Death is inevitable. But when death comes at the hands of someone acting violently, negligently or irresponsibly, the loss of a loved one becomes even harder to handle. In addition to the emotional pain and suffering that comes with losing a family member, there are financial costs. Funeral costs, loss of income and other bills can quickly add up and create serious financial hardship. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be one way to not only hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions, but also to gain the financial security needed to move forward.
In January 2010, a Pennsylvania man crashed his truck into a vehicle after having more than 30 drinks during and after a hockey game. The crash killed three people in the other car, including a 22-year-old man, a 52-year-old woman and a 45-year-old woman. The plaintiffs of the wrongful death lawsuit named at least nine defendants, including the arena where the hockey game was played and two bars. In total, nine defendants were ordered to pay $12.7 million in compensation to the victims’ families, making it one of the largest settlements in Pennsylvania history resulting from a drunk driving case.
Even though no amount of money will ever bring back a lost loved one, money is the only thing the law can provide in terms of compensation for the injury suffered. In addition to the money, however, bringing a wrongful death lawsuit can be important in making a public statement and holding negligent parties liable for their actions. It can also help to provide families with a sense of closure and the comfort of knowing that they are fighting for their relatives’ rights.
Experienced wrongful death attorneys have knowledge about how to estimate damages and costs in order to determine the compensation to be sought. Damages may include loss of earnings or income over time, loss of companionship, pain and suffering and funeral and medical expenses.
Source: Reading Eagle, “$12.7 million settlement in fatal 2010 DUI crash,” Ford Turner, Nov. 8, 2013