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What are pecuniary damages in a wrongful death suit?

Wrongful death suits are always some of the most personally painful for plaintiffs, because no matter what happens, someone they love dearly has been lost forever. However, if you believe your loved one died because of the actions or negligence of another person, the law provides a path through which you can pursue justice.

While no amount of money can ever make up for the loss of your loved one, monetary compensation is the best form of justice that the law can offer in civil lawsuit (as opposed to a criminal case, where some party is charged with a crime). Usually, civil damages are calculated using practical figures associated with the decedent's earnings during their lifetime and their potential earnings, had their life not been tragically cut short.

However, in some cases, you may be able to pursue monetary compensation even if a person was employed. These damages are known as pecuniary damages, and reflect the intangible value that a relationship provides, like nurturing, companionship, guidance and various services. A common example of such a relationship might be a parent or spouse who stays at home instead of holding a job. While the monetary value of such a relationship is not easy to quantify, it is possible, and certainly deserves to be attempted.

It is impossible to know how your wrongful death claim should be approached without considering the specifics of your case. No matter what your circumstances may be, you deserve to have them professionally evaluated by a competent, experienced attorney. With proper guidance, you can protect your rights and seek justice for the loved one you lost.

Source: findlaw, "Wrongful Death FAQ," accessed March 03, 2017

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