The unexpected loss of a spouse, parent, child, or sibling is one of the hardest things a family has to endure. When this loss is due to the negligence or intentional act of another person, it can be especially hard.
Although financial losses are the main focus of a lawsuit following a wrongful death, families also need to make a financial recovery for the traumatic effects the loss has on the survivors. Even though loss of income and payment of medical bills should be the main focus of a wrongful death recovery, a financial figure should also be assigned to a family’s emotional losses.
How Wrongful Death Affects Relationships
Some of the ways in which surviving family members suffer relationship losses includes:
- Loss of love. Because death prohibits a person from providing their family with love and affection, the surviving family members are left unable to give and receive the same love they did before the accident, which is an intangible but significant loss.
- Loss of companionship. A special bond has been destroyed when a loved one is taken from this earth. For example, a spouse no longer has a significant other to share his or her day-to-day life with. They can no longer have dinner together, talk about their days together, or share common interests and activities together because the person is no longer there. As a result, one spouse loses the right to enjoy the other’s company, affection, support, and comfort.
- Loss of care. When a stay-at-home parent is taken from a family, for example, a household may have to look for another type of childcare service to raise young children. This is why a wrongful death claim needs to include these damages when appropriate.
- Loss of guidance and protection. When children lose their mom or dad, they suffer from the loss of parental guidance and protection. Children need their parents to guide them and teach them right from wrong as well as to provide them with some level of protection.
These aforementioned losses are often referred to as loss of society damages, in which families are entitled to collect compensation for losses that are not necessarily financial. Although there are limits on such loss of society damages, it is important that these damages are accounted for in a wrongful death lawsuit so that the family is compensated for the relationship they are deprived of. The fact of the matter is, when a loved one dies, the relationship no longer exists and surviving family members should collect for this heartbreaking loss.
The Value of Relationship Losses
Because every family is different and every death will cause unique losses to a family, there is not a set amount of money that is assigned to such relationship losses. Whether you are a homemaker, child, elderly, or are rich or poor, a lawyer can help determine the extent of your relationship loss and help you collect what you are entitled to.
This is why it is critical that surviving family members speak with a lawyer about these kinds of losses so that they are able to recover all of the damages related to the wrongful death. Although no amount of money can undo the fact that a loved one was taken too soon, making sure a family receives their full and fair compensation following a wrongful death is how our law firm stands up against such careless and negligent actions.
If another person’s dangerous actions caused the death of your family member and caused you to suffer emotionally as well as financially, we would be honored to speak with you and answer your questions in a complimentary consultation. Please reach out to us via our Contact Us form or by calling us at (703) 591-0067 to talk with a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney.