Wrongful Death

Ten Types of Damages Surviving Spouses Can Seek in a Wrongful Death Claim

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When a person has been killed because of another’s negligence or error, oftentimes the victim’s surviving spouse will file a wrongful death claim against the liable party. Through this claim, the spouse can seek compensation for a number of losses and damages suffered because of the death.

Ten damages that a spouse may seek include:

  • medical costs – these include any medical expenses incurred from the time of the accident or injury up to the victim’s death;
  • lost income – this can include lost income while the victim was in the hospital, as well as the deceased’s future expected earnings now lost;
  • lost benefits – if the victim also had a pension, provided medical insurance or other types of benefits to the spouse, these may also be sought as damages in a wrongful death claim;
  • burial and funeral expenses – the spouse may seek compensation for reasonable expenses associated with the victim’s burial, cremation or funeral;
  • loss of consortium – though an intangible item, this refers to the physical relationship spouses share, which ceases when one spouse has perished;
  • loss of love, society or companionship – this is also an intangible damage, referring to the loss emotional support the spouse’s death has caused;
  • lost household services – if the victim provided household services, such as child care, cleaning or cooking, the spouse may be able to seek compensation for those lost services;
  • mental anguish – spouses who have suffered mental and emotional pain or anguish because of the death may be able to seek compensation for it;
  • lost inheritance – when a victim was in place to receive an inheritance but died too soon, the surviving spouse may look to recoup that inheritance; and
  • punitive damages – if the person who caused the victim’s death acted recklessly or was extremely negligent, these damages may be sought as a way to punish them for their behavior.

For more information on wrongful death claims and beneficiaries, or to discuss a specific case, Clarksburg residents should contact an attorney at The Miley Legal Group today.

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Written by
Tim Miley
Tim Miley is the founder of The Miley Legal Group. After earning his undergraduate degree in finance at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, Tim attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, where he received his Juris Doctorate. Tim is admitted to practice in all courts in West Virginia and is currently a member of the American Association for Justice, the West Virginia American Association for Justice, the West Virginia Bar Association and the Harrison County Bar Association.
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