No amount of money can compensate for the pain of losing a loved one. Nonetheless, the surviving family of a deceased can seek damages if the death was wrongful. Those who successfully bring a wrongful death lawsuit can receive economic and noneconomic damages. But what exactly are these damages?
Courts can award tangible and intangible damages
As the name suggests, economic damages are those expenses that already have value and the courts can easily compute through receipts, pay stubs and other documentary proof.
On the other hand, noneconomic damages refer to the intangible damages caused to the decedent and their family. There is no set formula for measuring noneconomic damages and the court and jury are expected to put a monetary value on them based on the available circumstances.
Under Oregon laws on wrongful death, these damages specifically include the following:
- Medical bills, including hospital charges, doctor fees and other costs for medical services
- Burial and funeral service expenses
- Compensation for the decedent’s disability, pain, suffering, and loss of income between their injury and death
- Compensation for monetary loss to the decedent’s estate
- Compensation for the family’s loss of society, companionship and services of the decedent and pecuniary loss
- Punitive damages, if any, the law entitles the decedent would have been entitled to recover if they had lived
For these damages, the law expects the courts to award compensation that would be just, fair and reasonable.
Seeking answers for your wrongful death lawsuit
A loved one’s wrongful death leaves family members with so much uncertainty. On top of dealing with their grief, they would have to face the confusing legal terms and processes of a wrongful death lawsuit. Nevertheless, available resources and a knowledgeable legal representative can guide anyone going through this situation and find answers to their questions.