Wrongful Death Attorney
When someone is killed as a result of someone else’s actions, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the family of the deceased. This allows the loved ones of the victim to be compensated for their loss. Wrongful death lawsuits are unusual because they are filed on behalf of the deceased. This raises the question of what kinds of damages can be recovered.
Types of Damages
There are three types of damages that can be recovered in a lawsuit of any kind. These are special compensatory damages, general compensatory damages, and punitive damages. All three of these types of damages can also be received in wrongful death lawsuits.
Special compensatory damages refer to compensation for financial losses. If the loss has an objective monetary value attached to it, then it falls into this category. For example, a $500 hospital bill would be special compensatory damages.
General compensatory damages refer to compensation for non-financial losses. Any loss without
an objective monetary value falls into this category. The most common type of general compensatory damages is pain and suffering.
Punitive damages refer to payment that is assigned to punish the defendant, rather than to compensate the plaintiff. These are also assigned when the judge does not think the first two types of damages are punishment enough.
Damages Against the Victim
It is possible to claim damages that the victim suffered. Because a wrongful death lawsuit is being filed on behalf of the deceased, these claims are completely valid. Examples of damages against the victim include:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Damage to property
- Miscellaneous expenses
Damages Against the Loved Ones
It is also possible to claim damages that the loved ones suffered as a result of the victim’s death. This is called “survival action.” Examples of this type of damage include:
- Funeral costs
- Burial costs
- Emotional distress
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of companionship
It can be difficult to know whether or not a loss or type of suffering qualifies for a damages claim in a wrongful death lawsuit. The easiest way to clarify this matter is to speak with an attorney. A legal professional who specializes in wrongful death claims will be able to easily identify which are valid and which are not. It is usually possible to speak with an attorney to get more information without agreeing to hire him or her. Likewise, it is common for the attorney you hire to accept no payment until the case is won. Contact a wrongful death lawyer, like a wrongful death lawyer in Houston, TX, to find out more information.
Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into some of the damages you can recover in a wrongful death lawsuit.