Most personal injury lawsuits result in a specific amount of money based on a victim’s medical bills and property damage. When a death occurs as a result of an accident, however, the amount of money collected may be significant. Although there is no real price that can be placed on a human life, each case has its own circumstances that can affect the amount of money that might be awarded.
In Louisiana, broad categories of money damages may be recovered. These may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- The value of lost services to the family;
- The pain and suffering of the deceased; and
- The loss of companionship and emotional support to the family.
Family members may seek recovery by bringing a wrongful death suit. A spouse and children are first entitled to bring suit, as they are most likely to be affected. If there is no spouse or children, then the parents of the deceased may sue. If there is no spouse, children, or parents, then brothers or sisters may file suit. After brothers and sisters, grandparents are allowed to file suit.
Beyond a spouse or child, it may seem unlikely that these other family members would file a lawsuit. But it is not unusual for a person to be providing financial support or personal care for other family members. Siblings frequently care for other siblings. Children or grandchildren may provide support or care for elderly parents or grandparents. If this person is suddenly killed in an accident, the effect on these other family members can be devastating.
The amount of future damages may be significant. A typical wage earner today may earn almost $1 million in his lifetime. Many will earn much more than that. Lost wages alone can amount to a large amount of money. Pain and suffering by family members left behind can also be significant. Consider the effect of a sudden death on a spouse with young children. Jury awards in wrongful death cases can be sizeable. Those affected by such a tragedy should not be hesitant to seek fair compensation for the loss of their loved one.
Tragic accidents can easily cause crippling injuries or even death. If you or a loved one were injured in a bad accident, you may be entitled to money damages. For a free case evaluation, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Wright Pichon & Gray