Punitive Damage vs Compensatory Benefits in Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death cases involve recovering damages for death caused due to the action of another. There are two types of damages that are recoverable in wrongful death lawsuits. Knowing about the two is essential when seeking compensation for wrongful death of your loved one.

Here we will explain the two types of damages so that you can have a realistic expectation about the compensation amount recoverable in a wrongful death case.

Compensatory Benefits

Compensatory benefits are given to compensate the victims for physical and psychological pain and financial losses that occur due to the injury caused by another person. The benefits cover everything from loss of income to medical expenses that can be quantified.

In addition, emotional suffering caused due to the accident can also be a part of the compensatory benefits. The former is known as economic benefits while the latter is known as non-economic benefits.
The following table represents some of the economic and losses that typically occur due to a wrongful death case and which are included in the compensatory benefits.

  • Income Loss — Compensation provided to the family for the loss of income due to the death of the victim.
  • Medical Treatment — Compensation provided to the victim’s family for medical expenses associated with the accident
  • Legal Fees — Legal expense incurred in filing a lawsuit

And here are the non-economic losses that are included in the compensatory benefits for wrongful death cases.

  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Loss of enjoyment

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are awarded to punish a person for wrongful actions that resulted in someone else’s death. The aim of the punitive damage is not to compensate another person but to punish someone for the reckless or wrongful act. The punitive damages are awarded in a wrongful death case in the event of intentional or unintentional disregard for the health and safety of another.

Generally, the court dismisses the cases involving punitive damages. They are awarded only in rare cases such as due to defective products that resulted in the death of a person. Usually, they are awarded to the automobile companies and sometimes food manufacturing companies.

The judgment for punitive damage is generally reserved for the worst of actions that had resulted in multiple deaths. The objective of punitive damage is to punish the offenders, and deterring others from engaging in the same action in future.

Effective Legal Help Just a Call Away

Has your close family member died due to intentional or negligent behavior of another person? If so, you should contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Orange County. A qualified attorney can help you in fulfilling the complex legal requirements in wrongful death cases. Also, the attorney will help you in collective evidence that results in maximum possible compensation amount.

For a free, obligation consultation regarding wrongful death cases in Santa Ana, or throughout Southern California, you can contact Shield Litigation, LLP by calling (714) 728-3385. We can help you provide the best representation of all types of wrongful death cases.