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What Damages Are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

wrongful-death-lawsuit

One of the painful things you must consider when dealing with the death of a loved one is “what damages are recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit.” Unfortunately, some accidents result in death.  When that happens, the decedent’s assets become a part of their estate and are distributed in accordance with their will or through intestacy.  Proceeds from a wrongful death lawsuit also become a part of the decedent’s estate.

The answer to the question “what damages are recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit” depends on the circumstances of the decedent and their death.  There are two main categories of damages.  The first consists of damages sustained by the decedent before they die. The second consists of damages sustained by the decedent’s heirs following their death.   

Pre-Death Damages Recoverable

Pre-death damages recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit contain two categories. The first of these categories is commonly called a “survival” claim.  This is the category of damages that relates to a deceased person’s pre-death pain and suffering.  Death from accidents are not always instant.  Often an accident occurs and that sustains pain and suffering for seconds, minutes, or even days or weeks before succumbing to their injuries.  That is obviously a terrible thing to endure and is compensable in a wrongful death claim.  The second category of pre-death damages is for medical costs. 

Post-Death Damages in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Post-death damages make up the second category of damages recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit.  These consist of damages sustained by a decedent’s heirs. The first is reimbursement of funeral and burial costs.  This is an amount certain is usually very easy to prove.  The other costs are more abstract and often require experts to prove.  These include the loss a deceased person’s expected lifetime income.  A person’s expected lifetime income will vary based on their salary and other earnings at the time of their death, along with their age, and their expected earnings growth.  In addition to lost earnings, the loss of inheritance due to the death is also recoverable. A top personal injury lawyer will be able to assist with recovering compensation for your damages.

The next group of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit relates to non-economic losses by the decedent’s death.  Loss of the value of services would have provided over their lifetime are recoverable.  Similarly, the loss of care, guidance, and nurturing that the deceased would have provided is recoverable.  Heirs are also able to recover for the loss of care, guidance, and nurturing that the deceased would have provided.  Finally, a decedent’s spouse can recover for the loss of love, companionship, and consortium.

Attorneys Who Can Help

Losing a loved one is never easy.  Losing a loved one in a tragic accident can be even more difficult.  Fortunately, you do not have to go through this alone.  There are people out there who can help you deal with the emotional burden of this loss.  And there are wrongful death attorneys who can help you deal with the economic loss.  If you lose a loved on in a tragic accident, contact a wrongful death attorney today. They will help you receive the damages that are recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit.

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