Many inhabitants of New Orleans parishes have been fortunate to enjoy a long life. They have survived wars, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and more. Tragically, it is possible for elders to die as a result of the negligence of another. This blog post will discuss, in a general manner, what damages may be recoverable in a wrongful death case, where a senior citizen is the victim.
First of all, the family of an elderly victim may recover general damages for the victim's pain and suffering. Despite the fact that the victim did not survive an accident, it may be possible for the victim's family to recover, if the victim experienced pain and suffering before death. Similarly, if the victim accumulated medical expenses, these may be recoverable too. Also, funeral expenses may be recoverable.
It is also common for the families of wrongful death victims to recover for lost wages and the loss of guidance, nurturing and support to the victim's children. As a practical matter, these damages are often lower for elderly people than for younger adults. This is because a person who is past retirement age is often thought not to have significant earning potential. Elderly people are similarly less likely to have young children who need their guidance and support.
Awarding lower damages for the deaths of elderly people is a controversial policy. Many argue that this is an attempt to quantify the unquantifiable: the value of a human life.
All lives have value, and no one deserves to die as a result of the negligence of another. Whether a victim is 9, 29 or 90, it may be possible to recover for a wrongful death.