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Types of Damages in Wrongful Death Cases

Published on January 14th, 2020

Personal Injury Lawyer

When a parent dies as a result of someone else’s driving, it is an incredibly difficult thing to deal with. Legal action is probably far from your mind right now, but you should be considering if it would be possible to be compensated for your loss. If the death was caused by negligence or intentional action, the answer is probably yes. This guide will go over what kinds of damages you can recover.

Wrongful Death Action

The most typical kind of lawsuit to file in this situation is a wrongful death claim. This type of lawsuit is possible as long as the death was caused by the wrongdoings of someone else. The damages involved in this type of claim usually cover your losses as a loved one of the deceased. These can include:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of companionship

Remember, it is possible to be compensated for both financial and non-financial losses. Financial losses are usually called special compensatory damages, while non-financial losses are usually called general compensatory damages.

Survival Action

This type of action is essentially identical to personal injury lawsuits, except filed on behalf of the deceased. The damages you will receive cover losses that the deceased suffered prior to his or her death. This can include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Missed wages
  • Miscellaneous expenses

Just like in a wrongful death action, these damages can be both general compensatory damages and special compensatory damages. The damages in a survival action are also not mutually exclusive with those from a wrongful death action.

Punitive Damages

Sometimes judges decide a third kind of damages is appropriate, on top of general and special compensatory damages. Punitive damages are assigned exclusively to punish the defendant. This is the rarest kind of damages, and the plaintiff has no control over how big they are or whether they are even assigned in the first place.

Punitive damages are most common in cases where the injury was caused intentionally. They are also common in cases where the defendant acted especially irresponsibly, such as by driving while drunk. However, because punitive damages are entirely available at the judge’s discretion, they can be assigned to virtually any wrongful death lawsuit.

If you have any other questions about what damages you should be able to claim, you should speak with your attorney. The very first thing you should do is hire an attorney you trust, like a Wrongful Death Lawyer, in  Lakewood FL, who specializes in wrongful death cases.



Thank you to the experts at David & Philpot, P.L., for their contributions to wrongful death law. 


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