Funeral Expenses in a Wrongful Death Claim

The unexpected loss of a loved one is devastating, especially in cases where the death could have been preventable. When someone else’s negligence is to blame, the surviving family should not have to wonder how to shoulder the terrible financial burden.

A wrongful death lawsuit can help obtain financial compensation for the tragic loss you and your family have suffered, including funeral expenses.

According to data handled in 2021, the average cost of a funeral with wake and burial is approximately $7,848, while a funeral with cremation is close to $6,971. These figures don’t include cemetery fees like buying a headstone or reserving a space, which can quickly add up to around $2,000.

These estimates are only based on the most common services, such as removal of remains, body preparation, and a casket or vault.

If the wrongful death claim is successful, you may be able to recover all reasonable funeral expenses, which typically include the following:

  • Fees for basic services
  • Cremation fee
  • Cremation drawer
  • Urn
  • Transfer of the deceased to the funeral home
  • Embalming preparation of the body
  • Rental of facilities for the wake and ceremony
  • Commemorative package (for example, printed material, prayer cards)
  • Casket (metal, not wood)

Other potentially recoverable costs include ordering a death certificate, burial plot, catering, reception rental charges, any surcharges, and posting an obituary. However, these costs must be reasonable. For example, an insurer or court believes that people attending a funeral reception should be fed, but a $5,000 catering bill may be considered unreasonable.

An attorney can guide you through the process. They will gather the necessary evidence to show that the negligence of the at-fault party is responsible for your loved one’s death, as well as the necessary documentation to establish your losses related to funeral expenses and other recoverable costs.