Damages in Lakewood Wrongful Death Actions
Damages in Lakewood wrongful death actions cover any kind of loss sustained by the decedent’s family as a result of the negligence of the party who caused their loved one’s untimely passing. Generally, surviving family members and/or dependents of the decedent who sustained losses as a result of their loved one’s wrongful death may recover damages in a successful lawsuit.
However, succeeding in a wrongful death action is not always easy and may necessitate the involvement of a well-versed lawyer. Our team of attorneys can help your family recover its losses following the unexpected death of a loved one.
What Losses Are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Action?
Recoverable losses in a wrongful death action may include non-economic damages, which are otherwise referred to as pain and suffering and cover the grieving that the surviving parties experience. Also included in these damages would be the economic losses that arise as a result of the wrongful death, which reflect the decedent’s, and their family’s, concrete monetary losses.
Depending on the negligence of the at fault party, there may also be punitive damages if there are exacerbating factors, such as alcohol in an auto accident. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for an egregious act (i.e., drinking and driving).
Understanding Non-Economic Damages after a Wrongful Death
Almost invariably, the decedent’s surviving family will suffer significant and perhaps overwhelming grief from the loss of their loved one. That grief can be quantified by a jury or in the demand for settlement to the insurance company. An experienced Lakewood attorney knows how to come up with a monetary value for a family’s grief and can help them recover the maximum value of their emotional suffering after a wrongful death.
Non-economic damages also cover the loss that a spouse and surviving children suffer and essentially revolve around family support. Loss of companionship, for example, is primarily related to a spouse’s loss of the attendant emotions that often come with companionship. Loss of society covers the love and support a spouse received from the decedent, and loss of consortium is essentially a loss of sexual relations. All of these intangible damages can be given a dollar value in a court of law.
A Closer Look at Economic Damages in Lakewood Wrongful Death Cases
Economic damages typically include hospital bills – both for the decedent and the surviving parties if they were involved in the accident as well – loss of income that the decedent provided for the family, and future wages lost by the decedent and their surviving family. For example, if the decedent was age 35, the economic losses could cover all the wages they have lost up to age 65 as a result of their passing.
Additionally, if the decedent was taken to the hospital and sustained significant medical bills prior to their death, those damages would be an economic burden to the decedent’s surviving loved ones. Medical bills could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars due to doctors’ efforts to keep the decedent alive. Another economic loss could be the damage to the decedent’s vehicle if an auto accident caused their death.
How Are Wrongful Death Damages Quantified?
Calculating damages for a surviving family’s losses after a loved one’s wrongful death is often a very complicated process. Attorneys will often employ expert witnesses, such as economists and actuaries, to offer their opinions on the appropriate amount of damages. Not only do those damages include the loss of income, loss of consortium, mentoring, parental responsibilities and involvement, but they also can include the value of services and care provided inside the home by a homemaker parent such as childcare, cooking, laundry, housekeeping, maintenance, shopping, education, medical care and transportation. Experts can help attorneys valuate these nuanced losses after a wrongful death to ensure a grieving family can get the most out of this process.
How is the Loss of Future Income Calculated?
A person who is younger will have more working life that needs to go into a wage calculation than a person nearing retirement, so age is an important factor in calculating damages in a Lakewood wrongful death action. Education is also important, because if a decedent is highly educated, their chances and the likelihood of salary increases should be included in any calculation of income loss.
Let a Lakewood Attorney Help You Recover Damages in a Wrongful Death Action
If you recently lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligent behavior, you may be able to recover your losses with the help of a local lawyer. Our legal team can help you calculate and pursue damages in a Lakewood wrongful death action, so do not hesitate to reach out to our firm today.