Did you know that there are over 200,000 accidental deaths each year in the United States? Unfortunately, many of these deaths are the result of someone else’s negligence.
If your loved one was lost as a result of another person or company’s negligence, you may be wondering how wrongful death damages are calculated. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about damages are determined in a wrongful death case.
The Loss of Expected Earnings
As you may assume, one of the first things that are taken into account when calculating wrongful death damages is the victim’s expected earnings.
This number is determined by looking at the victim’s age, career path, and earning potential. In some cases, expert testimony may be used to help calculate this number.
The Loss of Benefits
In addition to the victim’s expected earnings, the court will also consider the loss of benefits.
This includes things like health insurance, life insurance, and pension benefits. In some cases, this could equate to a substantial amount in compensation.
The Loss of Services
Another factor that is considered when calculating wrongful death damages is the loss of services.
This takes into account the things that the victim did for their family that can no longer be done. This could be things like childcare, home maintenance, or even just emotional support.
When someone passes away suddenly, it can cause a great deal of emotional distress for their loved ones. Interestingly, many people forget that this is something that is taken into account when calculating wrongful death damages. However, it can be one of the most debilitating consequences.
If the decedent was going to inherit any money or property, this will also influence how much compensation you receive. This can also include other types of assets. Be sure you keep this in mind when moving forward.
The last thing that is considered when calculating wrongful death damages is funeral expenses. This includes things like the cost of the funeral, the cost of a burial plot, and the cost of a headstone.
Funerals are known to be expensive, so it’s crucial to track these costs.
What About Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are not typically awarded in wrongful death cases. This is because punitive damages are meant to punish the person or company responsible for the fatal injury, and not to compensate the victim’s family. Not every case involves punitive damages, either.
This will depend on the circumstances of the case and whether or not the person or company responsible for the death acted with malice or gross negligence.
What Are the Common Causes of Wrongful Death?
Perhaps the most common cause of wrongful death is car accidents. This is followed by medical malpractice, work-related accidents, and defective products.
For example, if someone is killed by a defective airbag, their family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer.
What Are the Steps I Should Take After a Wrongful Death Incident?
If you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence, there are a few steps you should take. You should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney. They will be able to help you understand your legal options and protect your rights.
You should then gather any evidence that you have. This could include things like photos, videos, witness statements, and medical records.
Afterward, file a wrongful death claim with the responsible party’s insurance company. If they refuse to pay or offer a low settlement, your attorney can help you file a lawsuit.
What Should I Look For in an Attorney?
When you are looking for an attorney to handle your wrongful death case, you should make sure that they have experience with similar cases. You should also look for an attorney who is willing to take your case to trial if necessary.
Although a wrongful death lawsuit is often settled outside of the courtroom, it’s essential that your attorney is prepared to take your case all the way.
As you might guess, it’s essential that you see what past clients have had to say. Reading reviews can give you a good idea of what it’s like to work with an attorney and whether or not they are likely to get you the outcome you want.
Finally, make sure that you feel comfortable with your attorney. This is someone who you will be working closely with, so it’s important that you feel like you can trust them.
You can go to alphaaccidentlawyers.com to learn more.
What Red Flags Should You Watch Out For?
There are a few red flags that you should watch out for when you are looking for an attorney to handle your case.
One red flag is if an attorney asks for payment upfront. You should never have to pay anything until your case is resolved, and most attorneys work on a contingency basis.
Another red flag is if an attorney guarantees a certain outcome. No one can predict the future, so if an attorney guaranteed that you would win your case or get a certain amount of money, they are not being honest with you.
Be wary of attorneys who try to pressure you into making a quick decision. You should never feel like you have to hire an attorney right away. Take your time and make sure that you are hiring the right person for the job.
Calculating Wrongful Death Damages Is Easier Than It Seems
If you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive wrongful death damages. Be sure to get in touch with a reputable attorney to discuss your options. They have everything necessary to help get your life back on track.
Want to learn more about what we can do? Be sure to reach out to us today and see how we can help you.