Types of Compensation Awarded in Wrongful Death Cases

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on July 6, 2018

. Updated on May 3, 2023


wrongful death compensationWhen a loved one passes, it can take an emotional toll on the surviving family members and cause serious financial hardship. In some situations, another person or entity may be held legally liable for the death and financially responsible for damages experienced by surviving family members.

If you believe someone else is liable for your loved one’s death, you should consider contacting a dedicated South Bend wrongful death attorney at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak to help with the case. We can answer your questions about pursuing a legal claim for wrongful death and what forms of compensation might be available to you.

What is a Wrongful Death Case?

According to Indiana Code 34-23-1, a wrongful death is a death caused by another person’s wrongful act or omission. This means you will not have grounds for a lawsuit unless you can establish the following elements:

  • Your loved one died
  • Another person’s negligence, including his or her actions or failure to act, led to your loved one’s death
  • The deceased has surviving family members that suffered monetary and non-monetary injuries because of the death
  • The decedent’s estate must have a personal representative

The personal representative is the only individual that has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. He or she can bring a case on behalf of the surviving family members.

Wrongful death lawsuits arise out of many different situations:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Car, truck or motorcycle accidents
  • Defective or dangerous products

Compensation Awarded in a Wrongful Death Case

There are several types of compensation available for surviving family members, including:

Medical Costs

This includes all reasonable medical and hospital expenses for treatment of the deceased individual before he or she died. This includes treatment that was meant to save the person’s life, such as medications or surgeries.

Funeral Expenses

The family may be awarded compensation to cover reasonable funeral and burial expenses for their loved one. This could include the cost of cremating the loved one.

Loss of Earnings

If the deceased person was the primary earner in the household, the personal representative may be able to collect compensation for the lost financial support and earnings. The jury will weigh several factors to determine the value of lost earnings, including:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Occupation
  • Earnings history
  • History of advancement
  • Rate of pay

Loss of Love, Affection and Care

The personal representative can pursue compensation for emotional losses of the surviving spouse, such as lost love, companionship and care. This is meant to compensate the surviving spouse because he or she no longer gets to share his or her life with the deceased.

Contact an Attorney for a Free Consultation

If you believe that your loved one was the victim of wrongful death, contact our South Bend personal injury lawyers at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak to discuss all possible legal options. We can discuss the specific circumstances regarding your claim and identify possible damages that may be available.

We provide a free consultation in which we can learn about your claim and you can learn about your legal options. All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay us if we help you recover damages like those described above.

Call us now at (574) 444-0741.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases