According to Alaska’s wrongful death statute, claims must be brought by the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate.
Damages Paid to Family Members
Damages in a wrongful death case are typically expressed as a single monetary amount, and are intended for the benefit of the surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased. These damages may compensate survivors for many different types of losses, including:
- Loss of pecuniary benefits. Beneficiaries may be compensated for losing an expected inheritance.
- Lost wages. The victim’s spouse and children may receive compensation for the wages the deceased would have likely earned had he survived.
- Expenses associated with the victim’s injuries and death. Survivors may be compensated for medical bills, emergency care, funeral, and burial expenses.
- Grief and anguish. Statutory beneficiaries may be compensated for their emotional suffering, due to the loss of their family member.
- Loss of child and spousal support. If the victim would have provided financial assistance to his beneficiaries, they may be able to recover the funds they likely would have received had the deceased lived.
- Loss of consortium. The victim’s spouse and children may be compensated for their loss of care, comfort, and guidance resulting from his death.
- Pain and suffering prior to death. If the victim experienced pain and suffering before he died, his beneficiaries may receive compensation.
- Punitive damages. If the party responsible for the victim’s death displayed a willful disregard for the safety of the deceased, his beneficiaries may be entitled to punitive damages.
Damages Paid to the Estate
If the deceased did not have any dependants, damages may be paid to the estate directly. However, the estate’s recovery will be limited to pecuniary losses. These losses are calculated by subtracting the estate’s actual value at the time of death from the estimated future value of the estate, had the deceased not died.
You Need an Attorney
If you’ve lost a loved one in a vehicle accident, you need professional representation by an experienced attorney to get the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.