In Pennsylvania, you may pursue many types of damages in a wrongful death claim, including:
- Burial and funeral expenses.
- Final medical expenses. These can be quite substantial, especially if the person who has passed on had no medical insurance or was in the hospital for an extended period of time before they passed away.
- Lost benefits. If the person who passed away was expected to contribute through medical coverage, home insurance, pensions or other benefits, wrongful death damages can be one way for survivors to seek financial compensation for these benefits.
- Lost wages. If the person who has passed away contributed financially to beneficiaries through their income, beneficiaries may be able to pursue damages to seek the lost wages and financial support they would have received.
- Expenses associated with estate administration. Legal fees and other costs needed to administer the estate can also be pursued for wrongful death claims.
- Pain and suffering. Although there is no dollar amount that can make up for the grief and suffering a family endures after a death, judges will sometimes assign some wrongful death damages for pain and suffering. The amount will depend on a variety of factors, including how the death occurred and the closeness of the family.
- Compensation for the support, protection, comfort, companionship, guidance and other services or help that the deceased would have offered beneficiaries. Again, it is difficult to place a dollar amount on this, but judges will consider a number of factors, including the presence of any minor children and the closeness of relationships involved, to determine how much compensation is to be allotted.
- Compensation for loss of services. If the deceased provided household services, such as cleaning or childcare, judges may award compensation to help survivors secure these types of services elsewhere.
Determining Damages in Your Case
Many types of wrongful death damages can be awarded by a judge or in a settlement. However, not every case will result in all of these damages being awarded, and the amount offered will vary widely. If you would like to know how much your case may be worth, contact KBG Injury Law for a consultation to find out more about the specifics of your situation.