A wrongful death case arises when someone is killed by the fault of someone else. Situations that involve wrongful death are devastating for family and friends. A lawsuit is likely the last thing that you are thinking about, but there are some extremely large expenses that can creep up in this type of situation, including hospital bills and funeral arrangements. A lawsuit can help address some of these needs, and it can provide additional monies for those who depending on a loved one for financial support.
Bringing a Wrongful Death Case
Only certain people can assert a wrongful death claim. Usually, it is limited to the spouse or the victim’s children. In some cases, parents can assert a claim. You can find out more about these basic wrongful death case factors here.
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Case
The damages are similar to those in a personal injury lawsuit. This is because you can only assert a claim if the victim would have been able to assert a personal injury claim had they survived the accident.
There are two broad categories of damages in a wrongful death case, and they are both based on different time periods after the accident.
The Victim: From the Accident Until Death
In a death case, you can assert all of the claims that a victim would have had if they survived. These are measured from the moment that the accident occurred and stop when your loved one actually passes away. In some cases, this time period can be virtually nonexistent, while other may span days, months, or even years. This category of damages includes:
- Medical expenses that were expended on your loved one’s recovery
- Physical pain and suffering that your loved one experienced prior to their death
- Lost wages while your loved one was attempting to recover
- Funeral and/or burial expenses
The Family: After Your Loved One’s Death
The loss of a loved one takes a significant toll on the family, both emotionally and financially. This second category of damages focuses on the loss to the family, instead of considering the victim’s losses. These damages may include:
- Lost wages that your loved one would have earned had he or she lived for the remainder of their life (according to actuary tables that predict how long your loved one would have worked)
- Compensation for the loss of services to family members, including protection, care, assistance, society, companionship, comfort, guidance, and counsel
- Punitive damages, if appropriate
Asking for Help
The damages that you receive in a wrongful death case are sometimes not intuitive. You may not realize that you can recover for a certain type of damage, and that could harm your case and potentially your family’s financial well-being. Having an experienced wrongful death attorney to help you determine which damages may be available to your family is an important resource. Wrongful death law in Massachusetts can be complicated, get help by calling 781-689-2277 today.