What Kinds of Compensation Apply to a Wrongful Death Case?

When a loved one passes away, families face enormous difficulties. The most obvious challenge is the emotional grief from losing someone they care about.

When a death was caused by someone else’s negligence, the surviving family members have the right to seek financial compensation. In the state of Washington, wrongful death cases can be brought by the estate of a person that was killed in an accident.

A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of civil legal action. Usually, the family of the decedent files the suit to recover compensation from the person or entity that was liable for the victim’s death.

In the following post, we will discuss the types of damages that can apply to wrongful death cases.

What Are Damages?

The term “damages” refers to payments intended to compensate for the harm caused by a negligent person or entity. In personal injury cases, damages are paid by the liable party to the injured victim.

A wrongful death case works in a similar way. Instead of the compensation going to the victim, payments are made to those representing the decedent.

Which Damages Apply to Wrongful Deaths?

In wrongful death cases, there are two primary categories of damages. These are “economic” and “non-economic” damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages include the monetary losses suffered by the victim’s family in the wake of the accident. This may also include financial damages sustained by the decedent between the time of the injury and their death.

Common examples of economic damages include:

  • The victim’s medical bills
  • Property damage
  • End of life expenses
  • Loss of the decedent’s expected income
  • Funeral and burial costs

Not every type of damage takes the form of monetary losses, however.

Non-Economic Damages

The second category of damages encompasses negative consequences that do not have a price tag. Non-economic damages are the intangible losses brought about by the death of a loved one.

In wrongful death cases, non-economic damages can include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Trauma, like stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Loss of care, guidance, and protection

Many states allow the decedent’s survivors to seek compensation for the loss of the relationship. This is also called “loss of consortium.”

This is especially relevant if the deceased person was the spouse, parent, or child of the person filing the wrongful death suit.

Contact Harlan Law Firm

The compassionate attorneys at Harlan Law Firm know how difficult it is to lose a loved one. We believe that all victims deserve compensation.

If you have lost someone because of another person’s negligence, do not wait. Contact the team at Harlan Law Firm today.