The term “wrongful death,” refers to when a person dies or is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another, including murder. You, the surviving family, may be able to sue for compensation, to make up for both financial and emotional needs. The death of a family member, friend or loved one can be stressful in many ways. When an employer’s mistakes results in the death of someone close to you, an experienced wrongful death attorney can represent you.
Along with a wrongful death claim, the decedent’s representative can also bring a survival action in order to collect damages for the benefit of the estate. A survival action is based on the pain and the suffering that the decedent would have endured had he or she survived.
While it does not make up for the death of someone important, these payments for damages done can at least begin the healing process for families, providing the funding necessary to once again become emotionally and financially stable. It is in turbulent times such as these that you require proper representation, so you and your family can receive the justice they deserve.
Determining Pecuniary Loss
You must take into account the age, character, and the condition of the descendent of the deceased. This determination is the main consideration in awarding damages to the descendent.
Punitive damages are awarded are awarded in cases of serious or malicious wrongdoing to punish the wrongdoer, or to deter others from behaving similarly. The plaintiff may not recover punitive damages in a wrongful death action. In states that do not explicitly allow or disallow punitive damages in wrongful death actions, courts have held punitive damages permissible.
The Impact of Parties of Interest in Wrongful Death Claims
In a wrongful death claim, anyone who depended on the person can claim to be a party of interest to the litigation. There are two challenges you can expects to face: showing that your loved one did in fact die because of the other parties’ actions or negligence, and battling your own emotions in the process.
There could be a multitude of family members who come out of the woodwork, expressing their distress at the situation. This is problematic because a defendant’s liability does not increase with the number or parties of interest. Your legal counsel must not only show liability, but then must defend your recovery from others who may or may not have justifiable claims to recover damaged. If you have lost a loved on to someone else’s wrongful act, you cannot rely on everyone else to do what is right in such a stressful situation.
Death on the Job
It is no secret that various work zones have potential dangers to them. Knowing this, it should also be known that if you or someone you know has lost someone as a result of unsafe conditions at their place of work, then you have a potential wrongful death case. In the state of Florida, if you are a contributing employee to your company’s relief department and you suffer injury or death as a result of where you work, your surviving family has a right to be consolidated for their emotional and financial state following your death.
It is important that you, as the survivors of the victim, collect any and all information on the cause of death:
- Employer’s name and company information;
- The conditions of his/her death;
- General conditions of their place of work;
- The names and phone numbers of those present (i.e. witnesses); and
- In the case of a filed police report, request a copy of the report to add to your records.
These records will help to build your case against the responsible party, as well as can be used when reporting the changes to policy to your insurance company.
Collecting Damages on a Wrongful Death
It is always upsetting to hear about the passing of a family member or of a friend. Often times, we suffer in various ways that cannot be compensated for. You can, however, receive reimbursement to help with the costs of recovery to ease the burden. Those potential beneficiaries, identified in the complaint being placed, can have the opportunity to receive some justice for the wrongful death of their loved one. Compensation may include:
- For those who were supported by the deceased, the value of lost support and services from the date of death, along with interest, and future loss of income and support.
- Dependent on the survivors, minor children, the duration of future losses can vary.
- Surviving spouses will be able to recover for loss of companionship, as are minor children able to recover for loss of parental companionship.
- Funeral expenses may be recovered by a survivor who has paid them
Monetary Damages in Wrongful Death Accidents
There are various monetary damages that may be recovered in wrongful death accidents. Below, we cover each and a short definition:
- Loss of Economic Support: If you relied on the lost loved ones income, you may have a claims for the value of those lost economic contributions.
- Loss of Society: This refers to the loss of relationship with the lost loved one. You may have a claim for the loss of companionship you’ve suffered.
- Grief and Emotional Suffering: May be able to receive compensation for emotional pain you are experiencing as a result of your loss.
- Funeral Expenses: You may be able to be reimbursed for the costs to bury or cremate your lost family member.
- Medical Costs: You may qualify for compensation for your family member’s medical bills if the passed away as the result of an accident.
Wrongful Death Representation in South Carolina
Elrod Pope Law Firm is an experienced law group knowledgeable in wrongful death cases. We represent families and victims in their personal injury cases to help cover medical costs and other compensable items in this time in stress. Seek representation for your wrongful death and damage claim through Elrod Pope Law Firm by contacting our SC personal injury attorney online or calling our branch today.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.