Money will never replace the loss of a loved one. It is devastating and purely something that monetary compensation will never fix. The law allows families of someone that has been wrongfully killed to recover the equivalent of the “value” of that person’s life. It can be hard for the family to justify the economic value of a lost family member. But, many spouses or family members of a lost loved one are left financially burdened after an unexpected death. Family members living without the loved one that passed away now have to deal with funeral experiences, medical bills and sometimes paying for the cost of raising children without their spouse. These are just some of the many reasons behind wrongful death lawsuits.
The amount of recovery in a wrongful death lawsuits varies based on a number of factors, but mostly has to do with the circumstances surrounding the case. The victims age and health at time of death is a relevant factor in determining the amount of recovery that is possible. Another big factor is earning capacity, especially if the victim was supporting a spouse or young child. In addition, the amount of recovery in a wrongful death lawsuit depends on the nature of the accident or injury that took place to cause the death and if the victim endured suffering before death.
Seeking recovery in economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit is possible over the decedent’s lost income, burial expenses and medical bills prior to death. Caps are placed on the amount of recovery for non-economic damages such as loss of love, companionship, care and comfort and the decedent’s pain and suffering before death.
A $150 million jury awarded a 13 year old girl who witnessed the death of her entire family in a car accident is an example of a recent case. Another recent case involving a man shot by police officers in Hayward, California paid out a $500,000 settlement to his family. The recovery in wrongful death lawsuits are always going to vary based on many deciding factors, and every incident is different.
If you’ve lost someone to a wrongful death lawsuit and are wondering how much compensation you can receive please give us a call at (505) 242-7200.
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