Wrongful Death Lawyer

When you have lost a loved one to wrongful death, you may be feeling even more than grief. Instead of only needing to mourn and plan a funeral, you are left wondering how to pay for these expenses and how to seek damages for this tragedy. To help beneficiaries and loved ones who relied on the deceased person, states have different means for compensation. For example, when filing a claim after your loved one died in a car accident, a lawyer can help you determine the appropriate damages to claim depending on whether the deceased lived after the accident before death or died immediately. For more information on the types of damages you can collect from a wrongful death lawsuit, read below.

The Three Types of Damages

Typically, when making a claim for a wrongful death lawsuit, there are three types of damages that a survivor can likely claim. These are:

  • Economic Damages
  • Non-Economic Damages, and
  • Punitive Damages

Economic Damages. When seeking economic damages after a loved one’s wrongful death, the survivor is typically looking for compensation regarding things they have had to pay for because of the deceased’s passing as well as other economic losses they have incurred. Some examples of economic damages are:

  • Any medical bills and expenses from the loved one’s stay in a hospital before passing
  • Expenses tied to the funeral
  • A loss of the victim’s income if you were depending on it, and
  • A loss of the victim’s benefits, including things like medical and dental coverage or pension plans

Non-Economic Damages

Although non-economic damages can be much harder to quantify, they can have even great value than economic damages and can help the beneficiaries on their road to recovery. Some examples of non-economic damages are:

  • The loss of care, guidance, and training that the deceased provided
  • The loss of consortium from the spouse
  • The loss of love and companionship, and
  • The damages that are given for the survivors’ pain and suffering

Punitive Damages

Courts award punitive damages less commonly than economic and non-economic. Their purpose is to punish the defendant for a particularly egregious act or their bad conduct. This can be because the defendant harmed killed the victim in a particularly disturbing way. However, not all states allow the survivors to gather punitive damages.

How Are These Damages Calculated?

Calculating damages can be extremely difficult, particularly non-economic and punitive damages. To aid this process, both parties will typically use the help of expert witnesses—medical doctors and economists—to give their expert opinions on what the appropriate amount of damages would be for a specific case. This can help determine the monetary value of the deceased’s care, like education, guidance, and transportation.

How Long Do I Have To File?

Every state has their own statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death suit. While the general estimation is two years within the date of the victim’s death, your lawyer can help you determine how long you have.

Getting the Help You Need

For more information regarding your wrongful death claim and to get the help you need for your case, call a wrongful death lawyer Vienna, VA offers today.


Thank you to our friends and contributors at Cohen & Cohen, PC for their insight into wrongful death lawsuits and personal injury.

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