A wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to the negligence of another person or party. A family member or another individual may initiate a wrongful death suit against one or more of the responsible parties for the fatality to retain damages. These damages are categorized as economic and non-economic.
Economic damages in a wrongful death suit typically include the decedent’s expected earnings, medical and funeral expenses, potential inheritance, pension benefits, the decedent’s care and maintenance, and services that the decedent would have provided. Non-economic damages in a wrongful death suit generally include physical pain, loss of guidance and protection, loss of comfort and companionship, loss of nurturing, and mental anguish.
There may also be punitive damages when the defendant’s actions were a special reckless or heinous. Punitive damages can be significant depending on the incident and their jurisdiction where the accident occurred in a wrongful death case. Punitive damages are really in a place to prevent the defendant from doing something similar again.
Sometimes, you may be able to recover money for attorney fees. This includes the fees during the entire legal action.
You Can’t Put a Price on a Life
It is extremely difficult to put value on a person’s life. Under the law, there are factors in place to attempt to determine the value of life. The factors used to determine the person’s value include the age of the decedent, the decedent’s earning capacity, the age of the decedent’s dependents, the value of lost benefits like a pension, funeral expenses, medical expenses, and the decedent’s training.
All around, the courts base the damages in a wrongful death case on objective evidence. This objective evidence often entails information given by accountants, qualified witnesses, and economists.
The Calculation of a Deceased’s Lost Wages
In order to calculate the number of a deceased’s earnings or wages, a certified economist is required. This professional will take into account the person’s education, career, age, and background in order to come up with a figure that the deceased would have earned. This professional comes up with a figure that the deceased would have given to his loved ones. At the same time, the defendant can dispute this figure. In the end, the jurors or judge will be the ones who should determine the most accurate figure to be given to the plaintiffs named in the wrongful death lawsuit. Then maybe other calculations besides savings and income. A value is put on care and services. This includes childcare, cooking, medical care, homemakers house cleaning, education, laundry and more.
Loss of Companionship, Anguish, and Pain
Another big component and calculating the value of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit include loss of companionship, pain, and anguish. This is typically for the surviving spouse, parents’ children, and siblings. A judge or jury will determine the value of love in these relationships.
Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death cases originate from a wide variety of acts. It includes everything from violent assaults to car accidents. It is a civil action with the intent of financial recovery from the party who was at full. Depending on the state, wrongful death actions play two roles. The first role is kind of like a personal injury lawsuit against the guilty party. A personal injury lawsuit that the decedent could have filed for turns into a wrongful death claim. The second role of a wrongful death claim is to cover the impact of loss for the surviving loved ones. Family members may be entitled to compensation for their loss of financial support and or companionship. A wrongful death claim is a complex legal process to undertake. It’s often wise to high an attorney to represent you in a wrongful death action.
The first thing your attorney will do is to investigate the incident to find out what parties were responsible for your loved one’s death. Keep in mind that negligence must be proven to the legal standard in order to win a wrongful death claim. An attorney will also uncover all of the parties responsible for the incident. In addition, a wrongful death attorney is experienced in how to value your claim. Most wrongful death claims range from $500,000 to 2 million.
The loss of a loved one can mean financial ruin for you and or your family. It is important that you use a legal professional who is skilled and experienced and wrongful death lawsuits. This way, you will get the money that you and your family deserve and need.
When a death could lead to financial ruin, be sure to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney. There’s no fee for a consultation with an attorney either. If you do sign up with an attorney, you’ll be assigned a contingency fee. And this fee is only payable if the attorney wins your wrongful death claim. All around, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by hiring a personal injury attorney for your wrongful death claim.