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.