Natural deaths are tragic, but when families lose loved ones to accidents, the losses can feel even harder to bear. The injustice can haunt families, and the sudden loss of a loved one’s income and companionship can cause very real damage to a family’s wellbeing.
Family members may be able to recover compensation for loss of income and other damages through a wrongful death lawsuit, if their loved one was killed due to the negligence or wrongful acts of another party. In some ways, these cases are like other lawsuits based on personal injury, but in others they are very different. Wrongful death lawsuits can be legally and technically complicated and, for family members, emotionally difficult.
A number of factors are considered if wrongful death damages are to be awarded. Often, a court will allow the family to recover the victim’s lost wages and other earnings, if the victim died due to negligence or wrongful acts by another party. However, when a wrongful death victim is very young or very old, they may lack the earning capacity or history to justify this type of award.
The age and work history of a victim can affect the type and amount of damages that may be awarded at trial. These are not the only factors that can have an impact on the outcome of a wrongful death claim, and damage awards cannot be guaranteed when wrongful death lawsuits are filed. Legal counsel from a personal injury attorney can help grieving families understand whether wrongful death litigation may serve their needs.