How Much Can You Sue For Wrongful Death?
Each case is different, which explains why there is no average verdict amount or wrongful death settlement. In some instances, the decedent’s family may receive ten million dollars, while in some cases, the family receives less than one million.
You can never compare different cases because no case is precisely similar to the other. There are cases where people get their settlement before the court case while others go to the trial. You can hire Jones Wilson Injury Lawyers for car accident lawyer to help you file a wrongful death lawsuit. The amount you receive as compensation largely depends on the factors explained in this article.
How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Works
The law defines wrongful death as death due to one person’s negligence or reckless behavior. Wrongful death cases can occur at the workplace or elsewhere, although they are more common in car accidents. In such a case, the other driver’s mistakes cause the crash that ends up killing your loved one.
After losing someone close to you, it can feel awkward to think of money. No sum of money can replace your departed child, spouse, or relative. Many states allow you to seek compensation if your loved one suffers a wrongful death.
Calculating the Amount of Money You Have Lost or Could Lose as a Result of the Death of Your Loved One
Below are the financial losses for which you could get compensated:
- Future financial support. It is for the family members who used to depend on the deceased for financial aid. Death gives such people a heavy financial blow as they don’t know how to survive in the coming days. The law dictates that they should get compensated with an amount equal to what they would reasonably expect from their deceased kin.
- Household service value. It applies to spouses performing specific daily house duties, for instance, a wife cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry. After their death, the husband will have to get someone who can get paid to do the same. According to the law, he should get compensated for these unforeseen expenses.
- The law also dictates that there should be compensation for the lost benefits and gifts the relatives would get if their loved one had lived.
- Compensation for the cost incurred during the funeral and burial.
- Expenses related to medical care before death
- The suffering and pain experienced by the decedent preceding their death
- The income the decedent could have earned
- Other damages that the jury could decide to award
Analyze The Intangible Losses.
According to the wrongful death legislation in California, your family can get compensated for the psychological devastation caused by the loss.
Here are the emotional losses it covers;
- The lost moral support
- Loss of sexual relationship
- Lost attention
- Loss of guidance
- Loss of affection
- Loss of companionship
How To Calculate Awards
Calculating the amount you will likely get after a wrongful death litigation may not be easy. Clear-cut financial numbers include expenses incurred at the funeral and the medical bill incurred by the decedent before they died.
The other payments come due to pain and suffering, among other issues, which can only get negotiated between the responsible party’s insurance provider and your family.
In matters like establishing the amount of money the decedent may have earned at work moving forward, your legal consultants will apply an estimate according to the number of years the departed may have worked at their current workplace.
What Can Lower Your Settlement Amount?
Below are some easy-to-understand reasons that could make you get less than the amount you anticipate in the settlement:
- The deceased may have participated in their death as some cases are not black and white, and chances are that some victims may be negligent. For instance, they may not have applied the turn signal as they were riding their bicycle. In this case, they could have easily been run over by a large truck behind them since the driver did not expect the deceased to stop. It is a case where to some extent, your loved one is to blame for the collision, so the compensation amount will get reduced by the percentage at which they are at fault.
- You may have waited for too long before you file the lawsuit. For example, according to the law in California, the deceased’s family members have two years (starting from the day the death occurred) to initiate the process. Failure to which they get no money in the settlement.
If you are not working with an experienced attorney, you must understand that the wrongful death lawsuit is unlike other legal issues; it has unique legal and factual hurdles. It will be an excellent idea for you to work with a lawyer who clearly understands the relevant laws to maximize the money your family gets.