The death of a loved one is never easy, but it can be especially difficult when the loved one was killed due to the actions of another person. For example, a person in Louisiana could be killed by a negligent driver in a car crash, through an act of medical malpractice by a physician or even due to a criminal act. When this happens, the victim’s family may want to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the party responsible for the victim’s death. Through this type of lawsuit, the victim’s family can pursue damages, specifically, pecuniary damages.
Pecuniary damages are a type of financial award that could be granted if a person is successful in a wrongful death suit. There are a variety of types of pecuniary damages. For example, medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of inheritance and loss of support are all types of pecuniary damages.
The amount of pecuniary damages awarded will be what the jury and judge believes is fair and just. When determining what is fair and just, the court will consider a number of factors. Some of these factors are the victim’s age, the victim’s earning capacity, the victim’s health and how smart the victim was, among other things. In the end though, the ultimate focus is usually on the victim’s circumstances when he or she passed away. Take, for instance an adult who provided the primary source of income in their household and had children. The losses due to that person’s death might include lost of parental guidance, lost income and perhaps even the loss of potential future earnings.
This is only a brief overview of pecuniary damages that may be awarded in a wrongful death action. An attorney can provide more information on this subject to interested clients.
Source: FindLaw, “Wrongful Death Overview,” accessed Dec. 26, 2017