Suddenly losing a loved one can flip a family’s life upside-down. They may lose the emotional love and support they need, and their finances may be thrown into disarray. Although it may be difficult to think about in the aftermath of a loved one’s passing, surviving family members may want to consider their legal rights, particularly if the death was caused by the negligence of another. After all, a successful wrongful death lawsuit may provide the sense of closure and financial stability that a family needs during such a difficult time.
It may be difficult to think of a lost loved one’s life in terms of compensation, but surviving family members must do so when pursuing damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. To determine the value of a wrongful death claim, an individual can look at many factors, all of which will be considered by the judge and jury. Amongst those factors is the loss of economic support provided by the deceased individual.
Yet, even within this category, there are factors to consider. For example, a deceased individual’s age, health, life expectancy, and earning capacity may all be taken into consideration. These issues may be challenged by a defendant, as showing an unhealthy aspect of the deceased’s life, or the fact that they were expected to make less as their life progresses, may save them from paying out more to a plaintiff who is successful in imposing liability.
This is just some of the considerations to be taken into account when seeking compensation through a wrongful death claim. Surviving family members may also want to pursue non-economic damages, which can include loss of companionship, affection, and moral support. To figure out how best to go about trying to impose liability and establish the true extent of one’s losses, family members who have lost a loved one to negligence can speak with an experienced legal professional.
Source: FindLaw, “What Is Your Wrongful Death Case Worth?,” accessed on June 4, 2017