Deaths are extremely hard for families involved, but they can be even more difficult when caused by someone’s carelessness. In a wrongful death case, the family of the deceased can seek damages for a variety of reasons.
Damages that may be available in a wrongful death case fall into four main categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, pain and suffering damages, and punitive damages. Economic damages include measurable losses while non-economic damages include subjective losses experienced by loved ones. The damages in a wrongful death case vary based on the circumstances of the case and the extent of the individual’s losses.
Family members and estate representatives file wrongful death lawsuits when their loved one loses their life as the result of another person’s negligent behavior. Many situations can lead to a wrongful death case, which accounts for thousands of lives and millions of dollars in damages in the U.S. every year.
Facts About Wrongful Death Lawsuits
The most common types of wrongful death lawsuits are from car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, defective products, semi-truck accidents, and aviation accidents.
Car accident wrongful death lawsuits are the most common. The vast majority of car accident fatalities are the result of at least one driver’s negligence, whether due to speeding, reckless driving, not paying attention to the road or driving under the influence. If any of these apply, the negligent driver can be liable for the deaths of anyone else involved in the accident including other drivers and passengers. If the accident occurred due to road issues, then the city or county may be liable. There are also situations in which an accident occurred and neither driver was negligent, although these are few and far between.
When it comes to medical malpractice, the most common wrongful death causes are either misdiagnosis of a condition or failure to diagnose a condition. Errors during surgery and when treating conditions are also common causes.
If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, Wilson Law Firm can help you recover damages from the responsible party.
General damages include things like funeral costs, loss of companionship, and emotional distress. It can also be used to cover the cost of medical bills and lost wages from the deceased person’s employment before their death. The amount you can receive for these types of damages depends on how much money would have been made had your loved one lived until retirement age.
Medical expenses are typically the largest portion of any wrongful death claim. The family may be able to recover medical costs not just for the deceased, but for any surviving family members who may have been injured as a result of the accident or illness that caused the death.
Loss of Income and Support
The loss of income and support covers any financial hardship suffered by surviving family members because they were deprived of their loved one’s income during their lifetime or because they were deprived of the inheritance they would have received had their relative not died prematurely. This includes both past and future loss: future loss is calculated by figuring out what income would have been earned at retirement age and subtracting it from current income; past loss is calculated by figuring out what income was lost up until the time when the death occurred (or until age 65 if retirement age has already passed).
Loss of Consortium
Certain states allow the plaintiff in a wrongful death case to claim loss of consortium, also known as loss of companionship. When an individual loses their spouse, especially at the hands of another person, they may experience severe emotional trauma. Financial awards can help them seek the resources they need for recovery.
Punitive damages are awarded when a defendant’s actions were intentional or reckless—such as when they knew that their actions could cause harm but did them anyway—and when there was no justification for doing so. An example could be using excessive force when arresting someone. Punitive damages are meant to punish wrongdoers and deter future misconduct by making sure they pay more than just compensatory damages.
Contact Wilson Law Firm | Wrongful Death Lawyer | Mississippi & Texas
If you lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may have the right to hold the liable party accountable for your financial damages. At Wilson Law Firm, our lawyers can help you determine if you have a case and seek fair compensation for your wrongful death claim. Schedule a FREE consultation today at 228-436-6391 to speak with our legal experts.