The wrongful death statutes in Rhode Island allow the family of a deceased person to bring a lawsuit in the victim’s name. A representative of the deceased (typically a surviving spouse or child) stands in for the victim and brings the claim against the defendant. A wrongful death lawsuit can stem from any type of personal injury claim that is the result of another person’s negligence, such as: auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, and more.
DAMAGES IN A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT
Calculating the damages in a wrongful death case can be a complex matter. Relevant considerations include:
- The age and life expectancy of the victim
- His or her earning capacity and loss of future earnings
- If there are children left behind the Courts will consider the loss of parental guidance and potential inheritance
- Loss of emotional support
- Outstanding medical and funeral expenses
It is also important to know that the House of Representatives in Rhode Island voted to approve a bill which amends the wrongful death statute to allow parents to make a claim for loss of parental society and companionship even if the child is over the age of 18 and no longer a minor.
The truth is no lawsuit will ever compensate for the loss of a family member and loved one. It is, however, important to understand your rights and contact an attorney who can help the family get their feet back on the ground.
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