A wrongful death claim is an appeal of the relatives of the deceased person for compensation. It is a lawsuit meant to compensate for the damages suffered by the family due to the lost of their loved one. A claim for wrongful death can be pursued against an individual, a company or even the government. There are also certain types of accidents or mistakes that can be considered by the court as situation of a wrongful death. There are certain types of damages in a case of a wrongful death claim that are recognized in the court that requires compensation in monetary form.
Economic type of damage
This type of damage in a wrongful death refers more to the tangible aspects. Included here are the ones that should be compensated for by the individual subject to a wrongful death claim.
- What could have been provided (goods and services) by the deceased
- The money the family spent on the victim’s medical as well as burial expenses
- What could have been inherited by the victim who met an untimely and wrongful death
- What benefits (pensions, medical plans and insurances) could have been received by the deceased
- What could have been earned by the victim (financial support) if he or she has lived up to his or her full life expectan
Non-economic type of damage
Non-economic type of damage may refer to the intangible damage/s the family must have suffered because of the wrongful death. Once proven by evidences, the person accused of a wrongful death claim is also required to give monetary compensation for the following:
- The emotional stress/trauma suffered by the relatives due to the death of their loved one
- If a spouse was left, then payment is also sought for the lost of consortium
- The lost of care, comfort, moral support, guidance, advice that could have been provided by the deceased if he or she did not die a wrongful death
- Lost of love, companionship and affection from the death of their family member
Not all states implement the requiring of compensation for punitive damages. This is mainly implemented to serve as a punishment for the person who is guilty of a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is pursued on an individual due to bad conduct or actions. A person guilty of a wrongful death claim is required to compensate for his reckless actions and behavior. This also serves as a discouragement for any future misbehavior.
It is important that the calculation of these damages in a wrongful death claim case be measured through reliable means. An estimation or approximation of the amount should be based on the deceased’s daily life. His or her average life expectancy, which was not met due to the untimely and wrongful death he or she suffered, should be based on his lifestyle and habits. A normal average life expectancy may not be applicable to people who have been smoking, drinking or other bad for the health habits.