What Damages May Families Seek if a Loved One Is Fatally Injured?

For many people, enduring any kind of accident that causes injury can be difficult. What happens, though, when accidents kill someone we love? These are often referred to as wrongful death cases in the legal world, and may involve many types of accidents, including trucking collisions.

For the families of those fatally injured, understanding what legal options are available and what damages they may seek can be the last thing on their minds, but it is often a necessary step to moving forward with justice. It can also help to balance the financial harm to the victim’s family.

The Potential Financial Compensation Families May Receive

When determining the financial compensation a family may receive in a wrongful death case, there are a number of factors considered by the courts. These are the types of damages that may be available and how a jury determines the amount.

  • Medical expenses may be available for compensation if the decedent had to receive medical care in the time between the accident until the date of his or her passing. The family should not have to worry about these costs and the negligent party should be responsible.
  • Funeral costs can also be considered in wrongful death cases. When someone passes, it brings with it unexpected expenses, and funeral and/or burial costs can be difficult to manage. Families are already grieving and this is just added financial stress on an already difficult experience.
  • The loss of financial support to the family may be awarded for the normal life expectancy of the victim. The jury may consider the victim’s age and income to determine how much they would have made over their natural lifetime and how it would support the family left behind.
  • The grief of the surviving spouse. This is simply the emotional suffering caused by the loss of someone we love.
  • The grief of the children and parents is also considered. When someone we love is taken from us without warning, it often causes feelings of pain and loss that cannot be healed without time and support. The hole left by being separated from the people we love touches every member of the family.
  • The loss of the society, companionship, and relationship of the spouse, children, and parents. The legal term is loss of consortium, but it simply means the loss of being with the person we love, being part of them, having them be there for us, sharing our lives with each other, giving and receiving love.
  • The pain and suffering of victim. This is compensation for the pain suffered by the deceased, between the time of the injury, and his or her passing.

These are just some of the damages that may be available. Oklahoma also allows punitive or exemplary damages in extreme cases.  These are financial damages designed to punish extremely dangerous behavior, and to serve as an example to others.

When fatal injuries are caused by a negligent truck driver, the victim’s spouse, parents, and children may be able to file a claim. Our Oklahoma wrongful death attorneys at Ervin & Ervin can help you understand what options are available to you.

Call us today at (918) 994-0880 to discuss your potential case.