As the beneficiaries of a wrongful death award in a civil lawasuit, the deceased victim's survivors can receive monetary damages for sorrow; mental anguish; loss of solace (e.g., companionship, comfort, guidance, advice); lost income, services, protection, care and assistance. Damage awards may also constitute compensation for medical treatment, hospital, and funeral expenses incurred by the plaintiffs as a result of the defendant's negligence and before the victim's death.
Last, punitive damages may be awarded to the beneficiaries in a wrongful death case to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from acting similarly. However, such exemplary penalties can only be assessed If the actions of the person who caused the victim's wrongful death can be shown to have been willful, wanton or extraordinarily reckless.
Punitive damages are awarded in addition to any other types of wrongful death damages and monetary compensation.
For more information about wrongful death claims in Virginia, consider reading through the following articles written by my firm’s experienced wrongful death attorneys:
- How long do I have to file a lawsuit for a wrongful death claim against the driver who caused the wreck?
- My wife was severely injured in a Virginia (VA) car wreck caused by a drunk driver, and she died from injury-related complications more than a year after the accident occurred. Can I still bring a wrongful death suit against the drunk driver?
- How are Virginia wrongful death claims handled in court?