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The Types of Damages Survivors Can Recover in a Wrongful Death Case

Losing a loved one due to the negligence of someone else is not something a person expects. The death of a person can cause many types of losses to the family.

The emotional pain of a wrongful death will be far worse than economic losses. Most of these losses are recoverable with the help of wrongful death attorneys. They can get compensation for the family’s economic and non-economic losses.

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How to get compensation

Claiming compensation for wrongful death cases is not as simple as one might think. In personal injury cases, the claimant who files the case bears the burden of proof. They have the responsibility to prove the elements of personal injury law, which are:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of duty of care
  • Causation
  • Damages

Recoverable losses in a wrongful death case

The surviving family will sustain many types of losses that can be categorized into two types:

  • Economic losses
  • Non-economic losses

Medical bills

Medical bills are the most common type of loss every personal injury victim sustains. It is a type of economic loss. The person who died may not have died immediately after sustaining the injury.

The family members would have spent money in an attempt to save their loved one. Emergency care is pretty expensive in the US.

The claimant can recover the money they spent on medical bills from the liable party.

Funeral expenses

This is a loss that is specific to wrongful death cases. The family will face unexpected burial expenses. No one expects to lose a loved one. So they won’t be prepared to deal with the burial expenses.

The burial expense comes under economic loss. The at-fault party is liable to pay for the funeral expenses the victim’s family incurs.

Loss of income

This is another type of economic loss that the family will experience if the deceased person was a breadwinner for the family. The family will face a sudden toll on total income.

What the other family member earns may not be enough to run a family. The at-fault party should pay what the victim would have earned if they were alive.

Pain and suffering

Pain and suffering is a type of non-economic loss that the victim experienced when they were alive.

It is obvious that the victim would have suffered many injuries due to the accident. They would have experienced immense physical pain due to those injuries. This pain felt by the victim should be compensated by the at-fault party.

Loss of companionship

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This is a type of non-economic loss that the victim’s loved one will sustain. The victim’s loved ones will miss their companionship and the emotional support they offered when they were alive.

The loved one’s quality of life and ability to enjoy life will be significantly reduced due to the victim’s death. If the victim happens to be a spouse, they will also experience a loss of intimacy.

Emotional distress

The death of a person can cause mental stress for loved ones. They have to deal with the loved one’s death, funerals, and the case they filed. All this can cause immense mental stress for them.

It is not fair that they have to go through all this because some random person was negligent in their duty of care.

Final thoughts

If you have lost a loved one as a result of negligence, do not hesitate to file a claim. Claiming compensation may not bring your loved one back to life, but you can punish the wrongdoer.

Punishing the at-fault party for their actions is the best way to deter them from engaging in such behaviors in the future. It can also create awareness among people and encourage others to come forward and file personal injury cases.

In addition to holding the negligent party accountable, you can recover the aforementioned losses.

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