People talking with wrongful death lawyers about cases will inevitably get to the topic of compensation. This is the money that a defendant is expected to pay if they are found at fault. Wrongful death attorneys can help their clients pursue several types of compensation so let's take a look at what might be part of a claim or suit.
Understandably, it's common for folks to focus on death-related compensation in these cases. However, many victims end up receiving at least some medical treatment before they die. Even if it's just an outstanding ambulance bill, these expenses can be tough to tackle. Successful plaintiffs may also receive compensation to cover costs related to surgeries, therapy sessions, drugs, and medical devices the decedent required before passing.
Be aware, though, that other parties may have claims on these bills. Hospitals and doctors can file liens against settlements to ensure they're paid. Similarly, an insurance company that paid medical expenses will be able to ask the court for a lien as well. This simply means those parties will have a right to recover what they're owed for services rendered.
Pain, Suffering, and Emotional Trauma
Just because someone died doesn't mean the awfulness of their last moments doesn't matter. The law recognizes that the pain, suffering, and emotional traumas people suffer prior to death are compensable. Oftentimes, victims, their families, or their friends were already documenting these in anticipation of filing a personal injury lawsuit. Everything that would have mattered in an injury claim had the deceased survived still matters to a wrongful death lawyer.
There are two sets of common job-related losses in these kinds of cases. First, there are the immediate ones that a person might have suffered because they were injured and couldn't work between the time of the incident and when they died. Second, there is the loss of their long-term earning potential. The first will be based on the deceased's pay and work hours at the time of the incident. The second will be based on how much remaining lifetime income a person in a similar job would likely have made if they had lived.
Plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for the losses they suffer due to the death, too. A spouse, for example, is entitled to compensation for losing consortium with their partner. Minor children may be entitled to damages for the loss of parenting, too.