What damages are collectible in a wrongful death lawsuit?

| Aug 19, 2020 | Personal Injury

When a family in Delaware loses a loved one due to another party’s negligence, they might have questions about their legal rights to recover damages. Wrongful death lawsuits are complicated and typically best navigated by experienced legal counsel. Such claims are filed in a civil court, with the goal of obtaining monetary compensation for the financial losses sustained due to the untimely deaths of loved ones.

For a wrongful death lawsuit to be valid, the surviving family members must be able to establish negligence on the part of the defendant. They must also be able to show that the death caused them documented financial damages. Typical grounds for such claims include some workplace accidents, car accidents, medical malpractice and death during criminal activities of others.

The damages recoverable typically include medical expenses for services provided after the incident and before the loved one’s death. The costs of end-of-life arrangements are also recoverable. Furthermore, wages that the deceased person would have received during normal life expectancy are also included. Compensation for the surviving family’s pain and suffering brought about by the loved one’s death are also part of the documented claims.

Establishing negligence and documenting claims are only part of the complicated legal proceedings of a wrongful death lawsuit. The support and guidance of an experienced Delaware personal injury attorney are crucial. Legal counsel can also make sure the claim is filed within the applicable statute of limitations. Civil lawsuits are meant to recover damages, and not as a punishment. However, many states allow punitive damages when gross negligence is proved, intended to punish the defendant and discourage similar actions in the future.