What Damages Can You Claim for a Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death legal documents

Whenever a loved one passes on as a result of the recklessness of another individual, grieving family members are likely to seek revenge. Sometimes, blinded by grief, they end up doing things that cripple any legal action they take up later on. Should your loved one die because of someone’s neglect, the right move to make is to open a case for wrongful death.

A wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles or in any other city can help you to make the case short so you do not have to prolong your grief. Of course, no amount of money can replace someone’s life. However, compensation for damages can help reduce the financial weight heaped on you as a result. These include:

Funeral and medical bills

Sometimes, wrongful death occurs in the hands of a physician. It can be as a result of wrong diagnosis or a lack of it, denying your loved one a fair chance of treatment.

Even if it is not the doctor at fault, medical bills may still be involved. These costs can cover everything from the ambulance charges to the admission fees. A fair compensation will be able to cover the medical bills as well as the costs of the funeral, which are what strains the pockets of grieving families the most.

Income and benefits loss

When a loved one is the breadwinner and passes on, the family incurs economic damages as well. Dependents are entitled to damages that cover this loss. The court will often hire an economist to calculate what the deceased was expected to bring into the family in the form of income. They take in factors like their life expectancy, inflation, and other aspects like their health before coming up with a figure.

During this calculation, the courts will also factor in the wages that an earning adult should have given their families, such as retirement benefits, social security, or pension plans.


If the deceased left behind a child, the living parent would be entitled to pursue compensation for their death. In some states, the courts will also recognize the parent even if they were not working at the time of their demise. Courts, in this case, calculate what childcare may have cost, bearing in mind things like domestic services and housekeeping to establish the amount that is due.

The pain of the survivor

The court also looks at the pain the survivors (the family of the deceased) are suffering. In this case, the court will quantify the emotional distress the wrongful death has caused. Non-economic damages, including shock or trauma, may also be factored in.

Punitive damages

Court room scenery

Here, the court awards compensation for two reasons. First, the family members of the deceased are robbed of the feeling of wholeness (a complete family) because of the negligent actions of another person. Second, the damages that help deter future negligence on the side of the accused.

Coming up with the monetary amount you are due can be a complicated task. It requires financial and legal expertise, alongside a strong desire for justice. Finding the right attorney is critical to recovering all the money you are due.

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