A person who prevails on a wrongful death claim may be able to recover what are known as actual damages and exemplary damages.
Actual damages include:
- Financial losses, such as the loss of the deceased person’s earning capacity and the value of the care, maintenance, services, support, advice and counsel he or she would have provided to family members.
- Mental anguish, which refers to your emotional pain, torment and suffering from the death of your family member.
- The loss of the positive benefits flowing from the love, comfort, companionship and society from the death of your family member.
- Loss of inheritance, referring to what the deceased person would have accumulated and left to you if he or she had lived a normal expected lifetime.
Exemplary damages are recoverable on a wrongful death claim when the person’s death is caused by the defendant’s willful act or omission or gross negligence.