When you learn that a loved one has unexpectedly died, it is understandably difficult to process the news and adjust to the absence in your life. In addition to your grief, you will likely need to deal with financial distress and a spike in expenses as a result of the loss. If another’s recklessness or malice was to blame for your loved one’s death, the courts should hold the responsible party liable.
In many cases, filing a wrongful death lawsuit is the best option for recourse following a tragic loss. Many families have questions, though, regarding what such a case might cover and how it can mitigate the impact of a loved one’s death. The following are three items that a suit may potentially cover.
Loss of income
If you depended on your loved one for income, his or her death will obviously place a financial strain on you that would not otherwise exist. You may thus pursue damages in the amount of the income you expected the deceased to make. Your loved one may have also passed on an inheritance were it not for their death, and you can also include this in the damages you seek.
Pain and suffering
Many states do not allow for victims of a wrongful death to sue for punitive damages. According to the Office of the Revisor of Statutes, however, Minnesota does allow family members of the deceased to pursue punitive losses such as pain and suffering. This means you may potentially pursue compensation for the emotional distress and trauma associated with the death of your loved one.
Your loved one’s death will incur a number of expenses. In addition to the financial losses you face, there may be medical bills to contend with as well as the cost of the funeral and burial. The party responsible for the deaths should cover these expenses, so you may include these costs in the damages you seek.