Damages That You Can Claim For In A Wrongful Death Case
The loss of a loved one can be highly traumatic and emotionally taxing for anyone, and the stages of grief can leave you unable to function for quite some time. And even though a time will come when you are eventually ready to make peace with your loss, it can be even more emotionally taxing and challenging to come to terms with death when negligence is the culprit that stole your loved one from you.
Even though nothing can bring back your loved one, you should still seek justice on their behalf for the situation. Suppose you lost a loved one due to the provable negligence of another, whether medical malpractice, a faulty product, or even a car accident, you are legally entitled to compensation for the exceptionally unfortunate situation.
Wrongful death law is there to protect the families of victims that have passed on due to negligence, and a personal injury lawyer, such as those available at Phoenix Injury Lawyers who also specialize in wrongful death cases, is capable of ensuring you receive total compensation for your loss. And while your injury lawyer will evaluate the full value of your case, these damages are commonly claimed for in wrongful death cases. We have listed these damages to help you gain insight into your case and what kind of costs you can recover.
Funeral expenses can be pretty high, and there’s no doubt that your loved one deserves the best, so you won’t want to settle for a basic pocket-friendly funeral event to wish your loved one farewell. And because funeral expenses stem directly from the wrongful death incident, you can recover these costs in your claim as an expense that you and your family would not otherwise have had to plan for. Regardless of how high the funeral costs are, you must include these costs in your claim.
Loss Of Inheritance
Suppose the victim of the situation was saving money and assets to provide their children or other families with an inheritance. And the negligence of another has put an end to their savings goals. In this case, you can include the loss of future estate in your damages claim. This particular claim may be challenging to tackle on your own, as specific evidence is required to prove the loss of future inheritance. For this particular reason, you must rely on a specialized injury lawyer to handle your claim.
Loss Of Future Income
Suppose the victim of the case was the primary breadwinner of the household or contributed towards living costs, even in small financial ways. In this case, you can claim the loss of future income as the wrongful death case has cost the family an income indefinitely. Your attorney can calculate these costs and value the household’s total future loss of income, which is considered claimable damage. The loss of income is one damage that can affect the family of the victim the most. Even if the victim was not the sole contributor, surviving without the income that was previously relied on can be challenging, especially while you are still mourning the loss of your loved one.
If the incident victim required any medical treatment leading up to their death due to the initial negligence, you must recover these costs in your claim. It’s no secret that medical bills can leave wealthy families struggling financially due to the high costs of most medical procedures. And for this reason, you should claim all medical bills that stem from the incident, even if they are therapy bills from a professional psychologist assisting with your treatment to deal with the aftermath of the wrongful death incident. Unfortunately, if there were no medical costs involved, they cannot be added to the compensation claim.
Emotional distress damages are often referred to as pain and suffering, and these costs are frequent in wrongful death cases due to the emotional nature of the lawsuit. For this reason, you should always include emotional distress damages in your claim. An expert lawyer will help you calculate these costs, which can be challenging to do on your own due to the nature of emotional distress damage claims. Unfortunately, it is most common that the claiming party will have to prove emotional distress with medical records that prove mental harm. However, this might not be necessary when it comes to the loss of a loved one, as dealing with death is understandably taxing on the emotional well-being of the family of the loved one that has passed away.
Punitive damages are not relevant to all wrongful death cases. However, if the decedent’s death was caused by deliberate negligence or hate, which can be proved, then punitive damages stand as a relevant claim in your compensation. Your lawyer will need to assist you with calculating these costs if you have evidence that the death was the result of deliberate negligence or hate.
Calculating Claim Costs
In wrongful death cases, a few factors help lawyers and courts determine the fair amount of compensation payout that you are legally entitled to for the loss of a loved one caused by negligence. These factors include the victims’ life expectancy, past income earnings, potential future earnings, the status of the victims’ health before their death, and the victims’ contributions to the household. These factors will help factually determine fair compensation.
With that said, even if you can calculate your compensation regarding these factors, it is still best to rely on a legal expert. Unfortunately, you may have to face the guilty party’s legal team without legal representation, and they may not be willing to provide you a fair settlement. Without a lawyer, you might not even receive a settlement at all. And because you can include your legal fees into your compensation claim, you won’t run at a loss for relying on a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer will promise you a positive outcome, fair treatment during the process, and fair compensation.