What Determines Compensation In A Wrongful Death Case?

30 June 2023
 Categories: , Blog


When you're suing over the death of a loved one, you probably want to get the maximum compensation. Here's what determines how much you can receive.

Economic Damages

In a wrongful death case, economic damages play a significant role in determining the compensation awarded to the surviving family members. These damages encompass the financial losses incurred as a result of the untimely death.

They include quantifiable expenses such as medical bills, funeral costs, and loss of financial support. Medical expenses may involve the costs associated with emergency medical care, hospitalization, surgeries, medication, and rehabilitation services. Funeral expenses typically cover the costs of burial or cremation, memorial services, caskets, and related expenses.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages in a wrongful death case pertain to the emotional and intangible losses experienced by the surviving family members. Unlike economic damages, which can be objectively quantified, non-economic damages are subjective and can vary based on the individual circumstances of the case. These damages seek to compensate for the pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of companionship, and loss of consortium endured by the surviving family members.

Pain and suffering may encompass the physical and emotional distress experienced by the deceased before their death or the emotional anguish suffered by the surviving family members due to the loss. Loss of companionship refers to the deprivation of the deceased's love, guidance, and emotional support, impacting the relationship between the deceased and their loved ones. Loss of consortium typically focuses on the negative impact on the marital relationship, including the loss of intimacy and companionship between spouses.

Loss of Support

In wrongful death cases, loss of support refers to the value of the practical assistance, care, and guidance that the deceased would have provided to their family members had they survived. This includes the performance of household chores, such as cooking, cleaning, maintenance, and other tasks necessary for the smooth functioning of a household. Loss of support also extends to the care and nurturing of children, including childcare, education, and guidance.

The assessment of loss of support takes into account the specific roles and responsibilities that the deceased fulfilled within the family unit. This evaluation requires careful consideration of the deceased's contributions, both tangible and intangible, to the overall well-being of their family members. By recognizing the value of the lost support, compensation can be provided to help ease the burden on the surviving family members who may need to find alternative means to fill the void left by the deceased.

For more information, contact a wrongful death lawyer near you.