What type of damages (types of compensation) are recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit?

Generally, the type of damages which may be recoverable will depend on the survivor and his or her relationship to the deceased.  The estate of the deceased may have a claim for future lost earnings the decedent was expected to receive over the decedent's life expectancy.  The estate may also recover for pre-death pain and suffering experienced by the decedent.  In the case of a wrongful death of a child, a surviving parent may recover for the destruction of the parent-child relationship and/or loss of consortium (but only if the parent was supporting the child before death). 

In the case of a surviving spouse and/or child, damages may be recovered for loss of consortium, loss of financial contributions expected from the deceased, and destruction of the parent-child relationship.  The job of determining and calculating damages caused by the wrongful death of a person can often be complex and time-consuming.  Often times experts are necessary or at least recommended to assist in calculating all of the damages caused to the estate and/or the surviving beneficiaries of the estate.

Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.