What Is the Value of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit and How Are Damages Calculated?

January 26, 2019

Wrongful Death Lawyer

When survivors file a wrongful death lawsuit, the value is determined by the amount of financial damages the survivors who have filed the claim have endured. Although each case has its own unique set of circumstances, there are certain damages that families may be able to recover.

These damages include the following:

Medical Expenses: If the victim received medical treatment, such as emergency care, hospitalization, surgeries, or any other medical care in an effort to save their life after their injuries, the survivors can pursue compensation for all of these medical bills in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Funeral and Burial Expenses: In most wrongful death lawsuits, the expenses for the funeral and burial for the victim is reimbursed to the family (or the victim’s estate).

Loss of the Victim’s Expected Income: Another damage the family can pursue is the expected future income the victim would have earned that the family has now lost. This is especially common damage when the victim was the primary breadwinner for his or her family. There are several factors that go into determining what that future income would have been, including the victim’s life expectancy, the earning potential of the victim, and the life expectancy of the survivor’s filing the claim (such as the spouse and/or minor children).

Loss of Companionship: Damages for loss of companionship and other similar damages can be awarded to spouses, children, and other family members to compensate for the emotional impact the victim’s death has had on them. In addition to companionship, these damages include compensation for loss of:

  • Advice
  • Assistance
  • Care
  • Comfort
  • Guidance
  • Protection
  • Services
  • Society

Pain and Suffering: Damages for the physical pain and the emotional pain the victim experienced between the time they were injured and the time they died can also be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Punitive Damages: If the victim’s death was caused by malicious, reckless, wanton, or willful conduct on the part of the at-fault party, or by their gross negligence, then the court may award the family punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish the at-fault party for their behavior instead of focusing on the family’s losses.

Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney for Assistance

As a lawyer, we understand that no amount of money will ever make up for the death of your loved one. We also understand that their tragic and unexpected death can also cause devastating and overwhelming financial and emotional hardship.

Our legal team has built a solid reputation for diligently advocating for victims’ families and obtaining financial justice for their loved one’s death. We will work hard to get your family the best financial outcome based on the circumstances of your case.

Call our office today to meet with a wrongful death attorney, like a wrongful death lawyer in Houston, TX, for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into wrongful death.