Wrongful death is someone who dies due to the negligence of another person or entity. To win a wrongful death claim, it must be shown by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with gross negligence in disregard for life, safety, or property. In such cases, people have a right to seek damages for their loss. Sometimes, a victim’s family can recover monetary compensation for losing a loved one. The court may grant a monetary award to the survivors who have suffered the loss of position, love, and affection due to the death and need to receive support from society.
Economic damages are the loss of financial support. To assess the number of monetary damages, a court will review the deceased’s wage earning capacity, future earning potential, as well as any other sources of income. It can include personal property of the dead and insurance proceeds that their dependents may have received.
Non-economic damages are generally referred to as special damages. These include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship. The amount of non-economic damages will vary depending on the circumstances of each case. In some cases, the jury may be asked to decide what an appropriate amount of compensation is for the losses suffered by a surviving spouse, children, or dependents.
Damages For Emotional Support And Emotional Trauma
In cases where a wrongful death occurs, the surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for losses in the form of emotional support from the deceased. It may include missed birthdays, weddings, and perhaps Christmas. In such cases, the jury will award an amount for these losses. A jury may also award lump sum damages for pain and suffering by a surviving spouse or children to compensate them for losing their parent or loved one.
In some cases, if the conduct constitutes willful, malicious, or reckless conduct on the defendant’s part, a jury may award punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish wrongdoers and compensate for their actions. In most cases, there must be evidence of intent to harm. It is because punitive damages are not allowed in product liability cases or other areas of negligence law where willful and wanton conduct cannot be proven.
Attorney’s Fees And Costs
If the plaintiff wins their case, the court may award attorney’s fees and costs to recover their legal expenses. It is not a mandatory part of a wrongful death case, and an award of attorney’s fees will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding it. It may be determined by a judge or jury, or both. In some cases, they may award an attorney’s fees regardless of whether the party wins its case in court.
Mental Distress, Pain, And Suffering
“Mental distress” and “pain and suffering” are legal terms used to describe the loss of mental, emotional, and physical suffering caused by the death of an individual. In most cases, such losses are related to grief. Grief does not involve financial loss, but it can be addressed as a part of a wrongful death claim. A court may award damages for distress in most cases where the deceased was a person living alone.
Wrongful death lawyers will work with their clients to determine the best legal strategy that will enable the client to seek compensation for damages. An experienced lawyer will know how to present their case to properly obtain the best possible result. People must take the time to hire qualified legal assistance and understand how a wrongful death case works, so they can make informed decisions as they go through this difficult time.