What are “intangible damages” after the loss of a loved one in Virginia?
If your loved one passed away as the result of another person’s reckless or malicious actions, a wrongful death claim can provide survivors with resources to help them through this difficult time.
It’s deeply painful when someone close to you dies, and nothing can ever make up for your loss. Further, it’s impossible to place a monetary value on a human life.
That’s why one of the most challenging aspects of a wrongful claim is determining intangible damages. But looking at the way that your loved one influenced the lives of the people around her can make it easier to fully appreciate the magnitude of your loss.
In Virginia, the law provides the following types of wrongful death damages:
- ANY SORROW, MENTAL ANGUISH, AND LOSS OF SOLACE SUFFERED BY THE BENEFICIARIES. SOLACE MAY INCLUDE SOCIETY, COMPANIONSHIP, COMFORT, GUIDANCE, KINDLY OFFICES, AND ADVICE OF THE DECEDENT;
- ANY REASONABLY EXPECTED LOSS IN INCOME OF THE DECEDENT SUFFERED BY THE BENEFICIARIES;
- ANY REASONABLY EXPECTED LOSS OF SERVICES, PROTECTION, CARE, AND ASSISTANCE WHICH THE DECEDENT PROVIDED TO THE BENEFICIARIES;
- ANY EXPENSE FOR THE CARE, TREATMENT, AND HOSPITALIZATION OF THE DECEDENT INCIDENT TO THE INJURY RESULTING IN HIS DEATH; AND
- REASONABLE FUNERAL EXPENSES.
What are non-economic damages?
There are two types of damages in a wrongful death claim: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are verifiable monetary losses that result from the death of a loved one. This includes funeral expenses, medical bills related to the accident, loss of future earnings, loss of financial support, and the economic value of domestic services that were provided by your loved one.
Non-economic damages, also known as intangible damages, refer to all the ways that your loved one improved the lives of the people around her and the various ways that survivors will be psychologically and emotionally harmed by this loss.
Of course, non-economic losses are subjective. Everyone experiences grief and loss in their own way. The pain, sorrow, and mental anguish that results from losing someone close to you is magnified when you consider the ways she contributed to your daily life:
- Joy in living
- Emotional support
How do intangible damages affect a wrongful death claim?
The time we spend with the people we care about is an invaluable gift that can never be replaced. Losing a loved one causes permanent damage. Surviving family members often seek professional grief counseling as they attempt to put the pieces of their lives back together.
Recognizing the supportive role that a loved one played in your life helps us comprehend what has been lost. That’s why it’s important to point out unique things about the deceased and the many ways she touched the lives of others. This includes her:
- Life goals
- Community involvement
Can GibsonSingleton help me after the wrongful death of a loved one?
Wrongful death is caused by the careless or cruel acts of another. It may be the result of a motor vehicle accident, a workplace incident, medical malpractice, physical violence, or some other type of senseless behavior.
At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we’ve dedicated our practice to helping people who were carelessly harmed and their loved ones. My partner Ken Gibson and I use our legal backgrounds to help our friends and neighbors in Virginia. We provide our “big city experience, small town care” approach to all our clients.
At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we won’t charge you anything unless we win your case – it’s our Zero Fee Guarantee. And your initial consultation with us is always FREE.
Call us at (804) 413-6777 to learn more today.
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Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.