Types of Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit vary widely depending on the state. Many states have a limit or cap on the amount, especially when a case involves medical malpractice.

There are, in general, three damaged types available to survivors involved in a wrongful death lawsuit: economic, non-economic and punitive.


These take into account the amount of financial contribution a victim would have made to his or her survivors if they had not died. Some of the damages in this category include:

  • Any medical and funeral expenses that are directly related to the death
  • The loss of a victim’s expected earnings
  • Loss of inheritance caused by untimely death
  • Loss of benefits including medical coverage or pension plans
  • Value of services and goods that the victim would be likely to provide


These damages are not as tangible, but they have more value compared to economic damages. Some examples are:

  • Loss of the companionship and love offered by the deceased
  • Loss of nurturing, training, advice, guidance, protection, and care from the deceased person
  • Survivors’ suffering and pain or mental anguish


These are awarded to punish the responsible party, especially in cases where bad conduct or negligence is proven. Punitive damages are, not, however available in instances of wrongful death lawsuits, and neither recoverable from some defendants like government agencies. In instances involving elder abuse and death in nursing homes may receive treble damages. This means an amount that is three times the actual damages.

In some states, survivors may receive interest on the damages, covering the period from the time incurred to the collection. In other instances, survivors are reimbursed from the defendant the Tampa wrongful death lawyer fees and the costs involved in bringing the suit.

The CDC estimates that in 100,000 deaths, 41.3 are unintentional. Taking into consideration the complex nature of such deaths, it is often wise, or at least consult a wrongful death lawyer.


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