It really happened. You got the phone call that your loved one has passed away. You are filled with a range of emotions and questions. What really happened? Was it accidental? When you lose your loved one unexpectedly, it can be very traumatic. It’s even more unfair when their death is due to the negligence of another person. If it weren’t for their negligence, your loved one would still be here today. This situation may call for a wrongful death claim. In order to bring this claim, you must prove several different elements. It’s also essential to know the damages you may have available in this suit.
If you are a close surviving member of the deceased then you must prove several different elements in order to hold the other party responsible for their death. You must prove negligence, causation, breach of duty, and damages. You must show how the death of your loved one was due to the other party’s negligence primarily. For example, if a person was texting while driving and they crashed into the now deceased person causing their death, this would be sufficient evidence in proving a wrongful death claim. You must also be able to prove that the other party owed the deceased a duty. You must show how the duty existed and how they breached this duty. An example of this would be in the same scenario. The other party had provide a duty of care to the now deceased, they should’ve been operating the vehicle with care and focus and they breached this by texting and driving. The surviving members must also prove how the death of the deceased has brought about damages. These damages can include funeral costs, medical costs, loss of inheritance, loss of income from the deceased, or pain and suffering.
When determining damages that may be available to surviving members, you should know that there are two main damages that exist. Economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are easily assigned a dollar amount. These damages include things such as medical expenses and funeral expenses that are connected to the death of the deceased. Economic damages also include loss of benefits the would have been received or loss of inheritance caused by the premature death. These damages could also include loss of income if the deceased was the primary earner.
Non-economic damages cannot be easily assigned monetary value and are intangible. These damages include pain and suffering, which is not always awarded in courts. The spousal survivor may receive damages for loss of companionship. Children who are survivors of the deceased may receive damages for loss of care as well as loss of protection.
When a loved one dies, it is a tragedy of its own. It happened so suddenly. No one would be emotionally prepared for hearing the news that your loved one has passed away. The death of your loved one has impacted you emotionally, it also may have affected you financially. You may have been dependent on the deceased for income. Now you have to deal with the consequences of some’s negligent actions. You need someone with years of experience on your side. The last thing you need is more stress. Contact Jed Kurzban Esq, a Honolulu wrongful death attorney, today at 808-800-2445 or use this contact form for a free no-obligation consultation.