Understanding wrongful death compensation possibilities

After a wrongful death, family members may be able to pursue compensation for funeral expenses, mental anguish, medical expenses and service loss.

When a West Virginia resident loses a loved one, the loss can be hard to deal with for years to come. If the death was caused by an accidental injury on the road or at work, there may be a wrongful death claim available to those left behind. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 30.8 million emergency room visits for accidental injuries every year. Of these injuries, approximately 145,000 lead to death.

Funeral expenses

If a death happens due to illness or old age, the deceased may have made his or her own funeral arrangements. The person could have even set aside funeral funds. On the other hand, the family left behind after a sudden death may have to deal with an unplanned funeral. Because funeral expenses can be high, family members may be able to ask for compensation for reasonable funeral fees.

Mental anguishes

Losing a loved one suddenly can leave a person mentally drained. The sorrow and anguish felt after an accidental fatality could leave a person unable to function in his or her daily life. While this can be hard to quantify, it can include damages for the loss of the following:

  • Companionship
  • Advice
  • Comfort
  • Guidance

The decedent will not longer be there to help the family members through the ups and downs of life. Because of this potential life-altering state, the family may get compensated for grief.

Medical expenses

After an accident, a person may be hospitalized for an extended period of time before succumbing to his or her injuries. These medical bills can leave the surviving family in serious debt. Whether the person was hospitalized, had a series of emergency treatments or spent time in hospice, the expenses may qualify for compensation.

Service losses

Families often work as a unit. A husband and wife work together to create a family home for their children. If either of them dies in a workplace catastrophe, the family may no longer be able to make ends meet. For this reason, the income of the deceased may be considered when coming up with a compensation amount. Even if the decedent was a stay-at-home parent, his or her work in the home may be quantified to ensure the other spouse's income does not have to be eaten up by the newly necessary child care.

Families across West Virginia never know when a loved one may be taken from them in a sudden accident. No matter the exact situation of a death, it may be beneficial to work with an attorney familiar with this type of case to ensure the proper channels are investigated.