Wrongful Death Attorney
After an accident that resulted in a person’s death, the family of the deceased may consider a wrongful death lawsuit. Calculating the amount of damages is not always an easy task, because there are many factors to consider, such as the person’s age, financial status and income. It’s difficult to put a monetary value on someone’s life. No amount of money can ever make up for the loss of a family member, but survivors should be compensated for their loss.
Here are some of the types of damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit.
The economic damages associated with a person’s death include:
- Loss wages of the victim
- Loss of benefits, such as medical insurance or pension plan
- Medical expenses connected to the accident
- Funeral expenses
No-economic damages are harder to quantify but have value under a wrongful death claim. Loss of consortium is the legal word for the loss of a relationship. Although it usually applies to a spouse, it could also apply to children, who lose the care and protection of their parents. Non-economic damages could also include damages for the survivors’ pain and suffering.
Punitive damages are awarded to victims for especially bad negligence. Most states have strict rules and regulations about how punitive damages can be awarded. Most governmental agencies are protected against punitive damages. Thus, the victim nor the survivors can be awarded punitive damages from a government agency.
In some cases, the survivors can be reimbursed for their attorney’s fees and costs for bringing the lawsuit. It depends on the state where the lawsuit is filed. You may also ask for interest on the award from the time the accident occured.
How to Calculate Damages
Calculations of a person’s income and value in and out of the home are complicated. Experts must calculate the deceased’s earning capacity and state of health at the time of the accident. The education and training of the deceased will be taken into consideration. Each amount has to be supported by objective evidence, not supposition.
Many times, the insurance company of the negligent person will offer a settlement based on their own projections. You may not agree with the settlement offer. You can either try to negotiate for a higher amount or take the company to court to ask a jury or judge to decide the award. A wrongful death lawyer can help you through the process to make sure that you receive a fair settlement for your case. Contact a personal injury attorney for more information.