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“Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit”

Peter Riley
March 2007

A wrongful death lawsuit is one in which the survivors of an individual killed as a result of the fault of someone else, whether it be an individual, business or corporation.  In Minnesota, blood relatives (referred to under the law as “next of kin”) are entitled to recover damages for their losses as a result of the death of their relative.  The damages include: 

1) The economic losses including medical and funeral expenses, as well as the loss of monetary support that the deceased person would have provided to the next of kin. 

Normally, this will include a spouse and children but may also include others whom the decedent supported, such as a former spouse or other relatives to whom the decedent provided financial support. 

2) Damages for the loss of the counsel, guidance and aid the decedent would have provided his or her children or other next of kin. 

3) The aid, comfort and love that the decedent provided to their spouse. 

4) Loss of future earnings the decedent would have provided to his family members. 

5) The loss of retirement or other benefits that the decedent would have accumulated had he or she not died.

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