What is a surviving spouse entitled to recover in a wrongful death action?
Minneapolis personal injury lawyer Bill Tilton discusses how a surviving spouse can recover reasonable support costs that have been lost.
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A surviving spouse gets any – the reasonable value of the support, the aid, the comfort, the society that the deceased person would have provided, and so that can mean money. For example, in the Christiansen case I mentioned, he was a mid-30’s, high wage earner with a wife and two children who expected income in the future, and she had a right to recover for the lost income that they expected. Sometimes the issues are more subtle. It’s an elderly couple, person is retired, “But my husband was there to help me get up in the morning. My husband was there to accompany me and hug me at night and read to me,” and those cases can sometimes be as valuable, depending upon the circumstances, as someone who’s lost income, and so every case is different. A spouse has a special claim that other people don’t often and minor children have a special claim as well, but even adult children have a claim, and oftentimes, an out-of-pocket money loss claim that they don’t normally think of. So you gotta consult with a lawyer.