When a loved one dies due to the negligent actions of another party, the emotional grief can be compounded by significant financial challenges. This is especially true when the deceased was an elderly parent who may have still been providing care, companionship, guidance or financial support to their adult children. If you lose an elderly mom or dad in Alabama due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover certain damages. A Montgomery personal injury lawyer will fight to secure justice on your behalf.
The first step is demonstrating that another party was legally liable for your parent’s death due to negligent behavior. Their actions, or failure to take reasonable actions, must have directly led to the accident or incident that caused the death. For example, liability may exist if your parent was killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, or a hospital patient passed away because of an error administering medication.
Once liability is established, the next step is identifying and calculating the types of damages that may be awarded in a successful Alabama wrongful death claim.
Loss of Support
Adult children who were financially dependent on the deceased parent, either wholly or partially, can potentially recover damages equal to the loss of expected future financial support. This includes college-aged students being supported by a parent, special needs children unable to provide their own support, or any other situation where the parent was clearly and legally obligated to provide financial maintenance.
Loss of Services
Children may also be compensated for the loss of typical services the parent would have continued providing. This can include household services like cooking, cleaning, laundry, yardwork or childcare. The value of lost services is calculated based on the scope of services provided and the fair market value to replace them.
Loss of Companionship
Most states allow wrongful death damages for loss of companionship, which reflects the value of all the positive benefits, joy and happiness brought to one’s life by the deceased parent. This acknowledges the profound emotional impact of losing a parent early due to another party’s negligence. The calculation is based on the closeness of the parent-child tie.
Pain and Suffering
If the parent experienced conscious pain and suffering in the time between injury and death, the estate can recover damages on the parent’s behalf. This acknowledges the physical and mental anguish experienced before passing. Damages depend on the nature, intensity and duration, which is something a wrongful death attorney from Monge & Associates can advise you on.
If negligence is heightened to an extreme level that warrants punishment, plaintiffs can potentially recover punitive damages meant to punish the liable party. Getting punitive damages depends on successfully demonstrating the negligent actions showed willful indifference for life or safety.
Funeral and Burial Expenses
When a loved one passes away in Alabama, funeral and burial costs can add further financial strain during an already difficult time. Note that reasonable, customary expenses for the parent’s funeral and burial can be included in the damages claim. Saving receipts for these costs is wise if considering a lawsuit.
We have offices in 32 locations and 19 states, including Alabama, Florida, and Colorado. If your elderly parent has died because of negligence caused by a nursing home or someone/something else, call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597.