Whiting Law Group represents many people in personal injury actions, including wrongful death. A wrongful death claim is a suit that arises from the death of an individual that was caused by the conduct of another. A wrongful death suit is different from other types of personal injury claims because the actual victim (the “decedent”) is not bringing suit, rather it is the family members or the decedent’s estate. What this generally means is that a lawsuit is filed when someone’s wrongful conduct results in the death of another.
This area of tort law can involve every area of tort practice from automobile accidents to premise liability to medical negligence. A wrongful death claim is brought to recover damages for the injuries that surviving family and/or estate has suffered due to the death of a family member.
Damages in wrongful death cases are intended to compensate for losses resulting from the death of a family member. Some losses are measurable, a widow in a wrongful death suit, for example, could seek to recover the financial support that she would have received had her spouse lived. Other damages are more general in nature. Types of recoverable wrongful death damages include:
- Direct Expenses – Medical Bills and Funeral Costs
- Loss of Benefits – What the person could have received in pensions/retirement benefits had they lived.
- Loss of Future Earnings – What the person who died would have earned in salary if he or she had lived.
- Loss of Companionship – What the person who died would have emotionally provided to a relationship and the mental pain and suffering resulting from the decedent’s death.
- Punitive Damages – What amount the defendant should be punished for his or her actions resulting in the victim’s death.
In all matters involving personal injury or wrongful death, it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident and/or conduct in question, and to file a lawsuit prior to deadline imposed by the statute of limitations.