Damages Awarded in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Get Legal Help Today
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.
The most common types of damages recoverable in a wrongful death case are pain and suffering damages and punitive damages. There are, however, other types of damages that may be pursued in a wrongful death lawsuit.
The following damages may be recovered in a wrongful death action:
- Immediate expenses associated with the death (medical & funeral):
- Loss of victim’s anticipated earnings in the future, up until time of retirement or death;
- Loss of benefits caused by the victim’s death (pension, medical coverage, etc.);
- Loss of inheritance caused by the untimely death;
- Pain and suffering or mental anguish suffered by the survivors;
- Loss of care, protection, companionship to the survivors (for partner, spouse, children);
- General damages; and
- Punitive damages.
Depending on the jurisdiction, some of the listed damages may be barred or restricted by statute. Also, some of the listed damages may be hard to prove and thus be considered too speculative by the court. As a result, they may be struck or restricted. Punitive damages may require a higher level of proof.
Depending on your jurisdiction, plaintiffs may be able to recover interest calculated from the time of death, the time the damages were incurred, or from the time of the filing of the lawsuit. Finally, most of the damages for future loss (such as the victim’s anticipated earnings) will be reduced to present value.
An attorney who is well-versed in wrongful death claims can assess the merits of your case and the value of the claim.