Wrongful death is when a person dies or is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another. The surviving members of the victim’s family can bring suit for damages. A personal representative of the decedent’s estate is the only one who can bring suit for wrongful death. Actions for personal injury, pain and suffering, or expenses incurred prior to the decedent’s death, are also brought by the personal representative of the estate.
When a loved one dies, there are financial damages that follow. Not only those from medical bills or funeral costs, but also loss of income and support from that loved one. Pecuniary injuries include loss of support, services, lost prospect of inheritance, and medical and funeral expenses. Most states allow for just compensation for the pecuniary injuries that resulted from the decedent’s death. Just compensation would include if a parent dies, the heirs of that parent could recover loss of income and loss of parental support and guidance. When deciding loss of income, the court considers the decedent’s earnings at the time of death, the last known earnings if unemployed, and potential future earnings.
In addition to damages for wrongful death, a family may be able to recover for pain and suffering their loved one suffered prior to death. These are called “survival actions.” The estate’s representative can bring a case on behalf of the deceased to help the surviving family. Each state has different factors they look at to determine the amount rewarded for the personal injury.
It is important if your loved one has died due to the negligence or misconduct of another, that you speak with a trustworthy attorney as soon as possible. If you would like help with your wrongful death claim, contact Joe Knows Law online today or call (972) 562-9700.