It can be incredibly devastating when a family member or loved one passes away because of another’s irresponsible behavior. Wrongful deaths can happen in a number of ways, but most likely occur because of a fatal accident. The individual responsible for the accident is typically negligent in a way that caused the victim’s death. Wrongful death lawsuits typically receive far higher settlements than a normal personal injury. That is because the number of damages the survivors of the victim experience are far more severe. Additionally, the loss of a beloved individual simply can’t be replaced. After your loved one passed away, you can initiate a wrongful death claim with the help of your wrongful death attorney. They can file a formal investigation to find out exactly how their death occurred and who can be held responsible for their fatal injuries. To learn more about whether you are eligible for a wrongful death settlement, contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in wrongful death cases. They can provide reliable guidance and unshakeable support during such a difficult time. Wrongful death settlements should be managed by an experienced law firm. Contact Personal Injury Attorney Fresno now for a free consultation.
How Do Attorneys Calculate Wrongful Death Settlements?
You may be struggling financially as a dependent or spouse of a wrongful death victim. With the help of a wrongful death attorney, you can estimate how much you should receive in compensation. Some types of damages that you can receive for the average wrongful death settlement include the following:
The cost of the funeral can be expensive, which includes the casket or urn, the embalming of the body or cremation, and the funeral service itself. You’ll also have to pay for the burial of the wrongful death victim and the lot that they are placed in. Damages also included in wrongful death cases are pamphlets, flowers, and other necessities for the funeral service.
Lost Earning Capacity
Because your loved one has passed away, they cannot earn any wages for their dependents. The total number of wages they could have made during their entire lifespan will be estimated and included in your settlement.
All of the medical bills related to the wrongful death victim’s injuries can be compensated. These include any medical expenses up until their death. For example, if they had to undergo surgeries and take lots of pain medication to help remedy their injuries, these will be considered damages.
Loss of Valuable Services
When the victim passes away, they may have put a burden on their spouse and dependents in many ways. For example, the deceased probably helped with babysitting, laundry, dishes, and many other activities. Without this support, the remaining family members or dependents are left with additional tasks which can be stressful if they are in school or working full-time. Loss of valuable services damages will be included in your settlement as well.
Pain And Suffering
You may have noticed that your loved one was in severe pain before they passed away. Pain and suffering damages include depression, grief, anxiety, embarrassment, shame, PTSD, and other dark emotions. Surviving family members and dependents who witnessed the victim’s suffering can attest to their pain and suffering. Your attorney can estimate these damages using a multiplier.
Loss Of Consortium And More
The surviving spouse can receive loss of consortium damages due to the fact that they no longer have a partner to keep them company or provide marriage duties. Additionally, dependents have lost a guardian and mentor, which is why loss of guardianship and loss of mentorship are also considered wrongful death victims.
Average Wrongful Death Settlement in California
There is no average settlement for a wrongful death claim. This is because a wrongful death settlement can range anywhere between a few thousand to millions of dollars. Every wrongful death case is different. Because of the circumstances involved in the wrongful death accidents, the settlement you receive may not reflect the average at all. You will have to speak to an attorney first to find out what you can expect in terms of compensation.
Factors that Might Reduce Your Wrongful Death Settlement Amount
There are many factors that go into how your wrongful death settlement is negotiated. For example, the judge and jury that have a reputation for being plaintiff-oriented or defense-oriented can have an impact on the results. Even the location of the jury, whether in a city or rural area, can influence how they review your wrongful death case. Some of the factors that can reduce your wrongful death settlement amount include the following:
How Many Dependents Are Involved
An individual who has no dependents and no spouse won’t have anyone to leave money behind to. Often, other eligible family members, such as parents, grandparents, or siblings, can claim on their behalf. However, the settlement would be smaller because no one was financially dependent on the victim. If the victim had a spouse but no dependents, the spouse will claim for a smaller settlement amount compared to a victim with several dependents. The age of the dependents matters too. For example, if the victim has small children, the settlement will be larger. If there is one 18-year-old dependent, the settlement may not be as grand in comparison.
The Person’s Character
The judge and jury will be more sympathetic to someone who was reputable and had a good character. If they had advanced degrees, contributed to the community, and were loved by their friends and coworkers who speak of for them, they’ll consider a larger settlement. An individual who broke laws, had a history of bad behavior, and other issues, they may not receive as high a settlement.
Insurance Coverage Available
Even if the damages are high, the insurance coverage of the other party may not be able to allow for full compensation. The other party’s insurer can only settle for what is covered under the policy. Otherwise, the plaintiff would have to file a second lawsuit against the individual to receive the rest of the damages if the defendant can afford it.
Strength Of Evidence
If the evidence supporting the damages the plaintiff is claiming is weak, they may not receive the full amount they requested. For example, there may be evidence of damages such as funeral bills and lost earning capacity, but not for medical bills. This could be the case if the wrongful death victim never got medical treatment for their fatal wounds and doesn’t have a record of medical bills at their hospital.
The attorney handling the wrongful death case must be skilled in managing wrongful death claims. Otherwise, they may not pay attention to details that can make or break a case. They should be able to estimate damages correctly, find enough evidence to prove that the other party is negligent, and also be timely and efficient in sticking to deadlines.
Next Steps For A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Or Settlement
Initially, your attorney will guide you to seek a settlement from the other party before filing a lawsuit. If the other party refuses to settle, then you can file a lawsuit with your wrongful death attorney’s help. They work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t pay your lawyer anything until they win your wrongful death suit. To get started, call Personal Injury Attorney Fresno for a free consultation.