contact us today! (847) 357-0403

Money alone cannot possibly erase all the pain and trauma of losing a close family member before their time, and you should not think of that as the purpose of a wrongful death claim. Instead, this sort of civil lawsuit is meant to reduce the long-term harm this tragedy ultimately causes to you and your family by reimbursing you for specific losses you will suffer.

Damages in Elgin wrongful death cases can include both objective financial expenses and subjective personal losses, and certain defendants may be forced by the court to pay additional money as a punishment for their egregious misconduct. A skilled wrongful death attorney could help you get the most amount of compensation possible from your unique claim and protect your family’s best interests to the fullest extent possible.

Economic and Non-Economic Losses from a Wrongful Death

Family members of a wrongful death victim who demand compensation in this type of lawsuit typically seek compensatory damages. These types of damages are meant to compensate the decedent’s next of kin based on the harm that their passing has caused. These damages can be subdivided into either economic or non-economic damages, depending on whether they can be assigned a quantitative or qualitative financial value.

Most of the economic damages recovered through an Elgin fatal accident claim represent the loss of future financial support the decedent would have provided to their dependents. This support could include compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost future value of inheritance
  • Lost work-related benefits like health insurance
  • Costs of funeral, burial, and estate administration services

Non-economic damages can include emotional anguish and psychological trauma the decedent’s loved ones will experience. These can also include intangible interpersonal benefits like lost guidance and advice, lost companionship, lost love and comfort, and lost consortium with a spouse.

Finally, some types of damages fall somewhere in between these two categories—for example, loss of help around the house, which can be measured based on the value of purchasing replacement services; or as a source of mental and emotional trauma.

Are Punitive Damages Available in Wrongful Death Claims?

While rare, state law does allow courts to impose additional punitive damages against a defendant they find to have engaged in willful or wanton misconduct. The defendant would have had to be egregiously negligent or intentionally and maliciously tried to harm the person. Notably, there are no caps on damages of this nature enshrined in state law. Therefore, courts have fairly broad authority to impose whatever amount of punitive damages seems sufficient to punish the defendant for their actions and discourage others from acting in the same way in the future. These damages will end up being awarded to the plaintiffs pursuing a wrongful death claim in Elgin where applicable. However, they are explicitly meant as punishment for the defendant and not an extra award for particularly severe losses.

An Elgin Attorney Could Maximize Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

Just identifying the losses you could seek recovery for after a wrongful death can be difficult, let alone assigning a fair value to them and effectively demanding fair compensation. A compassionate lawyer could achieve all of this efficiently. Call today to learn more about damages in Elgin wrongful death cases.

Contact Us Today