If someone you love has died, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate for you. This type of lawsuit helps the surviving family members recover damages for the loss of the deceased. In addition to economic damages, wrongful death lawsuits can also recover damages for non-economic losses, breach of duty, and proof of causation.
Compensation for non-economic losses
Damages to a wrongful death claim are often not quantifiable in money. However, they may include pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and even reputational damage. Other losses may include a person’s loss of enjoyment of life or of companionship. In some cases, a spouse may also recover for loss of consortium.
Non-economic damages may be capped in certain states. In some states, non-economic damages may be limited to two or three times the amount of economic damages. They can also be reduced based on the defendant’s financial resources. For example, if the defendant has an insurance policy, he or she may be able to pay a portion of the claim.
In some cases, a wrongful death lawsuit may also include punitive damages. These are aimed at punishing the liable party and deterring future misconduct. Although punitive damages are not awarded in every case, they are often awarded in cases of recklessness and an extreme level of irresponsibility.
Damages for breach of duty
To win a wrongful death lawsuit, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached a duty. This breach caused the death of the plaintiff, and the plaintiff can then ask the court for damages. The plaintiff must collect information from witnesses and other parties to put together an introductory document.
A breach of duty can be intentional or accidental. In both cases, the defendant must have owed the victim a duty to exercise reasonable care. The duty of care is different in every case, but in general, it means making sure the defendant does not endanger another person. For example, if a defendant is driving a vehicle, they have a duty to obey traffic laws. A judge will consider several factors when determining if the defendant breached their duty of care.
To win a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant breached a duty of care. The plaintiff must also prove that the defendant was partially responsible for the death of the deceased.
Proof of causation
The first step in a wrongful death lawsuit is proving that the other party was negligent. This can be done by presenting evidence that shows the other party’s breach of care directly caused the victim’s death. This can include surveillance footage, medical records, and expert witness testimony. An attorney can help you determine which types of evidence to use. The next step is determining what kind of damages can be recovered.
Often, wrongful death lawsuits are filed against physicians or caretakers for failing to provide adequate care to their patients. If the caretakers are at fault, the plaintiff must prove that the negligence caused the decedent’s death. Sometimes, other defendants, such as a motorist, may have contributed to the decedent’s condition.
Proving causation in a wrongful death lawsuit is a complex and time-consuming process. In most cases, the insurance adjuster will try to use every piece of evidence to avoid paying out. However, a good injury attorney will be able to convince the insurance company that the accident was the cause of the death. The next step is proving damages, which requires proving that the loss of the victim’s income, support, and final medical expenses resulted from the accident.
Damages available in wrongful death lawsuits
Damages available in wrongful death lawsuits include burial expenses and medical costs for the victim’s family, as well as lost future income and inheritance rights. Additionally, damages may include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of the victim’s benefits, such as health insurance. There are also punitive damages available in some states. In most cases, however, these types of damages are limited.
The type of damages that can be awarded to family members is crucial to the success of the case. In most cases, economic damages are based on hard evidence, such as the death victim’s medical expenses. Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are based on subjective estimates of the deceased’s worth. In some cases, such losses can include the value of a deceased family member’s love, affection, and support. The surviving family members may be able to recover a variety of other losses, including the loss of society and moral support.
The amount of wrongful death damages that can be awarded depends on the decedent’s age and the life expectancy. If the deceased was a parent, the family will likely seek compensation for the lack of parental guidance, emotional support, and companionship. The surviving spouse or child’s dependency on the decedent will also be considered in determining the appropriate amount of damages.