Losing a loved one is always difficult, but when faced with a loss which should never have occurred, the emotional strain can be overwhelming. Such a loss becomes even more stressful if you relied on your loved one for financial support, especially as bills quickly pile up.
If you are dealing with the death of a loved one that was caused by another person's negligence or willful actions in Washington or Oregon, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Schauermann Thayer Jacobs Staples & Edwards, P.S. are here to help you fight for the compensation you and your family deserve.
Types of Compensation in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Wrongful death statutes differ greatly from state to state with regard to the compensation that one can receive from a wrongful death action. Possible compensation which you could be awarded in a successful wrongful death lawsuit include:
Funeral and Burial Expenses
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else's improper actions, then you may find yourself facing funeral and burial costs that you were not prepared for. Funeral and burial expenses can be extremely costly--even the cheapest options can end up costing you thousands of dollars that you might not have been prepared for. If you find yourself facing mounting funeral costs and burial or cremation expenses, a wrongful death action can help. Part of the compensation which you may be eligible for in such an action is the costs of reasonable funeral and burial expenses for your loved one.
Oftentimes, a person who falls victim to another's negligence or intentional wrongdoings does not pass away immediately. In some cases, the victim can spend days, weeks, or even months in the hospital. After death, your loved one's estate may be compromised by tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of hospital bills and medical expenses incurred in an effort to keep your loved one alive. While insurance might cover some of this portion, the estate may still be responsible for copays, deductibles, or treatments which weren't covered by insurance.
A wrongful death action can relieve some of the financial burden which accompanies such medical bills. These lawsuits can shift responsibility onto the at-fault party to cover medical costs associated with treating your loved one's injuries. To prove these damages, a skilled wrongful death lawyer will gather the required documents and prove the correlation between injury and treatment.
Loss of Financial Support, Lost Wages, and Lost Earning Capacity
Whether you relied solely on your loved one's income or simply needed it to supplement your family's support, a wrongful death action can help you recover compensation to make up for the financial hardships that you face as a result of this untimely death.
You may be able to recover damages for the loss of income that your loved one provided, as well as compensation for income which would have been received in the future. Proving this area of damages can be challenging, but a lawyer who is experienced in wrongful death cases can wade through the specifics of your case and help you gain the compensation you deserve for the income which you have lost.
Loss of Companionship
Some aspects of a loved one's death can't be quantified into a dollar amount--money can't bring back the loss of love, caring, and companionship that he or she provided to you. Perhaps you were a newlywed who was looking forward to decades of love with your spouse, or you have a child who will no longer be able to celebrate accomplishments with his parent.
While you can't put a price on your loved one's affection and company, a wrongful death lawsuit may allow you to recover monetary damages for the loss of these aspects of your relationship, as such an action takes into account the loss of this special bond that you experienced.
In some situations, in Oregon cases (not where the death occurred in Washington), punitive damages are awarded in wrongful death cases. If you have lost a loved one due to another person's actions and those actions were particularly reprehensible, then you may be eligible to receive additional compensation in the form of punitive damages. These damages are not meant to provide financial compensation to make up for lost income or pay for bills. Instead, punitive damages are meant to punish a party whose actions were so reckless or shocking that regular damages are insufficient compensation. Punitive damages are also meant to act as a deterrent to others, serving as a warning of what could happen if such behavior is replicated in the future.
Are You Suffering the Loss of a Loved One? Let us Help You Today
If you are mourning the loss of someone you love due to the negligence or intentional actions of another person, then you know that no amount of money can repair the pain of your loss. However, the financial compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit can ease some of the financial stress that you may find yourself saddled with after the death of someone you relied on. You should not have to deal with the stress of the grieving process with the financial responsibilities of losing a loved one.
The attorneys at Schauermann Thayer Jacobs Staples & Edwards PS are here to take the weight off of your shoulders. Our team has years of experience wrongful death actions to help seek justice for both the victims and those they left behind. We're standing by to help you with your case; to speak with an attorney at our Vancouver, Washington location, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (360) 695-4244 today.