What Types of Damages Are Available in Hawaii Wrongful Death Claims?
It is a sad reality that some deaths are preventable. The same types of negligence that can lead to injury often lead to death. From slips and falls to car wrecks and medical malpractice, the actions or inactions of one person can cause the untimely death of another.
While there is no way to replace a loved one or fill the void that their death leaves, the state of Hawaii allows a representative of the deceased person to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the family and the estate.
The personal representative of the estate usually works with a personal injury attorney to file a wrongful death suit. In settlement negotiations or in court, your attorney works to prove the following types of damages:
- Funeral expenses. The law typically allows the estate to collect compensation for reasonable burial and funeral expenses from the person or party liable for the accident.
- Medical expenses. If your loved one received medical treatment for their injuries before their death, you may be able to collect damages to help cover these costs.
- Lost wages. If the deceased was unable to work between the time of the injury and their time of death, lost wages may be recoverable.
These damages are the types that the victim would have been entitled to bring a lawsuit for if they had survived (with the exception of funeral expenses). However, under Hawaii law, family members are also able to seek damages for their own losses, separate from the losses of the accident victim.
Compensation for personal losses after the death of a loved one are considered noneconomic damages, placing value on intangible elements that can’t be easily quantified. Children commonly make claims for the loss of parental care, advice, and training. Spouses make similar claims, while also seeking damages for the loss of comfort, consortium, society and companionship following the loss of a life partner.
Here at Shim & Chang, we work to get families the maximum compensation for wrongful death allowed under the law. If you have lost a loved one in the Honolulu area, call us at 808-524-5803 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney.