When you lose a loved one because of another person's negligence or misdeeds, the overwhelming sense of loss can be unbearable. There is nothing you can do to make your life the same, and of course, no way to bring back your loved one. Once the grief has become less acute, though, you may begin wonder if there is some recourse to be had for the acts that resulted in your loved one's death.
The answer is yes, there is something that can be done. Unfortunately, however, the only legal recourse is monetary. Monetary damages do not restore life to the way it once was, but they are designed to achieve certain social and policy goals. They also may help to bring a modicum of closure to a tragic situation.
Whether the death was caused by a tragic accident resulting from a negligent or unintentional act, or it was caused by a deliberate act, the family of a victim whose death was caused by another's actions can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The damages that are available in a wrongful death suit revolve around the victim's absence in the life of the family. The technical terms for such absence is "loss of companionship." Pain and suffering, as well as any financial costs the family is bearing because of the death may also be sought.
If the act was particularly egregious, the family may also seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer and prevent such actions from happening in the future. A wrongful death suit will not bring back a loved one or return things to normal, but with the help of experienced attorneys like those at The Law Firm of Leisawitz Heller, a family may be able to gain some closure.