Wrongful Death Claims: The Role of Damages and Compensation

November 13, 2023

Wrongful Death Claims: The Role of Damages and Compensation Post Image

When the unthinkable happens, and a loved one is wrongfully taken away from you through an accident or negligence, it can leave you feeling lost and overwhelmed. But if you’re facing this type of tragedy, know that legal action may be available to assist with finding justice.  Justice for your deceased family member, through a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims provide surviving family members with compensation for their losses associated with the passing of their loved one.  But, how do damages factor into these types of cases? In this blog post, we will discuss what actually makes up a wrongful death claim.  Including who can file the case, how it should proceed in court (if necessary), and what kind of compensation claimants could expect to recover through damages awards. Read on for more information about wrongful death claims.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim and How Do Damages Vary From State to State

A wrongful death claim is a legal action brought by family members.  This usually happens after the sudden passing of a loved one due to another party’s negligence. Wrongful death claims allow victims’ families to seek justice and financial compensation for the loss of their family member’s life. While each state has common laws that dictate the types of damages available in a wrongful death claim, those damages can vary from state to state.  This is all dependent on statutes within each jurisdiction. Specifically, some differences include who can bring forward the claim, who is eligible to receive any settlements or awards, and what types of acts are considered legally wrong or negligent. It’s important to know that no two wrongful death claims are ever 100% identical.  Understanding how your state defines wrongful death claims is essential when pursuing such an action.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim

When a person loses their life due to the negligence or wrongful conduct of another, the survivors may be able to file a wrongful death claim.  This claim is to seek compensation for damages. Generally, only certain family members are eligible to file claims for wrongful death. The process, laws and court systems differ by state.  However, typically the surviving spouse or domestic partner has first priority in filing a claim. Usually,  immediate family members who cannot sue are appointed an administrator by the court to represent their interests in filing a claim. Each state has specific laws regarding who can file wrongful death suits, and these claims must generally be made relatively soon after the tragedy occurs.  Timing is crucial when attempting to prove fault and negligence. So, an experienced legal advisor should be consulted before pursuing a wrongful death case.

What Types of Damages Can Be Awarded in a Wrongful Death Claim

It is devastating when a family experiences the wrongful death of a loved one. In these cases, all parties involved can benefit from filing a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims help to compensate families and survivors for their losses by awarding them with damages such as medical and funeral costs, pain and suffering, lost earnings and loss of future earning potential, loss of consortium or guidance, legal fees, punitive damages in some cases, and more. Depending on the individual circumstances of the case and state laws, other forms of compensation may also be available to ease the family’s financial burden through this difficult time.

How Are Punitive Damages Different From Compensatory Damages

Punitive damages stand out as a unique form of civil law award, distinct from their compensatory counterparts. In general, they may be issued when a defendant is deemed to have acted in a particularly egregious manner—such as with malice or wanton disregard for others. Unlike compensatory damages, the purpose of punitive damages is not to right the wrongs to the plaintiff that occurred, but rather to punish and discourage the defendant for their behavior. This form of civil remedy can bring about larger awards than what is doled out in compensatory damages, ensuring that high stakes apply for conducting oneself inappropriately. By restructuring the costs and rewards of bad behavior in this way, punitive damages can ensure that justice is served even long after the fact.

What Steps Are Involved in Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

The process for filing a wrongful death claim can be complicated. But understanding what is necessary to take action can help. Beyond the emotional toll that comes with losing a loved one, filing a wrongful death claim requires gathering medical records, identifying documents that prove your relationship with the deceased, and financial statements. Additionally, depending on the circumstances of the case,  you will also need to show proof of funeral and burial expenses.   An experienced attorney can help guide you through the process and build an effective case in pursuit of necessary compensation.

What Other Types of Compensation May Be Awarded in a Wrongful Death Claim

In addition to the monetary damages awarded in a wrongful death claim, depending on the state and type of case, there may be other types of compensation offered. For example, some claims offer damages related to physical losses.  These damages can includes hospital costs, funeral or burial expenses, etc.  If a death was caused by negligence or intentional act then punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer.  Some families may opt for non-economic compensations.  This could simply be an apology from the responsible party , which can bring a sense of closure to those affected by the wrongful incident. Ultimately, each wrongful death claim is unique and if awarded, available compensations depend on its specific details.

Bring Justice to the Survivors

A wrongful death claim is an important way to help bring justice to the survivors of the departed. Depending on which state they are located in, the damages awarded can vary in type and amount. These awards will most likely include compensatory damages as well as punitive damages. To file a wrongful death claim, it requires filing paperwork completed with accuracy and care.  As such, having strong legal counsel on your side is beneficial. Furthermore, depending on the case circumstances other types of compensation may also be available.  This includes burial costs benefit or loss of consortium.  Loss of consortium provides restitution for those impacted by their loved one’s passing . Wrongful death claims allow for surviving family members to fight for fair justice.

Contact a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Attorney Today

When the unthinkable happens, and a loved one is wrongfully taken away from you through an accident or negligence, it can leave you feeling lost and overwhelmed. It is important that you contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. There are deadlines as to when you can file a claim. B|B Law Group can help you obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries and damages. We have your best interest at heart and truly care about you and your recovery. We will focus on the claims while you focus on recovery.

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