Unfortunately, nursing home negligence can lead to wrongful death. If your elderly loved one died as a result of wrongful death, your family can file a wrongful death claim in order to receive compensation for your relative’s death. While no amount of money can bring your loved one back, compensation can help your family alleviate the financial burden resulting from this death. On this page, I will discuss compensation and how your family might get it.
In wrongful death cases, something called pecuniary compensation gets awarded. This is a form of financial compensation for your family’s loss. Pecuniary compensation typically includes:
- Lost inheritance.
- Funeral expenses.
- Loss of support.
- Loss of services.
- Medical expenses.
- Damages (which will include interest from the time of death).
All of these issues might arise as a result of your loved one’s death.
Pecuniary compensation is further broken down into economic and non-economic damages. An example of economic damages is expenses related to your loved one’s death. This includes paying for funeral arrangements or medical bills. An example of non-economic damages is the pain that your family experiences as a result of your loved one’s death. Learn more about these types of damages below.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Loss of services, earning capacity, and support are also examples of economic damages. Not all of these damages might apply to your family. For example, if your elderly loved one was retired, earning capacity might not factor into the amount of money to be awarded.
Because each situation is different, evaluating compensation for these damages can be hard. It becomes especially difficult when factoring in non-economic damages, such as your family’s pain and suffering. You should contact an attorney to help determine how much money should be awarded in your situation.
Losing a loved one will impact your future. The organization or person that caused this unhappiness should provide compensation for your loss. No amount of money will make up for the loss of someone who was important to you. But, money is an appropriate attempt to make things right.
Many factors are taken into consideration when determining pecuniary loss and compensation. A few factors include the health, age, earning capacity, and dependents of the deceased.
In some cases, evaluating these factors is fairly straightforward. At other times, determining compensation can be difficult. Each situation is different, so make sure that your family keeps track of your economic and non-economic damages resulting from wrongful death. You should keep bills related to medical needs, funeral arrangements, the nursing home, and more. This will establish what money you have to spend as a result of your loved one’s death. In addition, you and your lawyer should give evidence of loss of support and services.
Personal Injury Damages
In a wrongful death situation, you can also sue the at fault party for personal injury damages. If your loved one is the victim of wrongful death, you might be eligible for separate damages. These damages are related to personal injury for your loved one’s suffering and pain. Of course, this compensation cannot go to the victim, so it goes to surviving family members instead.
Determining personal injury damages is another thing that an attorney can help you with.
In some cases, the at fault party might also pay punitive damages. Punitive damages are a fee meant to deter the at fault party from similar actions in the future. Even though a person may not have meant to cause wrongful death, they are still responsible. Punitive damages can encourage the at fault party to be more careful in the future.
In many states, punitive damages go to the state instead of the victim’s family. In states with no specific laws, a lawyer can fight to have these damages awarded to the victim’s family.
These are a few examples of how compensation will be awarded in a wrongful death case. For more information about compensation, please contact my office.