Navigating Damages and Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases

Understanding Compensation in the Wake of Loss with Dressie Law Firm

Learn about the damages and compensation in wrongful death cases. You can reach out to the Dressie Law Firm for help with everything from medical expenses to emotional suffering. Book an appointment with us now.

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What Damages Can You Recover in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Losing a loved one can be overwhelming, both emotionally and financially. Seeking financial compensation for a loved one’s death is not only a way to alleviate the family’s financial burden but also a way to hold the liable party accountable for their actions.

To some degree, the recoverable damages in a wrongful death claim depend on the circumstances of the decedent’s death and the defendant’s intent or lack thereof. Cases that reach the trial stage may receive a higher compensation amount, especially when punitive damages are awarded.

Let’s break down the damages and compensation in wrongful death cases and how to ensure the best possible outcome. If you find yourself grappling with the aftermath of a wrongful death case, our dedicated team at Dressie Law Firm is here to assist.

With over 20 years of experience, $30 million in recovered damages, and 24 experienced professionals, you know your personal injury claim is in the right hands.

    Types of Recoverable Damages in Wrongful Death Claims

    Family members of unlawfully injured victims are entitled to recover different types of compensation in personal injury & wrongful death cases. The following are the most common.

    Economic Damages

    Economic damages encompass all financial expenses and damages incurred or will be incurred by the family as a result of the decedent’s death. These damages include medical expenses resulting from the injury or illness leading to the death, funeral and burial costs, and lost financial support, among others.

    Medical Expenses

    Claiming medical expenses incurred before the death is crucial to seeking just compensation. These can include:

    • Emergency medical treatment

    • Hospitalization fees

    • Surgical procedures

    • Diagnostic tests

    • Medications

    • Home healthcare

    • Transportation for medical purposes

    It’s essential to meticulously document and gather evidence of these expenses to build a solid case for seeking just compensation in wrongful death suits.

    Funeral and Burial Expenses

    The average cost of funerals can impose a significant financial burden on grieving families. Funeral expenses often include:

    • Funeral service fees

    • The casket or urn costs

    • Embalming and body preparation

    • Transportation costs

    • Gravesite fees

    • Headstone or marker expenses

    • Funeral ceremony costs

    • Cremation costs

    Loss of Financial Support

    The death of a spouse or parent often means the loss of financial support and stability that the victim once provided, destabilizing the family’s economic situation. The family is entitled to compensation for the financial support the victim would have provided had they lived.

    Non-Economic Damages

    Non-economic wrongful death damages, though subjective and challenging to quantify, involve the emotional impact of the wrongful death on the deceased’s family. They encompass the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased, the loss of consortium, and the loss of guidance the deceased would have provided to surviving children.

    Pain and Suffering

    Pain and suffering in the context of wrongful death cases encompass the emotional anguish experienced by the victim after the incident and prior to their death. Quantifying these subjective and profoundly personal damages involves considering factors such as the degree and duration of the emotional distress and suffering experienced.

    Courts may assess several factors to determine a fair compensation that reflects the profound emotional impact endured by those left behind.

    Loss of consortium

    Loss of consortium refers to the deprivation of emotional and intimate benefits experienced by surviving family members, especially the spouse, due to the death of their loved one.

    Calculating the monetary value of loss of consortium involves assessing the depth of the relationship, the emotional dependency of family members on the deceased, and the enduring impact on their lives. While challenging to quantify with precision, courts may consider these factors to arrive at a just and equitable compensation that reflects the lasting impact of the void left by the deceased.

    A wrongful death attorney can help you navigate these damages in a wrongful death suit.

    Punitive Damages

    Punitive damages in wrongful death cases are typically awarded when the defendant’s conduct is deemed to be grossly negligent, reckless, or intentional. Punitive damages, also called vindictive damages, are awarded to punish the defendant for particularly egregious behavior and deter others from engaging in similar misconduct.

    These damages are capped at $250,000 in personal injury cases under Georgia law, except in cases of product liability, intentional tort, and injury caused by alcohol and drug impairment.

    How Wrongful Death Damages Are Calculated

    Damages in a wrongful death settlement are calculated by assessing the surviving family’s economic and non-economic losses. This involves considering factors discussed above, like medical expenses, funeral costs, the earning capacity of the deceased person, and the emotional toll on the family, to arrive at a fair and comprehensive compensation that reflects the overall impact of the wrongful death.

    The court also considers the defendant’s intent or lack thereof in determining compensation. Intentional acts that lead to a person’s death warrant higher punitive damages. However, your attorney must explicitly request punitive damages in the complaint to be able to receive them.

    Looking for more answers? Check out our wrongful death FAQs.

    Dressie Law Firm Is Here for You

    Understanding the various types of damages, from medical expenses and funeral costs to the pain and suffering and loss of financial support, is paramount to getting fairly compensated. Working with a seasoned legal team is equally crucial.

    Dressie Law Firm boasts extensive experience handling wrongful death cases, demonstrating a track record of success in recovering maximum compensation for those who lost a loved one to negligence or crime.

    If you lost a loved one because of a negligent driver, medical malpractice, or workplace accident, our Atlanta wrongful death attorney is here to help you file a wrongful death lawsuit and obtain a fair settlement.

    Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced attorney.

    The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

    If you or a loved one is a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, we want you to know that the law is on your side and so is the Dressie Law Firm.

    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!