associated expenses and losses.
Wrongful death lawsuits seek to compensate the victims—in this case, the deceased’s surviving family—in a slightly different way. Rather than focusing on medical expenses and financial losses, wrongful death suits break down compensation into two separate time periods: from the negligent or deliberate act that caused the death (such as an accident) to the time of death, and from the death forward.
The first type of damages may include compensation for medical bills and lost wages during the period between the negligent act and the time of death (which can often be days or weeks), as well as other financial losses such as funeral expenses and burial costs. Nonfinancial losses such as pain and suffering experienced before death may also be recovered.
The second type of damages seeks to compensate the deceased’s surviving family—such as a spouse, children, or parents of minor children who were killed—for financial losses that will be experienced as a result of their family member being deceased. Lost future potential earnings is the primary damage sought, followed by the family’s pain and suffering.
If you have lost a loved one, there is no amount of money that will fill the void left by his or her absence. Wrongful death claims can help your family maintain financial security following your loved one’s death, however, which can help ensure that you receive a more stable future in which to recover. To discuss your case in a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney, contact us today by phone, or by filling out our online contact form.