Losing a loved one is an extremely painful and difficult experience. If the death of a family member is caused by the intentional actions or negligence of an entity or another person, it is considered wrongful death. The surviving family can file a lawsuit against the negligent party and claim compensation for their losses. Wrongful death cases can be filed against a company, individual, government agency, or employee.
By filing a claim, the family can recover the losses they incurred due to the death of their loved one. However, according to the law, the person who files the claim bears the burden of proof. It means you have to prove the defendant’s negligence. But is proving negligence challenging? Kind of. If you get the help of wrongful death attorneys, it can be quite easy. A lawyer can significantly improve your chances of proving negligence and obtaining fair compensation. Proving negligence is hard if you don’t have an attorney by your side.
There are various factors that need to be considered when claiming financial compensation. Surviving families can get compensation for economic and non-economic losses.
Below are various types of compensation that can be recovered in a wrongful death case.
The family may get compensation for the medical treatments the victim received before passing away. It covers surgery expenses, emergency room costs, hospital bills, medication expenses, and other medical care directly associated with the incident. It is necessary to collect and document all the relevant medical bills and records to support your wrongful death claim process.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering are also called “survivorship claims.” It covers compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering experienced by the victim before passing away. In addition, family members can recover damages for the suffering, pain, and mental anguish caused by the death of their beloved one. This type of compensation can differ depending on several things, such as the nature of the death, the relationship with the deceased, and the impact on the life of the surviving family member.
Funeral and Burial Expenses
Due to someone else’s intention, actions, or negligence, suppose your loved one passed away. Then, the family can claim compensation for the funeral expenses. It covers expenses such as burial plots, funeral home services, transportation, markers, headstones, urns, or caskets, and other cremation expenses.
Punitive damages may be granted if the responsible party’s conduct is considered egregious, malicious, or reckless and also represents a willful disregard for the safety of others. As compared to other compensation types, punitive damages are not only designed to compensate the family for their losses. Rather, they are implemented to punish the wrongdoer and prevent the same behavior in the future.
The surviving family members may experience a huge loss of economic support if the deceased person is the only person who contributed economically to the family. The family may be entitled to compensation for the benefits and lost income. It covers the retirement benefits, bonuses, salary, wages, and other economic contributions that the deceased person would have offered to the family during their expected lifetime.
The type and amount of compensation that can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit are based on several factors, such as income, health, age, and relationship with the deceased. The liability of the defendant and the degree of fault, the impact and extent of the damages suffered by the surviving family, the statute of limitations, and applicable state laws.
Proving a wrongful death case can be a challenging and complex task that requires negotiation skills, evidence collection, and courtroom experience. Dealing with a wrongful death lawsuit alone could be difficult. That’s why it is necessary to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney in order to get a better understanding of the compensation that can be claimed in your particular situation and to make sure that your rights are well protected in every part of the legal process.