Economic and noneconomic damages in a wrongful death suit


Losing a loved one unexpectedly is nothing short of a tragedy. Surviving family members can be left with a lot of heartache and pain that can be difficult to overcome. While these individuals seek to do the best they can with handling their emotions, they may also be forced to confront another matter: the financial aftermath of their loved one's passing.

When a loved one dies, a family can be left with serious financial hardships. Medical expenses, for example, will likely still need to be paid, and so, too, will funeral costs. Also, if the family's deceased loved one contributed to the family financially, then his or her lost wages can take a toll. These expenses, which are usually unexpected and unplanned for, can leave a family deeply in debt.

But if the loved one's death was caused by the negligence of another, then a wrongful death lawsuit may provide financial relief. If such a case is successfully pursued, then compensation may be awarded for both economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses, of course, are like those discussed above. They are somewhat easy to put a dollar value on. Noneconomic losses, though, like loss of companionship, support, comfort, and parental guidance may also be available. These damages are harder to assign a specific value, but they are just as important to surviving families as economic losses.

In order to recover the full extent of family members' losses, they must put forth a persuasive claim backed by the facts and the law. This means that surviving families need to conduct due diligence and perform research into the how much damage they have suffered. Then they must present this information to the court in a way that is convincing. For assistance, families that find themselves in these circumstances should consider seeking legal counsel.

Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Death Overview," accessed on Aug. 29, 2016

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