Losing someone you love is never easy, but when someone dies because of the negligence or direct misconduct of another, losing someone gets even harder to deal with. One of the biggest questions clients have, when they speak with a wrongful death lawyer in Santa Barbara, is what kind of damages they should seek if they file a suit. Here is a look at some of the most common types of damages sought in a wrongful death claim.
The average funeral in this country can cost anywhere between $7,000 and $10,000. If a loved one dies suddenly and you have no prior arrangements in place, it leaves you with funeral and burial expenses that you would not have otherwise had to pay. Suing for funeral expenses is one of the most common actions in a wrongful death case, so make sure you speak with your wrongful death lawyer in Santa Barbara about these expenses.
Medical expenses that were incurred before the person passed away should not be left as a responsibility of the estate of the person died as a result of the neglectful or violent behavior of another party. Therefore, medical expenses are usually sought during wrongful death suits if there were any involved.
Usually the largest part of the damages of a wrongful death case, pecuniary loss is the loss of financial support that the individual who died would have been able to provide. Children and spouses or domestic partners are usually able to claim these damages. To determine an amount for this type of financial loss, the court will look at:
- The earning capacity of the individual every year
- The probable life expectancy of the individual or years they would’ve worked
- The likely career path the individual would’ve maintained
The jury in the case can have a hand in deciding how much should be awarded for the pecuniary loss. For example, if the jury determines that the deceased individual may not have kept a job concurrently because of prior work history, they may award less money.
In some of the most severe wrongful death cases, punitive damages may be sought. However, punitive damages are only allowable in wrongful death suits in some states. With punitive damages, a figure is determined that the wrongdoer should pay to the family because of the loss of their loved one they have caused.
While no amount of money can ever bring a loved one back after they have wrongly lost their life, awarded damages can help you move forward. Talk to a wrongful death lawyer in Santa Barbara for more information.