The death of a loved one is a tragedy, no matter how it happens. For someone to die at the hands of another person, whether intentionally or through an act of negligence, can be even harder for families or loved ones to accept. The foundation of a wrongful death claim is proof of careless behavior or an intentional act. In addition, to file a wrongful death claim, the death has to harm you. For instance, if you have medical and funeral expenses for your loved one or a loss of income, these damages may be covered through a wrongful death suit.
Damages in Wrongful Death
There are two different types of wrongful death claim categories. The first allows you to recover damages that the deceased experienced from the moment the action that caused his or her death occurred until said person’s death. For example, if a person suffers a fall at work and is ultimately hospitalized for days or weeks leading up to his or her death, then the wrongful death suit covers this time frame. The wrongful death claim may cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and funeral expenses.
The other wrongful death damages category includes losses that you or another next of kin experiences. This compensates the survivors for the loss. In general, these damages include the financial loss that the family suffered due to the death. Some states will allow for a loss of consortium damages. If your spouse dies and you are left without companionship, or if a child lives and a parent dies, then there are grounds for claims.
Individuals in Wrongful Death
When it comes to those who can file a suit or receive claims, courts consider a few factors. The court will consider the relationship of the deceased to different family members. Those who can receive damages may include:
- Minor children who lost benefits of support and comfort
- Parents of minor children for lost relationships and are dealing with emotional trauma
- Surviving spouses who lost companionship or suffered trauma from the death
Those who can sue for wrongful death may also be able to sue for punitive damages if the defendant acted egregiously or intentionally and caused the death. To lose a loved one is always difficult. To lose someone at the hands of someone else’s negligence or actions can feel like even more of an unfair tragedy. Wrongful death suits seek to provide compensation for these events. To find out if you have a wrongful death case, consult with a wrongful death attorney, like a wrongful death attorney in Longwood, FL.
Thanks to David and Philpot, P.L. for their insight into who can file a wrongful death claim.