The heartbreak a family endures when a loved one is lost cannot easily be described. Add to this fact that the death was the result of an accident and was so unexpected, and the emotional trauma is enhanced. Sadly, many people who lose a loved one in a wrongful death also suffer great financial hardships because they were unprepared for the loss.
While filing a lawsuit for damages received because of a death cannot ease the emotional pain the family is experiencing, it can help alleviate the financial strain. These lawsuits are designed to help families survive financially during their time of need.
The 5 Most Common Types Of Damages Awarded In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
• Medical and Funeral Expenses. The medical bills associated with trying to save the victim from their injuries can be incredibly expensive. Emergency medicine is expensive, and depending on the life saving measures they used, can quickly run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Funerals and burials are also expensive. Many families are not prepared for these unexpected expenses and they are always included in this type of lawsuit.
• Loss of Income. The Court will determine the amount of income that the family has lost based on what the victim earned and would have earned in the future. This is often the largest part of the lawsuit. The Court will also look at other benefits that the victim would have contributed to the family such as medical insurance premiums, contributions to retirement and pension plans. The Court will also consider Social Security income and other retirement benefits that could have been enjoyed by the family if the victim would have survived.
• Loss of Companionship. This will account for the loss endured by the spouse and of the minor children who no longer will benefit from the care and wisdom of their lost parent. The Court will also consider the emotional pain and suffering endured by the spouse and the minor children when determining this part of the damages.
• Loss of Services. Each person in a family contributes specific things to that family. Things such as house cleaning and laundry or yard work and auto repairs are all part of the things the family will have to pay for now that their loved one is gone. These services are considered in the settlement.
• Child Care. When minor children are involved in this type of case, the cost associated with their needs must be determined. This includes their care and their schooling and attending college in the future. If the child has special needs, additional compensation may be necessary.
Of course, each case is different, and in some instances there are additional awards given to the family based on the facts of the case. The only way to determine what rights you have as a surviving family member is to speak with an attorney who handles this type of case.