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Receiving noneconomic damages for your loved one’s death

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2018 | Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Semitruck Accident Injuries |

Your family suffers a devastating loss after your loved one dies due to a drunk driver in Oklahoma City. You know that no amount of economic or noneconomic damages could ever remedy your grief, but you feel that you deserve some compensation for your loved one’s death. Assuming a court finds the driver negligent, which may not prove difficult if the driver was under the influence of alcohol, your family can receive maximum damages.

When trying to obtain significant compensation for the expenses related to your family member’s death, you want to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney. Wrongful death attorneys can significantly increase your chances of receiving the most generous damages related to your devastating loss. Further, when you need noneconomic, emotional loss damages from the individual that ended your family member’s life, you may wish to seek the advice of an attorney to better determine your rights to exact benefits. Do not attempt to retrieve compensation from insurance companies or individuals alone.

Your rights to economic and noneconomic damages

Oklahoma law states that no cap exists on the amount of economic damages that a court can award to you after your loved one’s death. Economic damages are usually quantified by reviewing damage reports of property as well as adding up the costs of medical bills and funeral arrangements.

Economic damages help put your family and those that paid for expenses related to your family member’s death back to their original monetary state. The court recognizes that, but for this tragic accident, you would not have had to pay significant costs in life-sustaining expenses or burial arrangements.

Noneconomic damages, however, do not hold any specific monetary value. These damages include the effects of your emotional loss and burden due to the driver’s actions and death of your family member. The court will quantify intangible damages, to the best of its ability, including:

  • Pain
  • Suffering
  • Loss of society
  • Loss of care or assistance
  • Loss of guidance or counsel
  • Loss of education or training
  • Mental anguish

Determining noneconomic damages in Oklahoma

When a court determines, with a presentation of evidence, that the driver acted with negligence against your family member, no cap will exist on the amount of noneconomic damages awarded to you. You must prove that the driver acted with:

  1. Reckless disregard for the safety of your family member
  2. Gross negligence against your family member
  3. Fraud against your family member; or
  4. Intentional actions against your family member

When an individual is convicted of wrongful death due to their intoxication and operation of a vehicle, a court may easily find that the driver acted with reckless disregard for your family member’s life, and you may receive high noneconomic damages.