One fatal mistake that could have been avoided can lead to the unexpected death of your loved one. If your family is suffering from a wrongful death that deeply impacted your life, it is time to seek a settlement. According to lawyers Kopelman & Henningsen, when someone was neglectful and caused the death of an innocent victim, they are liable for any of the resulting damages they caused.
Every wrongful death case is different, which means you cannot expect the same outcome. There are many factors to consider in a wrongful death settlement.
One of the most costly wrongful death settlements resulted in a $13.5 million dollar reward in Utah. The case dealt with a gunshot wound that was considered to be a civil rights violation, intentional tort, negligent tort, government negligence, and vicarious liability. The defendant was accused of murder, which resulted in a wrongful death.
Factors A Wrongful Death Settlement Might Be High
Wrongful death settlements are typically awarded based on the seriousness of the personal injury. Other factors that play a part include the following:
If the wrongful death victim had dependents, it is likely they left them behind with one or no guardians to watch over them. Even if they have a remaining parent or guardian to protect them, the parent still can struggle financially. The number of young dependents will impact the financial struggles the death caused.
Before the wrongful death victim passes away, they may have bills that accumulated over time before their passing. For example, the personal injury may have caused internal bleeding and a brain injury that only partially healed. A year or two later, the injury may have worsened, become infected, or caused co-morbidities that resulted in the victim’s death. All medical bills caused by the personal injury until the passing of the victim can be included in the settlement. Even if the victim underwent multiple surgeries, treatments, therapy sessions, and more, the costs would be a burden on the remaining family members. Instead, medical bills can be included in the settlement.
Your loved one may have suffered extensively until their early demise. Family accounts of pain and suffering are reviewed by the wrongful death attorney and included in the total non-economic settlement. The wrongful death victim may have been depressed, anxious, embarrassed, and more. You and other survivors can also experience pain and suffering due to the loss of your loved one. Your attorney can calculate the grief and feelings of sadness you endured because of their passing.
If the wrongful death victim had a large income, the settlement could be considerably larger. For example, if they just graduated from college and started a job they expected to grow from, the amount they could have earned in their lifetime can be estimated by your wrongful death attorney. The amount of licensing, education, training and certifications the victim received will be factored in as well.
Your attorney will also review the number of benefits the wrongful death victim has. For example, if they have a life insurance plan, health insurance coverage, pension plan, savings, investment portfolio, and more, losing these benefits can be considered a form of damage.
While many wrongful death accidents are not intentional, sometimes the other party may have been malicious or grossly negligent. If the other party was acting extremely recklessly, this might increase the number of damages. You may consider seeking punitive damages, which are awarded outside of your settlement.
When you are grieving with your other family members, it can be comforting to have an attorney by your side. They will fight on your behalf and help you through this mournful time. To learn how to initiate a wrongful death settlement, speak to an attorney. They can calculate your damages for you and get started on the settlement claim process.