What Are The Available Damages In A Wrongful Death Claim?

Posted by on Jul 16, 2016 in Personal Injury, Wrongful Death | 0 comments

Death is an inevitable fact of life. But when it comes at an unexpected time, it can have a devastating effect on the surviving family members. The sudden death of a loved one can bring emotional and psychological trauma to the family of the deceased. In order to recover from the potential financial trouble that they may incur, the surviving members of the family can file for damages.

While we cannot put a worth on the life of a person, wrongful death claims becomes a means for survival for the family of the deceased person. The loss of a family member is not an easy thing and can result to long term devastation. When the death of a person is due to the negligence of another individual, the best way to recover for the financial loss is to recover damages.

Generally, there are three types of damages that the survivors of the plaintiff can claim namely economic, non-economic and punitive. Economic damages are the value of the financial contributions that the deceased would have made if not for their death. It may include medical and funeral expenses, lost wages, lost benefits, lost inheritance, and goods and services the deceased could have provided.

Non-economic damages are the less tangible but often more valuable damages. Examples include pain and suffering, loss of protection, guidance, advice, training, and nurturance, loss of consortium for the surviving spouse, and loss of love and companionship.

Punitive damages are awarded to the plaintiff as a punishment for the defendant. In some states, these damages are not available in wrongful death suits. In some states, the plaintiff’s family can collect interest on the damages from the time they were incurred to the time of collection. They can also collect attorney’s fees for the expenses they incurred for filing the case.

Wrongful death claims are governed by “statute of limitations.” In general, the lawsuit should be filed in a span of two years from the date of misconduct. In some states, the time limit can be as short as one year. There are special rules for minors or persons with mental disabilities.

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