Typical Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Negligent accidents do occur. Those accidents can be purely accidental or intentionally so. In either case, when someone perishes in such an event, the survivors or family of that individual have a right to sue for wrongful death. During these cases, the survivors will make an argument for damages they believe to be fair. However, the available damages for such a civil action vary significantly from state to state. Although, in most instances, the family of the decedent can depend on at least three available damage types.

1. Economic

The loss of a sole breadwinner or even a contributing partner can be devastating, throwing the surviving members into financial turmoil. Therefore, to relieve some of that monetary hardship, most states do allow families to seek to recover economic losses. These losses typically include medical and funeral expenses, loss of inheritance, loss of victim’s income, loss of benefits and possibly the loss of goods and services the victim provided.

2. Non-economic

Beyond financial and economic hardship, most states allow survivors to sue for several non-economic damages. These injuries are less tangible and thereby harder to prove, but they can hold a significantly higher value than economic damages. These injuries might include loss of consortium, loss of society and companionship, loss of care and nurturing and damages for the pain and suffering of the survivor.

3. Punitive

Last, survivors can sue for punitive damages, which aim to punish the liable party for direct wrong-doing. However, in order to prove such wrong-doing, the plaintiff must show that the defendant was knowingly negligent or that their actions were intended to harm the victim. While the evidence does not need to be as involved as in a criminal proceeding, it still needs to demonstrate cause and intent. Not every state will allow punitive damages for wrongful death suits. However, even in states that do permit such actions, you might be limited to who you can sue for such losses. For example, many states will not allow punitive damages to be recovered from governmental agencies.

Recoverable damages in wrongful death cases run the gamut of economic, non-economic and punitive, but they are incredibly involved and complex. Therefore, when you are considering bringing such a claim to court, you will likely be best served by finding a wrongful death attorney, like a Wrongful Death Lawyer, in  Lakewood FL from David & Philpot, P.L.. These licensed and certified professionals understand the law and regulations surrounding such claims, and they will understand how to get you and other survivors the reward you are looking for.