What losses can I recover in a wrongful death auto crash case?

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2024 | Wrongful Death Auto Accidents |

The loss of a loved one in a motor vehicle crash is devastating, especially when it results from someone else’s negligence. In such cases, the deceased’s family members may pursue compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. If you are dealing with a wrongful death of a loved one, how can you seek financial relief amidst your emotional turmoil?

Types of damages

The surviving family members of the deceased may seek several damages for wrongful death. The types of damages are:

  • Economic: These are quantifiable losses resulting from the death, such as medical bills incurred from the time of the accident until the deceased’s death. Other economic damages are funeral and burial costs and lost income and benefits that the deceased would have given to their family had they survived the accident.
  • Noneconomic: These are more subjective and less tangible. Examples are claims for sorrow, mental anguish and solace, as well as for loss of companionship, comfort, guidance and advice.
  • Punitive: In some instances, the court may punish the defendant for their negligent behavior by awarding punitive damages.

As for the recipients of the damages, they are the surviving spouse, children, parents and siblings, depending on who survives the deceased. If there are no surviving family members, the damages go to the deceased’s estate.

Time limit to seek damages

Moreover, it is important to note that in West Virginia, the family has two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death claim. Failing to file a lawsuit within this period may result in losing the right to recover damages.

Pursuing damages and justice

While no amount of money can bring back a loved one, understanding the damages recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit can help relieve your financial burden and provide some sense of justice. With legal support, you may navigate the wrongful death law and deal with the overwhelming process during a time of grief.