Types of Compensation for Wrongful Death

There are a variety of different forms of compensation available for victims of a wrongful death case but they all vary from state to state. Wrongful death occurs when a person is killed as a result of the negligence of another or when another person, known as the defendant, is liable for the death of another person. Wrongful death cases include automobile accidents, airplane accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, workplace accidents and much more. The laws that govern wrongful death include the compensation that a relative or spouse of the deceased can be entitled to because of the death.

The following can be compensated for in a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Expenses for the care, treatment, and hospitalization of the person who died
  • Sorrow, mental anguish, and loss of companionship
  • The expected loss of income of the person who died
  • The expected loss of services, protection, care, and/or assistance which the person who died provided to the survivors/beneficiaries
  • Loss of victim's future earnings until the time of retirement
  • Loss of medical benefits, pension, and 401(k) as a result of the death
  • Loss of inheritance caused by the untimely death of the victim
  • General damages
  • Compensation for any property damage caused by the accident that caused the death of the loved one
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reasonable funeral expenses
If you or a loved one may have been involved in a Fatal Accident, consult with a Wrongful Death Attorney in your area today for a free case review in exploring legal remedies.

How is compensation for a wrongful death case determined? If the case reaches a trial phase then the attorney for the plaintiff will need to not only prove that the defendant was guilty of negligence or liable for the victim’s death but will also have to prove that the amount of compensation the plaintiff is requesting is adequate and not too much. Some states do allow the plaintiff of a wrongful death case to collect interest on the compensation of damages until the compensation is actually acquired in full by the plaintiff. So, if the defendant cannot pay the compensation for the damages in full, every payment that is made until the entire compensation package is paid off will be subjected to interest. This helps the plaintiff or victim’s family obtain their compensation for damages quicker or receive more money in return with the application of the interest.

Punitive damages are not allowed in wrongful death cases in every state. Punitive damages are defined as damages awarded to punish the defendant for bad conduct. In states that do allow punitive damages to be awarded in wrongful death cases, the plaintiff’s attorney must prove that the conduct of the defendant was impeccably deplorable. This means that the actions of the defendant were malicious or intentional when the death occurred.

When filing a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff in the case must adhere to the statute of limitations set forth by the state that they live in or the state in which the death occurred. Why? The law allows for only a specified period of time for people to file their wrongful death lawsuits. This means that compensation cannot be obtained after the statute of limitations has passed because a lawsuit cannot be brought against the defendant of the case. This also includes settling out of court. To settle out of court one must have filed a lawsuit against another for a wrongful death during the required statute of limitations. To obtain compensation for a wrongful death the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s attorney must be able to prove that the death was wrongful and that the defendant was directly negligent in the death or can be held liable for the death. The majority of states in the country only allow compensation for monetary losses in a wrongful death suit and not pain and suffering or loss of consortium.

If you or a loved one may have been involved in a Fatal Accident, consult with a Wrongful Death Attorney in your area today for a free case review in exploring legal remedies.