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Who can be awarded Wrongful death damages

This content about wrongful death damages was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.

The death of a loved one takes a huge emotional toll on their family members, plus it can also lead to enormous financial hardships. When the death of the person is caused by the negligence or wrongful conduct of another,  the surviving relatives of the deceased could seek wrongful death damages.

Every state has a set of rules that specifies how a wrongful death claim should proceed, including rules about who can file the claim and how to do it according to the state’s court system.

The laws of each state determine the means to ease the burdens, both financial and emotional when a person or entity is found legally responsible for someone’s death.

There are different types of compensation (known as “damages”) that can be awarded if the deceased’s relatives win the wrongful death lawsuit.

Who Can Be Awarded Damages?

When determining the types of damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit, the court has to look at all the different factors that surround the deceased person, their death, and their relationships with the different surviving members of the family.

Typically, damages can be awarded to:

  • Spouses – in most cases, the surviving spouse can sue for the lost companionship and support caused by the deceased’s death, as well as for their own emotional trauma as a result of the death of their spouse.
  • Children – loss comfort and support and the lost benefits of their relationship with their dead parent can be awarded as damages to minor children.
  • Parents – if a minor child dies as a result of wrongful death, their parents can recover damages for emotional trauma and the loss of relationship with their child.

Punitive Damages

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the person’s death, the court handling the case can also award punitive damages in addition to general damages to the surviving family of the deceased.

Punitive damages are awarded where the deceased person’s death was caused in a particularly reckless or egregious type of conduct. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant and to deter similar behavior in the future.

Different states have different procedures for obtaining damages , so if you believe your loved one was wrongfully killed, you should consult a wrongful death attorney in your state.

Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California.  Call or email us for a free consultation.

This content was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.