In wrongful death cases, damages are used to compensate the surviving family members for their loss and hold the responsible parties accountable. Our Los Angeles wrongful death lawyers at Venerable Injury Law explain the damages you could recover in wrongful death cases.
Working with a legal team can help you determine which damages you are eligible for and avoid missing out on any compensation opportunities. Our team will make sure that we fight for the damages you qualify for.
Economic Damages After You Lose a Loved One
Economic damages are one of the components of a wrongful death claim as they help quantify the financial losses the deceased’s family suffered. These damages typically include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of benefits
- Property damage
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of services and household contributions
You can recover these damages regardless of the type of accident your loved one suffered. Expert testimony and financial records are often used to establish the monetary value of these losses. Accurately calculating economic damages ensures that the deceased’s family is adequately compensated for the financial losses resulting from the wrongful death.
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Calculating Economic Damages
The loss of financial support is one of the most important aspects in calculating economic damages in wrongful death cases. When a loved one is tragically taken away, the impact on the family’s financial stability can be devastating. Here are four heartbreaking realities that families face when calculating economic damages:
- The loss of the deceased’s income: Suddenly, the family is left without the financial contribution the deceased would have provided, causing significant financial strain.
- The loss of potential future earnings: Not only is the family deprived of the present income, but they also face the loss of potential future earnings, which could have improved their quality of life.
- The cost of medical bills and funeral expenses: Families are burdened with the financial responsibility of medical bills and funeral expenses, adding to their financial distress during an already difficult time.
- The loss of pension benefits and retirement savings: The family may lose out on pension benefits and retirement savings that the deceased would have accumulated, further exacerbating their financial hardship.
These economic damages highlight the tremendous financial impact that the loss of financial support can have on families who have lost a loved one due to negligence or wrongful acts.
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Non-Economic Damages in a Los Angeles Wrongful Death Case
Unlike economic damages, which can be quantified based on tangible losses, non-economic damages are more intangible and aim to compensate for the emotional and psychological impact caused by losing a loved one. Here are some of the most common damages our team of Los Angeles wrong death attorneys at Venerable Injury Law can help you recover:
Loss of Companionship
Loss of companionship refers to the profound emotional impact experienced by surviving family members due to the absence of a loved one. It encompasses the emotional support, guidance, and comfort the deceased provided to their family.
When a family member dies unexpectedly, the void they leave behind can be overwhelming. You may grapple with feelings of loneliness, emptiness, and incompleteness.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering in a wrongful death case encompass the emotional distress and anguish experienced by surviving family members as a direct result of the untimely death of their loved one. This non-economic damage acknowledges the mental and emotional trauma you endure as a survivor. The impact can be pervasive, affecting various aspects of your life.
The pain and suffering may manifest in different ways, including overwhelming sadness, anxiety, nightmares, and a profound sense of loss. It can disrupt daily routines, strain relationships, and even lead to physical health issues. Coping with the sudden absence of a loved one and the emotional turmoil it brings can be a difficult journey.
Mental anguish represents the psychological trauma, grief, and depression you experience as a surviving family member due to losing a loved one. It acknowledges the profound emotional suffering that can accompany the untimely death of a family member.
Coping with the loss often leads to intense emotions, including sadness, anxiety, and despair. Mental anguish can manifest in various ways, impacting an individual’s mental and emotional well-being and affecting daily life.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium refers to losing the ability to have a normal marital relationship with the deceased spouse. This loss includes companionship, intimacy, and support that were once integral to the marital relationship. Surviving spouses experience a profound void in their lives as the emotional and physical connection they share with their partner is abruptly severed.
Loss of consortium recognizes the immeasurable impact on the quality of life and emotional well-being of the surviving spouse, who must go through the challenges of moving forward without the presence and companionship of their beloved spouse.
How Are Non-Economic Damages Calculated?
Even though non-economic damages don’t have a financial value, you can still recover money for them. Here are the most common ways wrongful death lawyers in Los Angeles calculate these damages:
- Multiplier method: This involves multiplying economic damages by a factor (typically between 1.5 and 5) based on the severity of injuries and their impact on the victim’s life.
- Per diem (daily rate) method: Non-economic damages are calculated by assigning a daily rate to the pain and suffering experienced, then multiplying it by the estimated duration of suffering.
- Subjective assessment: In some cases, judges or juries assess non-economic damages based on the evidence presented during the trial, considering factors such as injury severity, impact on the victim’s life, duration of suffering, and credibility of testimony and evidence.
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Punitive Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
The final type of damage, punitive damages, deter similar wrongful conduct and hold the responsible party accountable for their actions in wrongful death cases.
Punitive damages differ from compensatory damages as they are not meant to compensate the surviving family members for their loss. Instead, punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages to punish the defendant for their egregious behavior and send a message to society that they will face the same consequences if they perform similar acts.
Punitive damages can vary greatly depending on the circumstances of the case and are typically awarded when the defendant’s actions are found to be particularly malicious or reckless.
Contact Us To Get a Free Case Evaluation
In conclusion, California wrongful death cases may result in various damages. These include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Our team of Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys at Venerable Injury Law can help you understand what damages you might be eligible for.
Contact us today to learn more about recovering wrongful death damages.
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