The damages in a wrongful death case tend to be more non-economic than economic. This is because it has to deal less with tangible items and more with emotional/ psychological stress. To determine the amount of damages to be awarded the survivor of the deceased, the court will consider factors such as the relationship with the deceased, the net income of the deceased as well as the life expectancy of all parties.
In relationships, a surviving spouse may recover compensation for the loss of the companionship and protection and also, for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
Each survivor may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, with interest, and future loss of support and services from the date of death, reduced to present value.
In addition, the survivor gets reimbursed for the medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death.
With a wrongful death case, the court may also decide to impose punitive damages. Punitive damages are appropriate in situations where a party acted either purposefully with malicious intent or negligently which led to the wrongful death. The punitive damages serve to discipline the offending party as well as discourage such behavior from others in the future.