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What damages are compensable in a wrongful death case?

Making the decision to take legal action after a loved one dies can be difficult. Such actions are not warranted in every situation, but may be for those who lost loved ones due to the negligent actions of other individuals. Many Louisiana residents may want to know what good can come out of filing a wrongful death claim. What damages are actually compensable?

Filing a wrongful death claim may seem far from worthwhile in the beginning. It cannot bring back the life the was lost, so what is the point? The point is seeking a sense of justice. The point is seeking relief. 

Losing a loved one is often accompanied by a number of financial struggles. Medical bills, funeral expenses, lost income, lost benefits -- it all adds up. Those who can show that negligence contributed to their loved one's death and that they have suffered monetary losses because of it may achieve economic relief for all recoverable losses via legal means. In order to determine if damages for pecuniary losses are warranted, a number of factors will be considered by the court -- such as:

  • Age of the deceased
  • Decedent's earning capacity
  • His or her life expectancy based on health and intelligence
  • Decedent's financial circumstances at time of death

Along with pecuniary losses, survival actions may be pursued. If the decedent was injured by another individual and died hours, days or weeks later, his or her suffering may be taken into account. Damages may be awarded for his or her pain and suffering. Again, a lot of factors must be reviewed before the court will make such a decision. 

Moving forward after a loved one dies can be a challenge. Pursuing relief through legal means may help with some aspects of it. An experienced wrongful death attorney can review one's case and provide specific detail about what damages may be compensable if the case were to succeed at trial in a Louisiana civil court. 

Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Death Overview", Accessed on April 26, 2018

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