When a loved one dies unexpectedly in an accident, it can have a devastating effect on the rest of the family. If that person died due to someone else’s fault or negligence, it could be even worse. The pain and loss are increased substantially, as well as grief.
Most families, despite their grief, file a wrongful death lawsuit against the guilty party. It’s the best and, sometimes, the only way to get compensated for the enormous loss. That leads to the question; who gets the money in a wrongful death lawsuit?
If a person or organization’s negligent actions are the cause of your loved one’s death, they are liable for damages. In such a case, a wrongful death suit should be filed to recoup the severe damages incurred by the deceased’ family.
It’s best to speak with Mike Mahone, a professional wrongful death attorney in New Orleans, for a free no-obligation case evaluation to fully understand your next steps of action.
Where Does the Money From A Wrongful Death Suit Go?
Keep in mind that, depending on what happened, there may be entities that need to be paid first. The hospital, for example, and the funeral home. These bills, in most states, must be paid before you.
Next, if there is any money left (most times there is), the widow or widower will be awarded the rest. If there is no spouse, the deceased’s children receive the money (or their heirs). Usually, when this occurs, the funds will be distributed based on the deceased’s will.
Lastly, if no kin are left behind, statutes go into effect that determine where the money will go. Also, attorney fees are paid for services rendered.
The money from a wrongful death suit is distributed to medical entities and funeral homes first. The rest of the funds are then awarded to the surviving family members. Often the distribution is based on the deceased person’s last will and testament.
What Determines The Amount of Damages Paid in a Wrongful Death Suit?
The settlement on a wrongful death suit varies from one case to another, sometimes significantly. Below are the most common reasons that juries will award a settlement. They are, more or less, in order of importance:
- The Loss of Financial Support
- The Loss of a Parent and Their Care, Guidance, and Love
- The Loss of Household Services
- The Number of Medical Expenses
- The Amount of Burial Expenses
- Any Attorney’s Fees To Bring the Suit To Trial
If you would like to find out more about wrongful death suits and settlements or have questions about your legal rights, please call the law offices of personal injury lawyer Mike Mahone for a free case evaluation.