Any civil lawsuit can also include a wrongful death claim when the defendant’s actions or inactions resulted in the death of a loved one. When an individual dies as a result of the negligence or wrongful act of another, the victim’s close family may bring a wrongful death claim against that individual.
Both Iowa and Illinois have enacted wrongful death statutes. In both states, only certain loved ones are allowed to bring this cause of action. The claim is usually limited to the spouse, parent, child, or personal representative of the deceased’s estate.
It is hard to put a monetary value on the loss of a loved one. Juries are therefore allowed to award damages for anything that they deem fair and just. This may include compensation for what the deceased would have contributed in the future, including loss of income and services. Other common damages include medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, and pain and suffering. As part of the wrongful death claim, a surviving spouse may also have a loss of consortium claim. Under this claim, the loved one may recover damages for loss of support, companionship, and sexual relations. Due to the incomprehensible harm caused, juries tend to award large monetary verdicts for wrongful death claims.