The damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death case include economic damages, such as medical costs, funeral costs, the loss of the decedent’s financial contributions, and noneconomic damages that can include compensation for grief and the loss of companionship. In some cases, punitive damages can be recovered, as well.
Wrongful death lawsuits are filed by the surviving family members of a person who suffered a death because of another individual's negligence or reckless behavior. Although monetary awards cannot compensate for the loss of a human life, the court tries to establish an amount that would compensate the family for their tragic loss.
There are several factors considered when establishing monetary compensation. However, the basic idea is to compensate the family for economic and non-economic losses. Besides these two types of compensation, plaintiffs of a wrongful death lawsuit can also benefit from punitive damages, awarded in case the defendant's behavior was considered extremely negligent or outrageous.
Economic damages cover various types of financial losses the family suffered due to the wrongful death of one of its members. Economic losses include the costs of medical treatment and funeral costs resulted from the wrongful death.
More complex calculations are necessary to establish the amount of money the victim would have provided for his family in case of a normal lifetime. The court will consider the age of the deceased, his health before the accident, his earning capacity, the needs of his children and many other details.
When establishing the economic damages, plaintiffs will need a highly skilled and experienced lawyer on their side, who can present the financial loss of the family on verifiable data, with the support of expert witnesses.
Non-economic damages are designed to cover for the loss of love, affection, companionship and nurturing. Establishing a monetary amount for emotional sufferings is especially challenging. It requires a highly experienced lawyer to express the desolation, the emotional stress, the pain and suffering and the inconvenience the family had to go through because of the wrongful death.
The most important element in obtaining a high amount of non-economic award is to have a lawyer who can make a solid case for all the suffering experienced by the family as a result of the wrongful death. If you are in need of legal assistance ina wrongful death case, call our Miami based ofice today at 305.416.9805.