What Damages Are Recoverable After a Wrongful Death?

Recoverable Damages After a Wrongful Death

Even though money cannot bring a loved one back after their wrongful death was caused by the negligence of someone else, it can help to alleviate the stress that comes with financial burdens that often come with a loved one’s untimely passing. 

Wrongful Death State Laws

While many states have similar laws pertaining to wrongful death claims and lawsuits, each state has its own unique set of laws that determine legal factors for this awful situation. If you are seeking legal advice regarding the damages that are recoverable after a wrongful death, it is important to get this from a legal professional that is licensed to give this kind of advice in the state where your claim takes place. 

Wrongful Death Damages and Compensation

A wrongful death claim is typically made by a surviving family member(s) of a person who has passed away or by a representative of the deceased’s estate.

A wrongful death claim is a kind of personal injury claim that is typically made when someone dies as the result of another party or parties’ negligence, malice or reckless behavior. There are unfortunately, many, many, many different causes of wrongful deaths. Common causes of wrongful deaths fall under the umbrellas of medical malpractice, auto accidents, premises liability accidents, dangerous and faulty product accidents, and assaults and battery, to name just a few of the very broad categories that many wrongful death claims fall under.     

In legalese, “damages” mean the kind of monetary compensation the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit is seeking from the defendant(s). In a personal injury civil lawsuit, the plaintiff is the injured person and the defendant(s) is the party whose alleged negligence or other wrongdoing is what caused the plaintiff’’s injury. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff is typically the family of the deceased or someone who is appointed to represent the estate of the deceased. 

Kinds of Damage in Wrong Death Claims

While each state has their own set of laws unique to itself, in very general terms, the damages a plaintiff can see in a wrongful death claim fall into two broad categories. 

The first one can be described as the actual expenses that the deceased and the deceased’s family accrued from the time of the negligent defendant’s action(s) that ultimately caused their death, until the time they actually died. Examples of this include cost of emergency services, hospital services and stays, therapies, and counseling, to name just a few.

The second broad category of damages that a plaintiff may be able to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit include the monetary losses the deceased family will have as a result of their loved one’s death, including such things as, funeral and burial or cremation expenses, loss of income, loss of child care and/or household management, loss of consortium (spousal support), etc.

If you have legal questions about the wrongful death of a loved one, it is important to make sure that the answers and advice you get comes from a professional that is licensed to help you with your particular case.

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