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How much can be recovered from a wrongful death claim?


It's never easy to lose a loved one. The deep-seated pain can linger for a significant period of time, and surviving family members can find themselves wondering why this happened to them and their loved one. Though many of these families wish time could stop to give them time to grieve, the sad reality is that the world will continue to operate at its normal speed. Therefore, many surviving families find themselves confronting significant bills during their time of grieving, and these medical expenses, funeral costs, and other expenses can be difficult to handle without the lost loved one's wages.

If the deceased's death was caused by the negligence of another, though, a wrongful death lawsuit may help cover damages. But how much can a surviving family recover from a successful wrongful death claim? It really depends on the circumstances. Typically, compensation can be awarded for both economic and noneconomic damages.

Economic damages are a little easier to calculate. These losses include the deceased's income over his or her life expectancy, as well as any contributions that individual made to the household, such as home maintenance, shopping, gardening, etc. In this latter group, a surviving family may be able to recover compensation for the amount it would cost to hire someone to perform those duties.

Noneconomic damages can be quite difficult to calculate. These damages can include loss of love, companionship, advice, and moral support. Any noneconomic damages must be reasonable under the circumstances.

To obtain a better sense of how much compensation an individual might recover from a wrongful death lawsuit, a surviving family should consider speaking with an experienced attorney. Negotiating a fair settlement can take time and attention to detail, but it can help a surviving family recoup their losses and move on in remembrance of their lost loved one.

Source: FindLaw, "What Is Your Wrongful Death Case Worth?" accessed on June 25, 2016

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