No amount of money can ever truly compensate for the death of a loved one. But in a civil lawsuit, the family of the deceased may be able to recover what is called “wrongful death damages.”
These damages are meant to help ease the financial burden caused by the death and to punish the person or entity responsible for the death. While nothing can bring back a loved one, wrongful death damages can at least help ease the pain and suffering caused by their loss.
You may be entitled to wrongful death damages if you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. Keep reading to learn more about what you need to know about wrongful death damages.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In most states, the following family members can file a wrongful death claim:
If any immediate family members do not survive the deceased person, other relatives, such as aunts, uncles, or cousins, may be able to file a claim. In some states, even distant relatives can file a claim.
In addition, some states allow the deceased person’s estate to file a wrongful death claim. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help determine who is eligible to file a claim in your state.
What Are the Different Types of Wrongful Death Damages?
There are two main damages in a wrongful death case: economic and noneconomic.
Economic damages are quantifiable costs that you have incurred as a result of the death, such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Loss of future earnings
- Property damage
Noneconomic damages are more difficult to quantify but are no less real. They include things like:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of love, companionship, and guidance
In some states, punitive damages may also be available in a wrongful death case. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for particularly egregious or reckless behavior and are usually only awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious or reckless.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?
Each state has its statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim. You may have as little as one year to file a claim in some states. In other states, you may have two or three years. It’s important to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney.
What is Wrongful Death Damages Worth?
The value of a wrongful death claim will depend on several factors, including the age of the deceased, their earning potential, the relationship of the survivors to the deceased, and the circumstances of the death. While it is impossible to place a precise monetary value on human life, some experts have estimated that the average wrongful death claim is worth between $1 million and $5 million.
Suppose you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another. In that case, it is important to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney to discuss your legal options and to ensure that you are fully compensated for your loss. Of course, every case is unique, and the compensation awarded will vary depending on the particular facts and circumstances.
Contact and Visit us at Garcia and Phan Southern California Personal Injury Attorneys
In conclusion, if you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, you may be able to seek damages through a wrongful death claim. These damages can help cover financial losses, as well as the pain and suffering of the family. If you have any questions or want to discuss your case, please contact us Garcia and Phan Southern California Personal Injury Attorneys at (714) 586-8298.