The loss of a loved one can be devastating, especially if you learn the death could have been prevented. If only drunk drivers stayed off the roads, or doctors paid closer attention to their patients, many people wouldn't have to suffer through the difficult process of coping with a loved one's death. If a death in your family was caused by another person's negligence, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party to recover compensation. No amount of money can bring back your loved one, but compensation can help you deal with mounting bills while you take the time you need to emotionally recover. But, just how much will you receive from a wrongful death case? It depends.
Economic damages make up a large portion of the compensation you are entitled to receive in a wrongful death case. These damages can include compensation for funeral expenses, medical expenses your loved one incurred before he passed away, and loss of earnings. Compensating a victim for funeral and medical expenses is fairly straightforward as long as you have documentation showing the expenses you have incurred. But, it's more difficult to value the loss of earnings. If you are awarded economic damages for loss of earnings, the amount will vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- The age and health of the victim
- How long the victim would have lived
- The earning capacity of the victim
- How much financial support the victim provided to his family members
Let's say the victim in the wrongful death claim was a single, healthy woman in her 30s with a stable job that allowed her to support her small children. In this case, the court would find that the children were completely financially dependent on their mother, and that she would have probably continued to earn an income and live for decades if she had not been involved in the accident. To calculate compensation, the court would need to determine how much the victim would have made from her salary and other job benefits if she were still alive, and how long she would have made this income. Therefore, this wrongful death case may be worth more than another claim involving an unemployed victim in his 80s.
Of course, family members can also be compensated for non-economic damages in a wrongful death case, which can include pain and suffering and loss of companionship. It is more difficult to place a value on these losses, so consult with your attorney to determine how much this portion of your claim is worth.
No one deserves to lose his or her life because of someone else's negligence. If you have lost a loved one in a tragic accident, contact James Rush at Rush Injury Law to discuss the possibility of filing a wrongful death lawsuit. James Rush can fight for the compensation you need to move forward in your life while you focus solely on grieving the loss of your loved one. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website, www.rushinjurylaw.com .