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How are damages calculated in a wrongful death case?

Many families in Louisiana have had their lives shattered by fatal accidents. A fatal car accident, a fatal offshore accident or other kind of accident can have devastating effects and can leave survivors wondering where to turn. A wrongful death lawsuit is one method used by families in an effort to seek compensation for loss. The question inevitably arises: How much compensation might survivors be able to recover? This blog post will offer a brief answer to this question.

The main measure of damages in most wrongful death cases is financial injury, also called pecuniary injury. These damages may include loss of support, loss of parental guidance and funeral expenses. Factors that could be considered when computing financial damages include earning capacity, health and intelligence, life expectancy and the circumstances of the benefiting survivors. The amount of financial damages is often computed by a jury, and a judge may adjust the damages upward or downward as the judge deems appropriate. Plaintiffs and defendants may present expert testimony where an expert provides an opinion as to how the damages should be computed.

Survivors also may be able to demand compensation for the personal injury suffered by the victim. For example, if the victim experienced pain and suffering as a result of the accident, the survivors can request compensation for this. The family stands in the shoes of the victim who could have sued for personal injury had the victim survived the accident. The jury would determine how much conscious pain and suffering the victim may have endured when calculating damages.

There are other possible grounds for recovery in a wrongful death case. Wrongful death attorneys can provide survivors with an assessment of their case.

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