Often, the toll of losing a loved one can be both emotionally and financially devastating. Depending on the circumstances, survivors of a wrongful death lawsuit may be able to seek compensation for their losses. The damages secured by such a settlement or verdict can range from a variety of incurred and future expenses. Some of these awarded damages can include the total value of future lost wages, funeral expenses, and the emotional distress of losing your loved one.
A wrongful death occurs when someone’s life is lost through the negligence or fault of somebody else. While this subject is broad, most wrongful death cases occur by way of car accident, product liability, and medical malpractice. Because a wrongful death can be the fault of multiple parties, this may include the citation of individuals, companies, and can even include governmental agencies. Consequently, wrongful death cases are often complex and require the skill-sets of highly adept wrongful death attorneys.
In the event of a wrongful death, many types of parties and entities may be held responsible. These examples can include a driver who was the cause of a fatal collision, a manufacturer of a faulty vehicle, an individual responsible for serving alcohol to an impaired driver, or even the designer of a faulty roadway.
The defining quality comes down to who was the person or entity responsible for causing the wrongful death. Whether it was by virtue of deliberate malice or pure negligence, anyone who was party to the wrongful death of another person, may be held responsible for the life of the deceased.
The following parties may be able to pursue compensation following a wrongful death:
• Immediate family members (including children, siblings, and even parents)
• Life partners or putative spouses
• Any party financially dependent upon the deceased (both family members and extended family)
Financial loss is not only constrained to family members of the deceased. Anyone who was financially dependent upon the victim may be eligible for compensation, provided they can prove that their livelihood was directly tied to the deceased.
There are three different categories that can be collected upon, in the event of a prevailing wrongful death suit:
• Economic Damages – These damages are subjected and limited to the financial contributions of the wrongfully deceased. These economic damages may be inclusive of an inheritance, future earnings, medical expenses, funeral costs, and any other quantitative monetary contributions made by the individual, if still living.
• Emotional Damages – These damages are non-quantitative costs that may be incurred in the event of a wrongful death. This may include monetary retributions for pain and suffering, including (but not limited to): emotional and mental anguish, loss of care, loss of relationship, loss of love, and other forms of general pain and suffering.
• Punitive Damages – These damages exist to punish the defendant for excessively negligent or careless behavior. Punitive damages are intended to financially burden the defendant by means of an overwhelming verdict.
If your loved one has been the victim of a wrongful death, contact The FIRM LA today.