In the aftermath of a sudden death of a loved one, it can be a confusing and depressing time. Learning that your loved one’s death was caused by negligence can be even more devastating. You may wonder why you should add to the understandable stress of the situation by pursuing a wrongful death claim or why you should reopen those wounds by reliving the loss again. However, bringing forward a claim for compensation isn’t just about money – it can help you achieve justice for your loved one’s passing and prevent the same from happening to another family. This can make the healing process easier over time.
Compensation Can Soften the Financial Blow of a Loved One’s Passing
The sudden loss of a loved one often involves exorbitant charges, including medical bills, funeral fees, and lost wages. These costs can be overwhelming—medical expenses alone can easily be hundreds of thousands of dollars, even over a relatively short period of time. Incurring these costs yourself can put you and your family in a dire financial situation that may last for years.
Seeking compensation for these costs can help ease the financial burden of a death, and can relieve some of the stress that comes from a loss. You can spend more time healing and less time worrying about finances.
Compensation Can Help with the Coping Process
A portion of the financial restitution obtained from a wrongful death claim is meant to compensate survivors for emotional distress. This can include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of companionship. Even though money cannot bring back your loved one, this kind of compensation can provide some comfort as you deal with the grief of losing a loved one.
Further, non-economic damages act as a penalty on the people liable for your loved one’s death. It charges them for more than just the physical costs, but also for your family’s loss and devastation.
Punitive Damages Can Prevent Future Deaths
In cases of gross negligence—where the reckless action or inaction was far beyond the line of reasonable behavior—the court may also award punitive damages to the plaintiff(s) in a wrongful death claim. Punitive damages are determined by the judge and jury based on available evidence and the degree of negligence the defendant(s) exhibited. This can result in damages worth hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars.
Punitive damages serve two purposes. First, they provide a compelling incentive to the defendant to correct the behavior or actions that caused the death—whether that be ignoring a safety concern, driving recklessly, or misdiagnosing a patient. Second, they create an incentive for others not to attempt similar action for fear they will incur punishment for their negligence.
Seeking compensation from those liable for your loved one’s wrongful death can feel like a staggering and terrifying prospect, but it can help you and your family find some solace in a chaotic and frustrating time. The lawyers at Mazow | McCullough, PC, are experienced in wrongful death suits and can help you sort through the difficult legal process as you file and follow through with your claim. They can represent you in court and help you negotiate the highest compensation award possible. If you’ve lost a loved one due to wrongful death, contact us today for a free consultation at (978)-744-8000.