How much is a human life worth? This question might be macabre, but, essentially, it is at the center of wrongful death claims. When filing a wrongful death claim after losing a loved one, you will eventually need to know how much compensation you want to demand from the defendant. What factors do you need to know about when choosing that amount?
Two crucial factors for calculating the value of a wrongful death claim are:
- Total damages: There will be tangible, economic damages that factor into the value of a wrongful death claim. Costs of the final medical care provided to the deceased are commonly cited damages in such a case. Also, the income that the deceased would have earned in life can be added to a claim’s value in some states. If their estate has suffered any financial damages due to the untimely death, then those losses can be added to a claim’s value, too. The claimants can also often seek non-economic damages related to pain and suffering, either endured by themselves or by the deceased person before they passed away.
- Details of the deceased person: As unusual and morbid as it might seem, insurance companies and courts will value one life differently from the next based on the unique details of both deceased people. For example, in a wrongful death claim, the perceived “value” of the life of a young child or a senior citizen is usually less than that of an adult who makes the majority income for their household. Essentially, the more the deceased person could have contributed to society or their family’s finances, the more value a court or insurer will assign to their life.
Help Determining the Value of a Life
Probably one of the last things you want to do after losing a loved one in an accident is try to decide a fair value to their life. To you, they were priceless, and all the joy that they brought to your life could never be translated fairly into an economic value. Yet it has to be done if you want to file a wrongful death claim. The way that you can advance your case without going through this painfully awkward step is by letting a professional wrongful death attorney manage everything for you, including the calculation of the case’s total value.
Dunk Law Firm offers wrongful death legal services to people across the United States. Contact us now if you need help.