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Protecting Accident Victims Throughout Western Pennsylvania.

Wrongful death cases: what damages can families receive?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Wrongful Death

Workplace accidents can be devastating, especially when they result in loss. When an accident claims the life of a loved one, families of the deceased can pursue a wrongful death claim. Understanding the types of damages available can help families navigate this challenging time.

Economic damages

Economic damages cover the financial losses that result from the death. These damages include lost wages, medical expenses, and funeral and burial costs.

The goal of this compensation is to make sure families don’t have to suffer further due to the accident. They receive the income and benefits the deceased individual would have earned. Damages cover the costs of any medical treatment of the deceased before their death. This way, families don’t have to worry about extra expenses related to their loss.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages compensate for the non-financial aspects of the loss. These are often more subjective. These damages include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of services.

While it is impossible to quantify these losses, they still cause families a great deal of pain. Non-economic damages are a way to recognize this suffering.

Punitive damages

In some cases, families may receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate, but rather to punish the wrongdoer. The goal is to deter similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are typically awarded if the employer’s actions were particularly reckless.

Legal considerations

To successfully claim these damages, the claim must meet certain legal considerations. Families must file wrongful death claims within two years from the date of death. They must also prove the accident and death were directly caused by negligence. This means the employer failed in their responsibility to provide a safe workplace. Additionally, only certain family members can file a wrongful death claim. This typically includes the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased.

Advocating for your rights

Deciding to file a wrongful death claim can be complex and emotional. However, successfully navigating this process can help families receive the compensation they deserve.

It’s important to stay organized and prepared when you start this process. Proper documentation is crucial in wrongful death cases. Save medical records and bills, proof of income, and funeral and burial receipts. Gather any evidence of the employer’s negligence. Know that while the process takes time, it can be worthwhile in the end.

It is vital for families to recognize the financial and emotional impacts of their loss. This will help them better advocate for their rights in these challenging circumstances.