LawWhat are the Types of Damages Awarded in a Wrongful Death Claim?

What are the Types of Damages Awarded in a Wrongful Death Claim?

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Accidental/unintentional injuries account for 6.5% of total deaths in the US. Unintentional injuries ranked fourth among the leading causes of death in the US in 2021. To understand the issue better, the number of deaths caused by unintentional injuries in the US in 2021 was 224,935. This shows that people need to be more careful and take measures to reduce negligence.

Losing a loved one to negligence is devastating. No one deserves to die due to someone’s negligence, which is why taking action against the negligent party is important. It is necessary for the surviving family to hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions.

By filing wrongful death cases, you can raise awareness about the issue, hold the negligent party accountable, and get compensated for your losses. However, winning a wrongful death case is not simple. You will need the help of experienced wrongful death lawyers to navigate the complex legal process and get the compensation you deserve. Speak with reputed wrongful death attorneys to learn more about wrongful death cases.

In any personal injury case, the plaintiff can receive three types of damages:

  1. Economic Damages
  2. Non-Economic Damages
  3. Punitive Damages

Most cases involve only economic and non-economic damages since punitive damages will only be issued to punish the defendant in cases of extreme wrongdoing. Damages awarded vary depending on the type of case.

Damages Awarded in Wrongful Death Cases

Of course, the basic types will remain the same for all types of personal injury cases. But the subcategories will change. So let’s focus on the subcategories rather than the main categories.

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses are a type of economic damage that will be awarded in most cases. Not all victims pass away at the scene of the accident. Some will be taken to the hospital and treated for days before passing away. The surviving family can get compensation for the expenses they incurred to treat their loved one. The plaintiff should document all medical bills since they can be used as evidence.

Loss of Financial Support

This is a type of compensation issued only in wrongful death cases. If the victim was the sole provider for the family, then the family will encounter serious financial losses. The plaintiff can claim compensation for the money the victim would have earned if they were alive. For example, if the victim dies when they have 12 years of service remaining, the money they would have earned in those 12 years can be claimed as compensation.

Funeral and Burial Expenses

Funeral expenses can be high. Since the death was caused by negligence, the negligent party should pay for the funeral. A wrongful death lawyer can calculate the expenses you incur due to the unexpected funeral and will claim compensation for those too.

Loss of Companionship

Loss of companionship is a type of non-economic damage. Companionship is a necessity for everyone. The surviving partner will lose the companionship, affection, love, and sexual intimacy that they got from their partner. You cannot put a value on these types of losses. Usually, the plaintiff’s lawyer will fix the amount you deserve for these types of losses.

Emotional Trauma

Losing a loved one will cause emotional trauma, even if the death was due to natural causes. Sudden death due to negligence can be even more traumatizing. This emotional strain can seriously affect a person’s life. The plaintiff can claim compensation for emotional trauma and the expenses incurred to treat it.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages, or exemplary damages, is a type of damage that is issued to punish the defendant for their wrongdoing. Punitive damages will be awarded by the court. This is issued to deter the defendant and others from engaging in such activities in the future.

Final Thoughts

Negligence should never go unpunished. The surviving family must strive to bring the negligent party to justice. If you ever get into such a situation, hire an experienced wrongful death attorney and file a lawsuit. More than getting compensation, holding the negligent party accountable is important.

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