If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, no amount of money can replace them.  It is important, however, that you and your family are compensated for your losses, monetary and otherwise.  There are a couple different types of damages that you can file for.  Here are some points to consider that you might not have thought of.

Economic Damages

What medical expenses are you left with for your loved one’s injury before they passed away?  Whether they survived for hours, days, weeks, or months… medical bills are a fact of life, and you may be responsible for some.

Whether your loved one was a breadwinner or not, chances are that you relied on their wages, and perhaps their savings, to maintain your household and lifestyle.

Were you counting on your family member’s pension or healthcare benefits to care for you into retirement?  What is the financial impact on these plans by the unexpected death?

Funeral and burial expenses can be overwhelming, especially when they are unexpected.  Get compensation for this major expense that occurred due to another party’s negligence.

What have you lost in terms of inheritance that would have been received if your family member had lived their life to a normal life expectancy?  When a person’s life is cut short, so is their potential for earning over a lifetime.

Are there other goods or services with a monetary value that you would have enjoyed if your loved one were still alive?

Non-Economic Damages

What about the pain and suffering that your loved one experienced prior to passing away?  As a family member, that is a difficult thing to go through.

It is natural for you to feel mental anguish and emotional pain and suffering at the loss of a precious family member.  To have them taken from you through someone else’s negligence is especially tough.

There are numerous intangible benefits that you lose when someone close to you passes away.  You may lose their care, advice, companionship, guidance, and training.  Although money will not bring these back, they should be acknowledged in a lawsuit.

Probably the deepest loss is the loss of the love, companionship, and comfort that will be profoundly missed.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not awarded in every wrongful death case, and may not be applied in your lawsuit.  They serve a different purpose than to compensate the family for losses.  They are used instead to punish the person that acted in a negligent or neglectful manner, and took the life of your family member.   Typically, they are sought if the wrongdoer acted cavalierly or recklessly when the death occurred.  The amount of these damages can be significant, but the circumstances of the case are taken into consideration.

Calculating Wrongful Death Damages

When you consider all these different types of damages, it probably feels overwhelming.  It is impossible for you to receive a settlement that makes everything okay.  The best thing you can do to find out what type of settlement is in order is to set up a consultation with a wrongful death attorney to review all the ways this death has affected your life.  A wrongful death attorney will be able to evaluate your claim and explain to you how the law will most likely be applied in your case.