Losing a loved one is ineffably difficult, especially when their death was preventable. When the negligent or reckless behaviors of an individual, business, or entity claim the life of another person, the accident is considered a “wrongful death.” Tort law encompasses wrongful death cases, which aim to compensate the family of the victim for their losses.
Forms of Compensation
While there is no amount of money in the world that can sufficiently compensate family members for their loss, monetary compensation can help them cope with financial hardships resulting from the death of a loved one. Wrongful death cases may result in various form of compensation, including:
- Pecuniary damages- Pecuniary damages are intended to compensate the deceased’s family for the financial impact of their loss. This type of compensation reimburses family members for funeral costs, lost wages, future earnings, medical expenses, and all other related monetary costs.
- Punitive damages-Punitive damages are seldom awarded; however, when they are, the purpose is to punish the responsible party for their negligence and/or recklessness. Generally this type of compensation is reserved for cases where a large company or business is the guilty party. Because pecuniary and compensatory damages would be a “drop in a bucket” to a multi-million dollar business, punitive damages are intended to provide them with incentive to correct their misdeeds.
- Compensatory damages-This money is intended to compensate the victim’s family for their emotional and psychological sufferings. For example, the loss of companionship or of a parental unit.
If you or someone you know has lost a family member because of another person or party’s negligence and/or recklessness, you should not have to suffer alone. Consult an experienced Car Accident Attorney Kansas City about your grounds for filing a legal claim and the best way for you and your family to recover compensation for your losses.
In cases involving the wrongful death of an individual, it does not matter what the intent of the responsible party was or was not. Despite good intentions, if a person’s negligence directly results in the harm or death of another party, they may be liable for any damages they caused. If intent was to harm, however, the case would no longer be considered “wrongful death,” it would be classified as “homicide,” and it would be handled by a criminal defense attorney.