Recovery Compensation after the Death of a Loved One
When a loved one dies because of the carelessness or negligence of another person, no amount of money can bring them back. No financial recovery can restore you to the life you had before their death. Nonetheless, you have a right to hold those responsible accountable for their actions, and you have a right to pursue full and fair compensation for your losses.
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Action
While the damages you can recover in a wrongful death lawsuit are governed by state law and will vary somewhat from state to state, there are some general principles that apply.
Wrongful death damages are typically divided between those incurred by the deceased and those sustained by surviving family members. The compensable losses suffered by the deceased would be those that resulted from the accident, but occurred before death. For example, if a person was injured in a car accident, spent weeks or months in the hospital, and then died of the injuries sustained, damages could be sought for the pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages during that period of time. These damages are typically paid to the estate of the deceased.
The surviving family members can also bring a lawsuit for their losses, including the loss of the support the decedent would have provided, any loss of companionship or consortium resulting from the death, and any funeral or burial expenses. Some jurisdictions also allow punitive damages in cases where the defendant's behavior was considered to be "gross" or "wanton" negligence.
Contact the Attorneys at Mallon & Tranger
We offer a free initial consultation to anyone who has lost a loved one because of the careless or negligent acts of another person. To set up a meeting, contact us online or call us at 732-702-0333 for an appointment. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.