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"A wrongful death lawsuit is the legal term applied to a lawsuit that claims that someone died as a result of the negligent, wrongful and/or intentional acts of another. The lawsuit consists of two parts, a survival action and a wrongful death action. The survival action allows recovery for the deceased persons injuries until death. These damages may include conscious pain and suffering, medical bills up until death, and any lost wages from injury up until death. Punitive damages may also be recoverable. Any proceeds recoverable under this part of the case will get distributed to the heirs in accordance with the deceased person's Will. If their is no Will, there is a law which determines how much each heir can recover.
The wrongful death action is the part of the case that allows the heirs of the deceased to recover for their losses that are associated with the death. These losses typically include the economic value of the loss of guidance, advice, support as well as lost companionship and security. Lost wages are also recoverable. However, the mental anguish for losing a loved one is not recoverable under this act. Some examples of these economic losses are:
*Lost earnings of the deceased person
*Lost care, guidance, advice and support
*Lost inheritance in some cases
*Hospital expenses after death
*Lost prospective earning capacity
*Lost value of household chores
*NOT RECOVERABLE: grief, mental anguish, etc...
Wrongful death recovery is not part of the estate and is distributed without regard to decedents' Last Will and Testament. In addition, wrongful death proceeds are not taxable. The survival proceeds are part of the decedents estate and their may be tax consequences involved for the estate."