What Damages Are Recoverable by the Estate?

Categories: Wrongful Death

Woman Grieving

Wrongful Death Attorneys Assisting Families Recover Losses

After the loss of a loved one, you and family members may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages. However, it is important that you understand that every estate’s circumstances are different, and not all damages are recoverable in wrongful death lawsuits.

Therefore, it is best that you consult with a Washington personal injury law firm before assuming that you can recover all damages associated with the loss of your loved one.

Some Damages the Estate May Recover

1. Health Care Costs and Funeral Expenses

The cost of medical treatments that the deceased received prior to death is recoverable by the estate. However, this only includes those that were reasonable, necessary, and directly related to the injury or illness that caused death. Sometimes, these health care expenses are extremely high due to trauma procedures and life-saving surgeries. Most of the time, insurers will have claims against the personal injury lawsuit to collect on the costs that they covered for the deceased.

Also, funeral expenses are a recoverable damage for the deceased’s estate. This includes all reasonable burial and funeral costs, including the casket, transportation of the body, cremation costs, mortuary services, grave site costs, and more.

2. Lost Earnings

Lost earnings are a very complex form of damages that the estate may receive. However, it is important to note that the estate may not be able to recover all lost net earnings, and it is likely the defense will contest a majority of the claim amount.

Lost earnings apply to the projected amount of money that the deceased would have earned during his or her working years. A personal injury attorney calculates this amount by taking the money the deceased would have used for personal consumption from gross earnings over his or her lifetime. Usually, a Washington injury lawyer consults an economist or accountant for an official calculation of lost warnings.

There are facts that may support contesting these values, which is why it is critical that an estate have the correct value the first time. However, in some cases, these values could be extremely high – sometimes in the millions if the individual had a high-earning position.

3. Pre-Death Pain and Suffering

The estate may be able to collect pain and suffering if there is evidence showing that he or she suffered before death. These damages are typically only allowed if there is a surviving spouse or child, and they are not for the estate’s benefit.

Consult with a Washington Wrongful Death Attorney

The only way to truly know what damages an estate is entitled to is to consult with a wrongful death attorney. If you have lost a loved one, and you would like to explore your options for a wrongful death lawsuit, contact the team at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, PLLC.

Our wrongful death attorneys understand the pain you and your loved ones are going through, and you should not have to deal with the financial burden of loss. Contact our offices for a free case evaluation at 800-925-1875 or request an appointment online.

Author Photo

Matt Conner

Matt Conner, a distinguished attorney at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, brings a unique blend of financial and legal expertise to his practice. Graduating with a double major in mathematics and economics from Willamette University, he initially honed his analytical skills as an economist for the State of Oregon. Specializing in personal injury law, Matt is adept at handling a wide array of cases, including multiparty litigation against large entities, and claims involving gun violence, sexual and police misconduct, car accidents, traumatic brain injuries, and wrongful death. Admitted to the Washington State Bar in 2014, he is known for his tenacious advocacy and deep compassion for clients facing life-altering challenges. His approach is not just about legal representation; it’s about restoring lives.