What are the categories of damages in wrongful death lawsuits?

Damages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit vary from state to state. Generally, there are three categories of damages:

Economic damages:These damages replace the financial contributions the deceased would have made if not for the untimely death. They include:

Medical and funeral experiences following death
Loss of the deceased expected earnings
Loss of benefits (pension plans, medical coverage, etc.)
Loss of inheritance due to untimely death
The total value of goods and services the deceased would have provided to the survivors

Non- economic damages: These are less tangible damages. Often, non-economic damages have a higher value than economic damages. They include damages for:

The survivors’ mental anguish or pain and suffering
Loss of care, guidance, protection and nurturing
Loss of love and companionship
Loss of consortium

Punitive damages: This is a compensation awarded to punish the defendant for wrongful acts. In most states, these damages are not recoverable in wrongful death lawsuits or against certain defendants, including government agencies. Punitive damages for a wrongful death can be recovered from nursing homes for an elder’s death. The amount of compensation is equal to three times of the amount of actual damages.

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