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Wrongful Death Damages: What You Can Ask For

If you lose a loved one due to the fault of another person, you may be entitled to compensation. Survivors, in some instances, are able to bring wrongful death lawsuits. These lawsuits can provide you with a variety of damages. The damages may be punitive, economic, or non-economic. If you are confused by what you are able to ask for, here is a rundown of the types of damages you may be able to ask for.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages have one purpose. These damages are supposed to punish the defendant for their conduct. Gross negligence can often lead to punitive damages, as can bad conduct. For instance, if someone were to cause the death of another person while driving under the influence, then the family may be able to collect punitive damages. Punitive damages are supposed to punish and deter negligent behavior. These types of damages could be up to three times the cost of the economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages include the financial contributions that the victim would have made if he or she was still alive. This may be the person’s income or benefits, such as medical insurance or pension plans. In addition, it may include medical and funeral costs, the cost of an inheritance, or the value of the goods and services that the victim may have provided. These are the damages that are the easiest to calculate because there are exact numbers behind them.

Less Tangible Damages

Less tangible damages are also known as non-economic damages. These often have a lot of value in a wrongful death action. When it comes to non-economic damages, you can ask for damages for your pain and suffering, damages for a loss of care, guidance, training and nurturing, and a loss of companionship.

These are damages that are a little more difficult to define and potentially more difficult to determine. Your lawyer can help you to calculate the non-economic damages that you can ask for. When it comes to non-economic damages, you would calculate the damages along with the economic and punitive damages.

In some cases, you may even be able to recover attorney fees and any interest on the damages. It’s alright if you’re unsure of what types of damages you can recover. A wrongful death attorney, like a wrongful death attorney in Lakeland, FL, can help you figure out what damages you are entitled to. Discuss your options with a lawyer as soon as possible to get started. 

Thanks to David & Philpot, PL for their insight into the damages you can ask for in a wrongful death case.