What Losses Can You Recover after the Death of a Loved One?
When a loved one has died because of the wrongful actions of another person, there’s no amount of money that can bring them back, that can make you whole. But that doesn’t mean that you haven’t incurred tangible losses, and that you don’t have the right to hold the at-fault party responsible for his or her carelessness or negligence.
As discussed in our earlier blog, before you can recover any damages in a wrongful death action, you must show that you were a real party in interest. If the lawsuit is based on a legal theory of negligence, you’ll also need to prove that the defendant (person from whom you seek compensation) acted unreasonably, causing an accident that led to the death of your loved one.
The Compensation Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When you’ve lost a loved one in an accident, you have the right to seek a broad range of damages, including:
- Reimbursement of any funeral or burial expenses
- Reimbursement of any medical expenses incurred by the deceased before death (that were not covered by insurance)
- Any lost wages and income or loss of support that the deceased would have provided or contributed. For surviving spouses, the amount is calculated based on the decedent’s life expectancy. For children of the deceased, it’s determined based on the number of years the child would have been dependent on the support.
- The value of all household services the deceased would have provided, including child care, housekeeping, yard maintenance and other tasks
- Any loss of companionship, consortium, guidance, affection, comfort or care the deceased would have given you. These types of damages are typically recoverable only by a surviving spouse, children or parents.
Contact Our Office
At Barnard, Mezzanotte, Pinnie, Seelaus & Kraft LLP, we offer experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel to individuals in Pennsylvania. To set up an appointment for a free initial consultation, call us at 610-565-4055 or 302-594-4535 or contact us online.
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