Can I Get Compensatory Damages If a Family Member Died?

By Chris Dixon


When a family member dies because of another person’s negligence it can be difficult to navigate the process for recovering damages. In most cases, the surviving family members of the deceased are eligible to recover compensatory damages for the accident, but the type of damages and amount vary from case to case. An experienced lawyer can analyze your case to determine if you are eligible to file a claim, whether you can get compensatory damages, and provide a potential outcome for your wrongful death case.

What are Compensatory Damages?

Settlements can be comprised of many different types of damages, but the most commonly awarded damages are compensatory damages. Compensatory damages generally include “general damages” or “special damages,” which often includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering damages, and funeral and burial expenses, but in some cases a victim’s family can recover punitive damages for the accident in addition to compensatory damages. It can be difficult to know the true value of a victim’s wrongful death case, but hiring an experienced lawyer to represent your case determines whether you can get compensatory damages, protects your rights to file a claim, and provides a potential outcome for your case.

Who is Eligible to Recover Compensatory Damages if Someone Dies?

Personal injury laws are different for every state, but in most states in the U.S., immediate family members are eligible to get compensatory damages if a family member dies. The most common people that can recover damages with a valid wrongful death claim includes:

  • Spouses or life partners
  • Children or designated heirs
  • Parents of the deceased
  • Grandparents
  • Siblings

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to recover compensatory damages, an experienced lawyer can determine your eligibility to obtain compensation, create a personalized plan for recovering damages, and provide support for you and your family throughout the wrongful death process.

How Long After a Family Member Dies Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death claims must meet certain requirements to be valid, the primary of which is to file according to a state’s statute of limitations. If you lost a family member because of another person’s negligence, it’s crucial to hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer to represent your case and explain your state’s wrongful death statute. Wrongful death laws are different for every state and can range from one to six years after the accident happened, which can often be confusing to the surviving family members of a victim when filing a claim. Hiring an experienced wrongful death lawyer to represent your case provides a detailed explanation of the wrongful death process, protects your right to file a claim for the victim’s pain and suffering, and ensures that your wrongful death case recovers the maximum amount of possible damages from the responsible party.

How Can a Lawyer Help Recover Compensatory Damages if a Family Member Died?

When a family member dies because of another person’s negligence it can be mentally and emotionally difficult to process. The wrongful death process requires a significant amount of focus and perserverance, plus adequate legal knowledge to recover full compensation. This can be stressful and take away from the grieving period that the surviving family members of a victim require after such a terrible loss if there isn’t an experienced lawyer representing the victim’s case.

Hiring an experienced wrongful death lawyer to represent your family member’s wrongful death case provides support during this difficult time, relieves the stress that comes with filing a claim alone, and ensures that evidence from the accident is preserved and the victim’s rights are protected from the negligent party involved. If you or someone you know is unsure whether they are eligible to get compensatory damages after a family member died, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to discuss your case and receive personalized legal advice about the wrongful death process.

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