The loss of a loved one is one of the most challenging things a family can endure. When the death was the result of someone’s negligent actions, it compounds things. Families often question whether legal action can be taken or should be taken against the responsible party. While it’s understandable for families to have reservations about the legal process, it is sometimes the only means of holding those who wrongfully caused a loved one’s death responsible and securing a comfortable future for those who have been left behind.
If your family is considering filing a wrongful death case, you may be wondering how the amount to be awarded is determined. The process of establishing the amount to be awarded in a wrongful death case is complicated. There are a number of factors to consider. At the end of the day, it is important to remember that the compensation awarded is meant to hold the at-fault party responsible for the value of the lost income/wages/earning capacity (known as pecuniary damages) as well as the value of the loss of love, companionship, guidance, consortium and the grief and sorrow (known as non-pecuniary damages) caused by the wrongful conduct of the responsible party.
If there is evidence that the individual who died had conscious pain and suffering before their death, there may also be damages for their pre-death pain and suffering. These pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages must be fully evaluated and developed in a way to ensure that the maximum compensation can be obtained for each element of available damages.