You may have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident and are still grieving over the effects of the accident. Perhaps you have considered whether or not you should bring a lawsuit due to the wrongful death case, if you are an eligible family member to bring suit. Wrongful death cases can become complex legal matters where you attempt to prove a party acted negligently and it killed your loved one. When you have been successful in your wrongful death suit, you may wonder what damages you’re able to receive in wake of your loved one’s passing.
Damages Available in Wrongful Death Suit
The three general categories of damages you can expect encompass economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Here are the most popular in these cases:
Medical Treatment Bills: In a large variety of cases, the victim of a wrongful death accident received hundreds to thousands of dollars in medical treatment before they died. They could have received a trip in the ambulance, multiple surgeries, and more to save their life. The family who is now left without their loved one should never have to worry about the costs of these bills but, nevertheless, many families do. If a family is awarded these damages, the stress can be alleviated so a family can move forward.
Funeral Costs: The same can be said about funeral costs. Funerals can be extremely expensive, and no family should have to worry about these finances soon after the loss of their loved one. These damages pay for the funeral and arrangements as approved by the court.
Loss of Income or Benefits: These damages are very significant. Perhaps your loved one had a small child and now, since their passing, there is less in money to support them because of the loss of income. Dependents could be left with a reduced income and the courts don’t want to see this happen. They will consider many aspects, such as the income that could have been earned in the future, life expectancy if the accident hadn’t happened, and so much more.
Care of a Child: Perhaps the loved one was a stay-at-home parent. Now, because of the death, the child must attend daycare, which can be so expensive for a family. This could be considered as an award, too.
Pain and Suffering: Not every case will include pain and suffering damages. However, they can be significant when they are awarded. These damages help surviving family members when they are dealing with emotional distress after they have lost their loved one. These are especially prevalent in a case where a loved one watched the deceased die, such as in a car accident.
Do Punitive Damages Apply?
Sometimes punitive damages will also play a role in certain cases. But what are they? Punitive damages serve two huge purposes, by bringing a sense of wholeness to family of the loved one, and deterring future actions by the defendant by punishing them for their wrongdoing. They are quite rare, appearing in approximately 5% of verdicts in our courts today. These damages are determined by a 2-part test that consists of the court ensuring that the compensation is within a reasonable amount. When gross negligence and recklessness has occurred, you can gladly file for these damages as part of your case.
Have you lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party? Do you wonder how you can move forward in this difficult time and gain help with finances, suffering, and more? A wrongful death suit could bring your family peace in this difficult time. Call us at the Accident Law Group to get you the best results in your case, at 602-262-4254.