The death of a loved one can take a tremendous emotional toll. But beyond this, family members are also often left with a financial concern when the deceased was an income provider. Fortunately, laws in each state aim to ease this financial hardship for loved ones left behind when an entity or individual is legally liable for causing the death of the deceased.
Some of the most common instances of wrongful death lawsuits surround medical malpractice, defective products, car accidents, and work-related accidents. So, if you have experienced the death of a loved one in one of these instances, you are likely entitled to compensation.
It can be pretty overwhelming to find yourself coping with a wrongful death situation. Not only are you undoubtedly mourning the loss of a loved one, but there’s no doubt that you have several questions. Some of the more common queries in these lawsuits include questions like who is entitled to bring a wrongful death claim under Illinois law? how long does a wrongful death lawsuit take? And, of course, what types of damages can be claimed for?
While you can find the answers to all your questions by relying on a wrongful death lawyer to guide you through the process, we’ve listed the most relevant damages in this type of lawsuit.
In a wrongful death case, funeral costs are included in the compensation. Funerals are pretty expensive, and because this cost stems directly from negligence, compensation is entirely relevant.
The average funeral or burial service in the United States can cost roughly $2000. And the costs can quickly increase enormously from here, especially when considering the fact that we want to lay our loved ones to rest in the best way possible. Instead of managing these costs, the negligent individual or entity is legally obligated to cover all funeral and burial costs.
Because loved ones left behind will be without an income due to negligence, loved ones can also claim lost wages. This can also refer to any income loss that occurred between the incident and the death; in some situations, death is not instant, and injuries sustained during the incident can eventually lead to death.
Compensation for lost income refers to previous income loss and future income loss. This financial reward is essential for loved ones to survive following the incident.
Pain and suffering damages are relevant in personal injury cases where victims suffer emotional distress and trauma. Wrongful death cases are no different, although these damages are received by the loved ones left behind. Because death is traumatic for those left behind, pain and suffering damages are understandable in this type of lawsuit. While this damage is often tricky to prove in other lawsuits, it is a standard compensation claim component in wrongful death lawsuits.
Because losing a loved one comes along with a lot of emotional distress, and knowing negligence caused the death is in itself a mental trauma, pain and suffering damages are entirely relevant.
That said, calculating pain and suffering damages is not always straightforward. So, it’s best to rely on an expert attorney, mainly because an experienced attorney will calculate all your damages accurately.
In some states, you can also claim loss of consortium, otherwise referred to as loss of companionship. However, this damage is not relevant in every state. Moreover, loss of companionship damages is typically awarded to the spouse or children of the deceased, as the loss will be more of trauma for these individuals.
Because each state has varying laws regarding wrongful death claims, the best approach is to consult a professional lawyer specializing in this particular matter. Your lawyer will know how to build your case to ensure you receive maximum compensation for the unfortunate experience.
Losing a loved one and managing grief is already challenging enough. For this reason, it’s typically best to rely on a wrongful death attorney. While an expert attorney handles your case, you can focus on coping with the stages of grief. Furthermore, if you are battling to cope with the loss, it’s wise to consider consulting a therapist to help you through the process of grieving. Because death is never an easy experience to accept, therapy is often an excellent option. Additionally, you can also consider support groups. Thanks to the rise of virtual communication, you can attend both therapy sessions and support group meetings online.