Frischhertz & Impastato

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Challenges when determining wrongful death damages

There is no amount of money that can replace a Louisianan loved one whose life is cut short by another person's negligence. However, when a tragic loss happens, there are legal options for the victim's surviving relatives to pursue. These options can help them recoup their losses and damages through wrongful death litigation.

Damages refer to the tangible and intangible losses that a person suffers as a result of a fatal accident or incident. They may be pecuniary or financial and can include the loss of the victim's wages, the costs of providing the victim with medical treatment and care prior to their accident-related death and the expenses related to the victim's funeral and burial services.

Damages can also be based on non-financial losses, such as the loss of a parent's love and guidance, the loss of consortium between spouses and the loss of affection between parent and child. In some cases, mental anguish, pain and suffering and other emotion-based losses may be sought in wrongful death and personal injury cases. However, a victim's family will not recover these damages if they do not successfully prove their case and recover their requested pecuniary damages as well.

Proving wrongful death damages is not always straightforward and quantifying the losses a family experiences after a fatal accident can be difficult. When it appears that proving damages may be a challenge, it is common for personal injury attorneys to utilize the services of expert witnesses to help prove and explain how and why their clients requested their damages. Expert witnesses can highlight the devastating impact that the victim's loss had on those that loved them.

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