When faced with the death of a loved one due to the negligence or reckless conduct of another person, family members may be left feeling lost and alone. While dealing with the grief from their loved one’s death, they may also be facing huge financial consequences. In these cases, wrongful death lawsuits may be a family’s only recourse to ensure that they have the help and support that they need to start down the path to emotional and financial recovery.
Who Can Sue for Damages?
The individuals entitled to file a wrongful death claim vary by state. Most states allow spouses, the next of kin, or children of the deceased to file wrongful death lawsuits. In some states, however, children must be under the age of 18 to file a suit after the death of a parent. Additionally, many states only allow a parent to receive damages for the death of a child who was a minor or who was not financially independent. Furthermore, some states allow for recovery of damages for life partners, anyone who suffered financially, distant family members, putative spouses, or parents of a deceased fetus.
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered?
The two most common types of damages recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit are for financial or emotional losses. When deciding upon the amount of money to award a family member, there are many factors that are taken into account. They often include:
- Lost future wages
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses
- Value of lost services such as housekeeping or child care
- In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded
The limits for each type of damages are governed by state law so it is essential that family members talk to a qualified wrongful death lawyer in their area to understand the specific options and requirements for their state. In fact, finding an experienced and compassionate attorney to fight for their rights during their time of almost unimaginable grief and worry may be the most important step they take towards finding justice for their loved one and hope for their future. To learn more about wrongful death lawsuits or to schedule an appointment for a FREE consultation with an experienced wrongful death lawyer from Sloat & Nicholson, P.C., call 303-447-1144 now.