What Damages Might Be Recoverable After a Wrongful Death?

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funeral angel wrongful deathUnanticipated injuries are enough to threaten most people’s financial security. From medical bills to lost wages, the associated damages can add up fast. And when such injuries result in death, the financial ramifications can be utterly devastating for the victim’s surviving loved ones for years to come.

Thankfully, families are often entitled to compensation after a relative passes unexpectedly. As long as the death was preventable, they may take action against those who were ultimately liable.

If your loved one died because someone failed to act with reasonable care, the personal representative of the estate may be able to seek the following damages on behalf of eligible beneficiaries:

  • Medical expenses associated with treating the deceased’s final injury or illness;
  • Reasonable funeral and burial expenses;
  • Lost income and benefits;
  • Property repairs;
  • Pain and suffering endured by the deceased prior to passing;
  • Pain and suffering endured by surviving loved ones as a result of the death;
  • Loss of society; and
  • Loss of companionship.

If the case proves successful, any outstanding medical bills and funeral expenses must be paid directly. The resulting balance is then distributed among eligible parties.

Whether you’re entitled to some of the payout will depend on your relationship with the deceased and any estate planning arrangements that he or she made. Generally speaking, those who can benefit from a successful wrongful death claim include the deceased’s:

  • Spouse;
  • Children or stepchildren;
  • Parents;
  • Grandparents;
  • Siblings; and
  • Eligible heirs.

After the estate files the claim, the personal representative must notify all family members, named beneficiaries, and eligible heirs who stand to benefit if the action yields a payout. These parties then have 60 days to inform the estate of any losses they incurred as a result of the death. If they fail to respond before the deadline passes, the case may not include their particular claim for damages.

As such, it’s wise to seek legal counsel right away if you receive notice of a wrongful death action following the loss of a loved one. An experienced personal injury attorney will evaluate the situation from all angles to help you determine how best to proceed.

If it turns out you have some claim to the potential payout, your lawyer will also help you gather the evidence needed to prove it. Before you can recover any of the damages listed above, after all, you’ll have to prove that you did, in fact, incur them. This is where guidance from a resourceful wrongful death attorney could be invaluable.

Discuss Your Case with a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Detroit

At Seva Law Firm, we understand the devastating toll that an unanticipated death can take on the whole family. If your loved one died because of another party’s negligence, we’ll help you gather the documentation needed to prove both liability and damages so your family can seek the maximum payout possible. Call (248) 385-5704 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a wrongful death attorney in Detroit.

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