Q What kind of damages are there? Pain and suffering?
ANo, usually the law does not allow for recovery of damages for the pain and suffering of the person who died. In Virginia, the wrongful death statute, §8.01-52, is very specific about what types of damages are allowed in a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages generally fall into two categories: economic losses (expenses of last illness and funeral and burial expenses) and relationship losses, that is, the personal loss they have suffered because of the death of their loved one. The law provides that statutory beneficiaries can recover the following kinds of damages:
- their sorrow, mental anguish and solace
- loss of companionship, comfort, guidance and advice of the person who died
- reimbursement of medical expenses for the care and treatment of the decedent from the injury that resulted in the death
- reimbursement of funeral expenses, and
- compensation for the loss of future income the family member would have contributed.