In wrongful death claims, damages are designed to compensate the surviving relatives for their losses. There are certain tiers of individuals who can bring these claims, the first being the surviving spouse or children of the deceased. If no such person exists, the claim will fall to the next surviving relative. Typically, this would include the parents, siblings, or grandparents of the deceased.
If you are the beneficiary of a loved one whose life was lost due to another’s negligence, a dedicated injury attorney could help you understand your recoverable damages in a Lafayette wrongful death claim. While no amount of money could bring back your loved one, it could help put you back on your feet after such a tragic event.
The most common types of damages are economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover the monetary losses of a plaintiff. These are tangible, easily calculated damages. Non-economic damages, however, are difficult to quantify. These damages compensate a plaintiff for their pain and suffering from the incident. A lawyer experienced with wrongful death claims could help calculate the non-economic damages of a claim.
The only economic damage in a wrongful death action would be the loss of support. A minor child who depended on a parent who was killed can claim the loss of support up until the point that they would directly leave the household. The same thing applies to a surviving spouse who loses a husband or wife that they depended on for support.
Since damages in wrongful death claims aim to compensate the surviving relatives, the pain and suffering of the deceased cannot be included in these calculations. A beneficiary can seek compensation for their grief, loss of companionship with the deceased, and loss of support.
An experienced wrongful death attorney could help a plaintiff calculate their potential recoverable damages, especially the non-economic damages. The total damages that can be recovered depend on the relationship between the surviving family member and the deceased loved one. For example, a husband and wife who are extremely close are typically rewarded more than an estranged child from a parent who they no longer have contact with. Additionally, things like how many children a plaintiff has, whether those children are still in the household, and whether they depended on the deceased to help rear and support the children are all relevant factors. An experienced attorney knows what the value or the range of values are for each level of closeness and could guide the plaintiff toward a fair settlement.
Calculating loss of support, or loss of future income, is more straightforward. An attorney would look at the deceased’s past earning records and their potential for raises.
The unexpected loss of a loved one is a terrible experience for anyone. A compassionate injury attorney could guide you through the process and help seek compensation. A lawyer could use their experience to help you calculate your recoverable damages. Call today to begin calculating your possible damages in a Lafayette wrongful death claim.