A Wrongful Death Claim Should Account for Costs the Family Incurs
One of the factors that impacts compensation are the costs incurred. These are the out-of-pocket expenses that resulted from the wrongful or negligent act. Wrongful death settlements often account for related medical bills, which could include the initial care, such as ambulatory services and treatment in an emergency room. If your loved one was hospitalized for any period of time or underwent a surgical procedure before his or her death, those costs would be included.
Property damage is another example. If your loved one died in a vehicle accident and the vehicle was totaled or requires repairs, the wrongful death claim may seek those expenses. Family also may be entitled to recover reasonable compensation for funeral and burial expenses.
Financial Losses in a Wrongful Death Claim
Another factor that goes into a settlement is the financial losses. Income is the most common type sought in a wrongful death claim. When the family was financially dependent on the loved one, and his or her earnings are no longer available, they may be included in the settlement.
Services the loved one provided could result in financial losses. Let's say a stay-at-home mom was killed in an accident, or a deceased parent worked opposite shifts as the other parent so there was always someone home to take care of the children. If a babysitter, nanny or daycare services are now required, those financial losses may be included in a claim.
Psychological Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
A final factor that might affect a wrongful death settlement is the non-economical, psychological impact of a loved one's death. Sometimes this has even more worth than the financial losses suffered. Damages could include sorrow, mental anguish, and losses such as guidance and companionship.
The jury or judge can award damages in a manner they deem as fair and just. They also have the right to disburse damages accordingly to surviving family members like spouses, children and parents, taking these and other factors into consideration.