Damages in Gainesville Wrongful Death Cases

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The unexpected loss of a loved one is not only traumatic, but it can also create substantial financial struggles for a family. The loss of a breadwinner can result in long-term lost wages and loss of work benefits. You may be struggling to pay for medical and funeral expenses, too. A compassionate wrongful death attorney could help you hold the person who caused the death financially responsible for these expenses.

Although measuring the full value of a loved one’s life is complicated, as people are more than the money they earn, you may be able to recover a substantial amount for their loss. An experienced attorney from Smith Hulsey Law could help you understand which damages in Gainesville wrongful death cases are available and the ways to pursue justice after a person’s death.

Three Categories of Wrongful Death Damages

The state permits people to recover the full value of the deceased’s life and two other categories of damages for wrongful death cases in Gainesville: funeral and medical expenses. The estate needs to file a survival claim to recover for the pain and suffering the person experienced before dying.

Funeral Expenses

Funeral expenses include all expenses related to a person’s funeral and burial. Some examples of funeral expenses would be the costs for the service, coffin, burial plot, cremation, and urn. Additional expenses that might fall under this category include transportation costs for people to get to the funeral, though those expenses can be more challenging to demonstrate.

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses are those expenses related to the accident or injury that led to the death. In some instances, a deceased person will have no medical expenses because they may have died immediately. However, in most instances, a loved one may have medical expenses because of resuscitation efforts on the scene, even if they are unsuccessful.

What Is the Full Value of a Life?

The more complicated part of determining damages for wrongful death cases in Gainesville is deciding on the full value of a life. The statute does not provide guidance about what that means, except to clarify that determining it does not require deducting the expenses the person would have had if they had survived. Because the statute does not outline the definition, the courts have had to decide it. They have determined that it includes an economic component and a non-economic component.

Economic Damages

The economic component refers to the income the person would have earned and the services they would have rendered to their family. Income and earnings are not limited to wages and also include work benefits, retirement benefits, and other earning opportunities. If the survivors can demonstrate that their loved one was earning or poised to earn a certain amount of money at the time of death, they can recover those lost wages and the value of reasonable raises. The years they can recover depend on factors like average retirement ages and life expectancy.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses. What is the dollar value of a lost parent or child? What type of compensation do people deserve for grief and the loss of companionship? These damages have no objective economic value, so they depend on the factfinder’s subjective valuation of the person’s life.

Speak to a Gainesville Attorney About Damages in Your Wrongful Death Case

When a loved one passes, the losses are not just emotional. For many families, the loss of a family member is a devastating economic loss, too. Fortunately, you may have the option to seek damages in Gainesville wrongful death cases with the help of a diligent attorney.

Schedule a consultation with an understanding lawyer from Smith Hulsey Law to learn more about pursuing a claim. We are here to help you during this difficult time.

Smith Hulsey Law

Smith Hulsey Law