What Categories of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?


It can be devastating when you realize that your loved one’s death could have been prevented with proper medical care (in the healthcare setting) or proper care (in other settings such as the workplace, a commercial property, etc.). If you believe your loved one has died as the result of the actions or omissions of their health care providers or other individuals, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Read on to understand the various categories of wrongful death damages that you can recover.

Under Pennsylvania’s wrongful death statute, there are two main categories of compensation: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are quantifiable, the exact figure can be established with documentation. Non-economic damages are not quantifiable – they are more of a subjective assessment of the sad consequences of a birth injury. Read on for the list of categories of compensation that your wrongful death lawyers in Philadelphia can win for you:


Lost wages. If your deceased loved one was working and earning wages at the time of their death, you may be able to recover lost wages – that is, the wages that your loved one can no longer earn, in addition to the value of work-related benefits.  

Medical expenses. This category of compensation is related to the bills from the hospital, doctors, physical therapist, pharmacy, and any other healthcare service or provider that are related to your loved one’s death.

Burial/funeral costs. Burial, funeral, and all costs related to interment may be compensated. 

Estate administration costs. When someone dies, their property becomes an estate. The estate has to be administered which could include paying utilities, storage, monthly housing fees, and taxes related to the decedent’s property, as well as paying the person who is in charge of making all these payments from the estate.

Costs of living. These are the costs that the decedent would have spent to support their family members had they not died. These costs may include food, clothing, shelter, transportation, education, and recreation.


Loss of companionship, comfort, and society. Sometimes referred to as “loss of consortium,” this describes the loss of the benefits of having someone in your life. For a spouse of the decedent, this may include the loss of companionship, cooperation, affection, comfort, services, assistance, sexual relations, and emotional support. For a parent of a child who died, this may include the loss of the opportunity to witness certain milestones like walking, talking, riding a bike, and playing sports. For the child of a parent who died, this may include the loss of the deceased parent’s guidance, training, advice, education, care, comfort, moral upbringing, and emotional support.  

Pain and suffering. This category refers to the physical and emotional pain and suffering that the decedent underwent after the negligent action and before their actual death. Some pain is obvious because it’s accompanied by moans, groans, and/or winces; other pain is invisible because it’s experienced internally, but it is no less significant.

It goes without saying that no amount of money will take away the sadness you feel when your loved one dies. But, with the right wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia, you can at least rest assured that you will get the most compensation possible for your case.

If you believe your loved one has died as the result of someone else’s actions or inactions, contact VSCP Law at www.vscplaw.com.


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