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How Much is a Wrongful Death Settlement Worth?

Posted in Uncategorized, Wrongful Death on Friday, December 29, 2023.

When you lose your beloved family member in a tragic accident caused by someone else’s misconduct, you might find it difficult to go on with your life. The sudden loss of companionship and support can be overwhelming. Without your loved one’s financial contribution to your household’s income, you might also find your family facing immense economic struggles.

As you consider whether it is worth it to bring a legal claim against the wrongdoer who caused your loved one’s death, you might wonder how much is a wrongful death settlement worth. A compassionate local attorney could help you pursue a fair settlement for your heartbreaking loss.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death lawsuit follows an untimely death that occurs due to the reckless, negligent, or willful actions of another person. Generally, surviving family members might have legal grounds to bring a wrongful death claim when the deceased person would have had cause to file a personal injury claim had they survived. One of the differences between personal injury suits and wrongful death claims is that in wrongful death suits the deceased person’s estate seeks compensation instead of the deceased person themselves.

Commonly, wrongful death lawsuits arise after deaths resulting from the following:

To be successful in a claim, surviving family members must prove the defendant is liable for the deceased person’s death. They must establish that the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care, that the defendant breached that duty through their actions, and that the breach caused the deceased’s untimely death. For instance, in a claim relating to a death in a car crash, a diligent legal team could help prove liability by reviewing evidence from the crash to learn why it occurred and who bears legal responsibility.

Valuing a Wrongful Death Suit

When someone dies, their loss can take a large financial toll on their surviving family members. Trying to put a value on the untimely loss of a life is difficult. Some of the factors that could influence the valuation of a potential settlement or damages award are as follows:

  • The deceased person’s age and physical health at the time of their death
  • The decedent’s income and potential future lost earning capacity, including the value of a lost pension or other benefits
  • The age and circumstances of any of the deceased person’s dependents
  • The type of accident resulting in the death
  • The value of the loss of support and services that the decedent would have provided
  • Mental anguish and loss of companionship
  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical expenses relating to the accident

When the person who caused the deceased person’s death acted grossly negligently or egregiously, the family might also be entitled to collect punitive damages as beneficiaries of the estate.

Contact an Attorney to Determine the Potential Value of a Wrongful Death Suit

There is no easy answer to the question of how much is a wrongful death settlement worth. Every wrongful death case is different, which is why working with an attorney who has a proven track record of success with prior claims is critical. A seasoned attorney could help a decedent’s estate maximize their chances of a full and fair settlement by working alongside financial experts, medical workers, and other professionals to calculate potential damages.

Contact a dedicated legal professional to discuss the unique circumstances of your loved one’s loss.